Copyright 2018 by Andrew Reid - BendTrack    All Rights reserved    E-Mail: andrew@bendtrack.com
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The BendTrack Manual  --  Advantages & Concerns
Advantages of BendTrack
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No Operating Pit
          With no fixed number of modules required (other than two balloons) and with countless different sizes, shapes, and  
configurations of modules being possible, there is an almost limitless variety of possible combinations to layout design. In fact,  
each operating session or show can yield a new variation in the design of how the modules are arranged.  

          Also, since you don't need to match lengths of one part of a display with lengths of other parts as in traditional modular  
systems, you won't have to leave out anyone's modules just because the lengths don't work out to be equal.
Flexibility
An Interactive Layout
          The BendTrack system was created foremost with the idea that it could give a home or club layout the capacity for  
movement to a new or better location and second, that it could be used for shows. With the proper use of stanchions or guard  
rails at shows, we've found that you can walk around the layout while keeping an eye on your train and at the same time interact  
with the people who are viewing the trains.

          From earlier experiences with traditional modular layouts, it seemed almost as if the modules acted as a barrier between  
the club members and the public. We were perceived as being inside a sound proof control booth, not to be contacted unless  
we happened to stray outside the system. Even as early as our first show with BendTrack modules, the general public was more  
inclined to visit with our members and ask questions about model railroading as a whole. We found our BendTrack layout to be  
an excellent way for our club members to reach out and interact with spectators and train enthusiasts who might be thinking of  
getting into the hobby or perhaps joining a club.
More 'Running' In A Given Space
          Since BendTrack does not have an  
operating pit, you can use angled, curved  
and branching modules to make the most  
of the available space. Especially when  
using branching modules, the layout  
display can place modules into locations  
that would normally be left vacant with  
nothing for the club members to run on or  
the public to see. More modules can be  
used in the same square footage, meaning  
more mainline to run on and more trains  
running at once. This has allowed us not to  
have "running time" problems from lack of  
usable space in a given area, while also  
lending to the more "realistic" feel of the  
trains actually going to and from  
somewhere, rather than just round in  
circles.
Reduced Start-Up Expenses
          BendTrack offers the possibility of  
using just two balloon modules to be able  
to have an operating layout. The lesser  
amount of modules will reduce the cost of  
construction, so you might say that you get  
two for the price of one. For instance, a  
member who builds two balloon modules  
would accomplish the same end result as if  
they had built four traditional 90 degree  
corner modules, but with one half the time  
and expense.

          This minimal amount of modules to  
start a small system would fit nicely with a  
club who's membership is small but wishes  
to have a larger layout in the future, as well  
as to aid in growing a clubs membership,  
as the cost to construct a simple straight  
module is minimal but can become a part  
of a much larger layout during an Open  
House or Train Show.
Concerns
          The fact that the BendTrack system, in comparison with traditional modular layouts, has no enclosed operating pit might  
bring up the concern for adequate security during shows and ease of movement between different parts of the layout. This issue  
can be addressed with ease...we've found that the recommended height of ~50 inches (rather than the more typical 36 to 40  
inch height of typical modular layouts) helps to eliminate the need for an operating pit.

          The use of an increased height results in not only the ability to move under the modules if desired, but also provides a  
much more realistic viewing angle for both operators and spectators. We have also found this height to be more comfortable in  
terms of working on scenery and rolling stock. As far as security goes, we have found that with shelving (which rests on the  
module leg cross pieces) and skirting (on each side of a module covering this shelving) there is ample room to store boxes and  
other rift raft out of view of the public. Additionally, stanchions and rope around the layout would provide additional protection  
from young arms and hands that may want to touch the trains.

          Of course, given the flexibility of BendTrack, it is entirely possible to configure the layout in such a way that a portion of the  
layout can be "closed off" to the public, giving the group a more private area for a table & chairs, storage, or whatever they may  
need.
Tighter Minimum Curve Radius
          While it's true that BendTrack does have a tighter minimum track radius (14-1/2") than usually affiliated with other modular  
systems, this does not mean that all of your curved track must stay at this minimum. Curves can be as broad as you wish and  
branch lines that curve off the two mainlines can be as tight as you find practical for the use of your branch line.

          On the original three modules that we built, the two balloons were built with the minimum radius allowed (a 29" diameter).  
We have consistently run trains with four locomotives and 65 to 70 cars with minimal problems. We've found that for the most  
part the problems have been wheel or car related, rather than track radius related.  

          Of course, the best rule of thumb for curve radius is to have as large a curve radius as you possibly can. A nice long   
passenger train or that hotshot intermodal are going to look a lot more realistic on a balloon with sweeping 22" radius curve than  
they are on a 14.5" minimum radius balloon.
The Original "N"ovative Modular System
Home The Manual Whats New? History Tips & Tricks Links Photo Gallery Clubs & Groups Support Us Contact Us
Advantages of BendTrack
          With no fixed number of modules  
required (other than two balloons) and with  
countless different sizes, shapes, and  
configurations of modules being possible,  
there is an almost limitless variety of  
possible combinations to layout design. In  
fact, each operating session or show can  
yield a new variation in the design of how  
the modules are arranged.  

          Also, since you don't need to match  
lengths of one part of a display with lengths  
of other parts as in traditional modular  
systems, you won't have to leave out  
anyone's modules just because the lengths  
don't work out to be equal.
          The BendTrack system was created foremost with the idea that it could give a  
home or club layout the capacity for movement to a new or better location and second,  
that it could be used for shows. With the proper use of stanchions or guard rails at  
shows, we've found that you can walk around the layout while keeping an eye on your  
train and at the same time interact with the people who are viewing the trains.

          From earlier experiences with traditional modular layouts, it seemed almost as if  
the modules acted as a barrier between the club members and the public. We were  
perceived as being inside a sound proof control booth, not to be contacted unless we  
happened to stray outside the system. Even as early as our first show with BendTrack  
modules, the general public was more inclined to visit with our members and ask  
questions about model railroading as a whole. We found our BendTrack layout to be an  
excellent way for our club members to reach out and interact with spectators and train  
enthusiasts who might be thinking of getting into the hobby or perhaps joining a club.
          Since BendTrack does not have an operating pit, you can use angled, curved and  
branching modules to make the most of the available space. Especially when using  
branching modules, the layout display can place modules into locations that would  
normally be left vacant with nothing for the club members to run on or the public to see.  
More modules can be used in the same square footage, meaning more mainline to run  
on and more trains running at once. This has allowed us not to have "running time"  
problems from lack of usable space in a given area, while also lending to the more  
"realistic" feel of the trains actually going to and from somewhere, rather than just round  
in circles.
          BendTrack offers the possibility of using just two balloon modules to be able to have an operating layout. The lesser  
amount of modules will reduce the cost of construction, so you might say that you get two for the price of one. For instance, a  
member who builds two balloon modules would accomplish the same end result as if they had built four traditional 90 degree  
corner modules, but with one half the time and expense.

          This minimal amount of modules to start a small system would fit nicely with a club who's membership is small but wishes  
to have a larger layout in the future, as well as to aid in growing a clubs membership, as the cost to construct a simple straight  
module is minimal but can become a part of a much larger layout during an Open House or Train Show.
Concerns
No Operating Pit
          The fact that the BendTrack system, in comparison with traditional modular layouts,  
has no enclosed operating pit might bring up the concern for adequate security during  
shows and ease of movement between different parts of the layout. This issue can be  
addressed with ease...we've found that the recommended height of ~50 inches (rather  
than the more typical 36 to 40 inch height of typical modular layouts) helps to eliminate  
the need for an operating pit.

          The use of an increased height results in not only the ability to move under the  
modules if desired, but also provides a much more realistic viewing angle for both  
operators and spectators. We have also found this height to be more comfortable in  
terms of working on scenery and rolling stock. As far as security goes, we have found  
that with shelving (which rests on the module leg cross pieces) and skirting (on each  
side of a module covering this shelving) there is ample room to store boxes and other rift  
raft out of view of the public. Additionally, stanchions and rope around the layout would  
provide additional protection from young arms and hands that may want to touch the  
trains.

          Of course, given the flexibility of BendTrack, it is entirely possible to configure the  
layout in such a way that a portion of the layout can be "closed off" to the public, giving  
the group a more private area for a table & chairs, storage, or whatever they may need.
          While it's true that BendTrack does have a tighter minimum track radius (14-1/2")  
than usually affiliated with other modular systems, this does not mean that all of your  
curved track must stay at this minimum. Curves can be as broad as you wish and branch  
lines that curve off the two mainlines can be as tight as you find practical for the use of  
your branch line.

          On the original three modules that we built, the two balloons were built with the  
minimum radius allowed (a 29" diameter). We have consistently run trains with four  
locomotives and 65 to 70 cars with minimal problems. We've found that for the most part  
the problems have been wheel or car related, rather than track radius related.  

          Of course, the best rule of thumb for curve radius is to have as large a curve radius  
as you possibly can. A nice long  passenger train or that hotshot intermodal are going to  
look a lot more realistic on a balloon with sweeping 22" radius curve than they are on a  
14.5" minimum radius balloon.
The Original "N"ovative
Modular System
Manual Navigation
Advantages of BendTrack
          With no fixed number of modules required (other than two balloons) and with countless different sizes, shapes, and  
configurations of modules being possible, there is an almost limitless variety of possible combinations to layout design. In fact,  
each operating session or show can yield a new variation in the design of how the modules are arranged.  

          Also, since you don't need to match lengths of one part of a display with lengths of other parts as in traditional modular  
systems, you won't have to leave out anyone's modules just because the lengths don't work out to be equal.
          With no fixed number of modules required (other than two balloons) and with  
countless different sizes, shapes, and configurations of modules being possible, there is  
an almost limitless variety of possible combinations to layout design. In fact, each  
operating session or show can yield a new variation in the design of how the modules  
are arranged.  

          Also, since you don't need to match lengths of one part of a display with lengths of  
other parts as in traditional modular systems, you won't have to leave out anyone's  
modules just because the lengths don't work out to be equal.
          The BendTrack system was created  
foremost with the idea that it could give a  
home or club layout the capacity for  
movement to a new or better location and  
second, that it could be used for shows.  
With the proper use of stanchions or guard  
rails at shows, we've found that you can  
walk around the layout while keeping an  
eye on your train and at the same time  
interact with the people who are viewing  
the trains.

          From earlier experiences with  
traditional modular layouts, it seemed  
almost as if the modules acted as a barrier  
between the club members and the public.  
We were perceived as being inside a  
sound proof control booth, not to be  
contacted unless we happened to stray  
outside the system. Even as early as our  
first show with BendTrack modules, the  
general public was more inclined to visit  
with our members and ask questions about  
model railroading as a whole. We found  
our BendTrack layout to be an excellent  
way for our club members to reach out and  
interact with spectators and train  
enthusiasts who might be thinking of  
getting into the hobby or perhaps joining a  
club.
Concerns
          BendTrack offers the possibility of using just two balloon modules to be able to  
have an operating layout. The lesser amount of modules will reduce the cost of  
construction, so you might say that you get two for the price of one. For instance, a  
member who builds two balloon modules would accomplish the same end result as if  
they had built four traditional 90 degree corner modules, but with one half the time and  
expense.

          This minimal amount of modules to start a small system would fit nicely with a club  
who's membership is small but wishes to have a larger layout in the future, as well as to  
aid in growing a clubs membership, as the cost to construct a simple straight module is  
minimal but can become a part of a much larger layout during an Open House or Train  
Show.
Concerns
          The fact that the BendTrack system,  
in comparison with traditional modular  
layouts, has no enclosed operating pit  
might bring up the concern for adequate  
security during shows and ease of  
movement between different parts of the  
layout. This issue can be addressed with  
ease...we've found that the recommended  
height of ~50 inches (rather than the more  
typical 36 to 40 inch height of typical  
modular layouts) helps to eliminate the  
need for an operating pit.

          The use of an increased height  
results in not only the ability to move under  
the modules if desired, but also provides a  
much more realistic viewing angle for both  
operators and spectators. We have also  
found this height to be more comfortable in  
terms of working on scenery and rolling  
stock. As far as security goes, we have  
found that with shelving (which rests on the  
module leg cross pieces) and skirting (on  
each side of a module covering this  
shelving) there is ample room to store  
boxes and other rift raft out of view of the  
public. Additionally, stanchions and rope  
around the layout would provide additional  
protection from young arms and hands that  
may want to touch the trains.

          Of course, given the flexibility of  
BendTrack, it is entirely possible to  
configure the layout in such a way that a  
portion of the layout can be "closed off" to  
the public, giving the group a more private  
area for a table & chairs, storage, or  
whatever they may need.
          While it's true that BendTrack does  
have a tighter minimum track radius (14-
1/2") than usually affiliated with other  
modular systems, this does not mean that  
all of your curved track must stay at this  
minimum. Curves can be as broad as you  
wish and branch lines that curve off the two  
mainlines can be as tight as you find  
practical for the use of your branch line.

          On the original three modules that we  
built, the two balloons were built with the  
minimum radius allowed (a 29" diameter).  
We have consistently run trains with four  
locomotives and 65 to 70 cars with minimal  
problems. We've found that for the most  
part the problems have been wheel or car  
related, rather than track radius related.  

          Of course, the best rule of thumb for  
curve radius is to have as large a curve  
radius as you possibly can. A nice long   
passenger train or that hotshot intermodal  
are going to look a lot more realistic on a  
balloon with sweeping 22" radius curve  
than they are on a 14.5" minimum radius  
balloon.
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Copyright 2018 by Andrew Reid - BendTrack
All Rights reserved
E-Mail: andrew@bendtrack.com