.Assembling track

1) Before loading the rail onto the ties, you need to pre-bend any rail that makes up a curved portion of track.It is recommended that curves are made with the Sunset Valley Railbender. This puts a constant and even radius bend right up to the end of the rail. We do not recommend the dual railbenders that are on the market. These take a straight piece of track that is already assembled and bend it, and are intended primarily for the pre-assembled code 332 tracks that have a loose fit between the rail and the ties. The bending action pushes rail through the ties and puts a lot of stress and distortion on Sunset Valley track, where the rail is a snug fit on the ties.

2) Load rail onto the ties. Start by removing any burrs on the end of the rail with a small file.Set up a work space of 8-10 ft and lay a tie strip on the surface. Slide the rail through the ties. To facilitate this, put the tiestrip on a flat sheet of metal or plastic (shown below) as you slide it onto the rail, this lines up the tie to the rail and stops the rail hitting the sides or bottom of the spike detail, especially if you are laying track out in the field.  Place another tie strip against the first, making sure the spacer tabs mate together, and repeat. Once the first rail is on all 6 tie strips the second can now be threaded. If a rail is stiff, check once more for burrs. WD-40 is also helpful.

3) When laying track, we recommend you stagger the joints at least 1 ft, preferably 3ft. This is especially beneficial on curves, the curve is much smoother. It was standard practice among most railroads for the same reason.

4) Slide a rail joiner on the end of the rail. Cut the spike heads off with a sharp knife under the joiner, or a sharp chisel pushed along the tie, as shown in the first photo. An alternative method is to bend the spikeheads up instead, and after the joiner is pushed through, they will gradually bend back to grip the rail, see next photo  (Courtesy Andrew Beattie)

5) Leave a .060-.080” (1.5-2mm, or about 2 credit card thicknesses) gap between rails as you proceed. This allows for thermal expansion. A 6 ft stainless steel rail expands .048” (1mm) between 30ºF and 100ºF, nickel silver .049”, brass .052”  and aluminum .066”. The rail temperature can exceed 150°F on a hot sunny day

6) There are many methods of mounting the track to the base. We recommend screwing it down every 2-3 ft through the centerline strip. Ballasting is optional, if used it will cover the screwheads and make the track look very realistic.

7) When using rail clamps, do not screw the track down. You must allow the track to ‘float’ in the ballast or on the track bed for thermal expansion. You do not need to put in expansion gaps as the rails are fixed to the clamps, Do not over tighten the stainless screw as in time the clamp will crack or break.


Brass track (TR BR) 12 years after installation

TR BR in ballast

TR NG NS in ballast








code332 on left     SVRR code250 on right


  Joiners and clamps

Brass railjoiner
Brass railclamp
Stainless railclamp
Adaptor railclamp, code250/332 

$8.95 per pair

Insulated railjoiner
Ball end driver for brass clamps RJ CL Driver$4.95
Ball end driver for stainless clamps 7/64"
RJ CL SS Driver


Track and rail 

Brass track and rail made by Sunset Valley  

Mainline - for 1:29 and 1:32 scales. 45mm gauge
$24.95 per 6ft length
$46.50 per 6ft length
Narrow gauge - for 1:20.3 etc. scales. 45mm gauge
$24.95 per 6ft length
$46.50 per 6ft length

​"O" gauge - for 1:19 scale. 32mm gauge
TR OG XX$24.95 per 6ft length$46.50 per 6ft length
Dual gauge 32 and 45 mm gaugesTR DG XX$35.95 per 6ft length

$62.50 per 6ft length

Rail onlyRA XX$5.95 per pair 6ft length$28.75 per pair 6ft length

Tiestrips, per 1ft length

Mainline 45mm  (16 ties/ft)                        
Narrow gauge  45mm  (10 ties/ft)       
"O" gauge 32mm 1:19 - 1:24 scaleTI OG   
Dual gauge (32 and 45mm)TI DG$3.70

  • Track

Track comes in 6ft sections, and comprises 2 lengths of rail, 6 tiestrips of 1 ft each and 2 railjoiners. Replace the XX in the codes below by the material type, AL for aluminum, BR for brass, for example TR BR is mainline brass track.  As well as track, you can buy rail and ties separately. We supply joiners and clamps to connect pieces of track. We have special clamps (RJ CL LGB) to connect our code 250 track to code 332 track, such as AristoCraft, LGB, USA trains, Pola etc.

45mm gauge track is commonly called G gauge (more properly called 1 gauge). Both our mainline and narrow gauge tracks are G gauge

For a full description of the rail, ties and track, please go to the general tab

Please scroll to bottom of page for instructions on assembling track

Sunset Valley Railroad


1:20.3 scale tie

1:32 scale tie

Lay tiestrip on a sheet of metal or plastic to make threading easier

Solid glass filled polypropylene railroad ties with U-V protection.

Ties are 0.25" deep and come in 2 widths, 0.29" and 0.39". The 0.29" tie is used for a standard mainline railroad tie of 7"x 9" at 1:32 scale, and the 0.39" tie is used for a standard narrow gauge tie of 6"x8" at 1:20.3 scale. Several lengths are available as follows

Tie #        1           2          3         4          5         6         7         8         9

Length  3.25"    3.38"    3.88"   4.38"   4.75"   5.25"   5.75"   6.13"   6.63"

(Narrow gauge ties 2 thru 7 only. The #3 corresponds to the standard 6ft 6in used on narrow gauge railroads)

Price $5 per 10, $35 per 100, $150 per 500  

Cut spike detail here