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For years, this was the "dream track". I finally started building it three years ago, still not complete, but very close. The name, Thunder Road, comes from the folk tail, song and movie by the same title. It's about a bootlegger hauling moonshine from Kentucky down to Knoxville, Tennessee, my home home town. In the story, the main character dies in a car crash on Bearden Hill. That location is about eight miles away on the same road running in front of my house.

I chose Carrera because most of our group already had Carrera digital cars for their home tracks, plus, they are pretty robust cars and have ready to run 124 scale cars. I cut up a control unit for remote mounting, sliced up three lane changers, two for lanes and one for the pit in. There was no CNC used, just build a table and start drawing on MDF. Because 124 cars were to be used, I made sure there was enough gutter room and the bridge would be high enough for Fly trucks.

So, I have one teaser photo for now. Mostly because all of the build photos are being held hostage by Photobucket. I hope to add in the other photos as time allows.

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I'm all ears, eyes and goosebumps! Don't let us suffer ... pleeease?

I do like a bit of history, even so being fiction sometimes, behind the name or layout of a track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When designing the track, one feature it had to have, was the ability to tilt. That was achieved using folding legs, radiused on one side. After swinging out. they are held in place to the support leg by an "R" clip.

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Safety when in the up position is important too, chained to the wall.

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Everything gets plugged into this power strip. Those wall packs power the computer monitor, track speaker and track call system. Not shown are the 30 volt-30 amp adjustable power supply and computer power supply.

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Some track color and the computer speaker so everyone can hear.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, I keep forgetting to add more information here.

Here's an overhead view, I'm preparing to add two more lane changers to the track.

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I took apart the Control Unit and use just what I need for track power

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It's tight, but the pit lane can fit all six 124 scale cars.

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Lane spacing is about 4.125", that allows the 124 cars some wiggle room. I painted the rumble strips close enough so they look like they're using them.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Adding additional lane changes to a wood track is not for the faint of heart. You just guess where the best spot for it is and GO for it.

I use this template to mark where it will be.

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Drill a couple of corner holes then cut out the piece.

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Ain't no turning back now.

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After I rout the rabbet for the Carrera L/C, I make a router template for the exit/blend slot.

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I glue them in with some latex tub and tire caulk and blend the edges with auto body filler. After that, some fresh paint, lay some copper tape and wire in some jumpers and it's race ready.
 

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Bob Chapman
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Nice build buspor 63.
Seems you have the lane change aspect down to a fine art. The trackmhas a nice looking flow tomit and seems conducive to good racing.
Keep us posted.
Bob
 

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Looking great. I have a hybrid track sort of like this as well, but Scalextric. I have yet to be as brave as you and add an extra lane changer though. Way to commit!

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the kind words. Admittedly, the track could be better, it needs to be both wider and longer to accommodate the two hairpins, they both are a little squeezed down.

Here's a photo from the track build, this is how the section looks before dropping the Carrera L/C in.

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I accomplished a few more improvements. Previously, my "soft walls" were just strips of foam. Effective, not very scenic though. I ordered some NERF style darts and made some tire walls that matched the rumble strips. Additionally, there were some areas I wanted to have a guard rail by, so I repurposed some TOMY HO guard rails. I painted them gray, not sure how well the paint will stick, but should do the job for awhile.

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[...] chose Carrera because most of our group already had Carrera digital cars for their home tracks, plus, they are pretty robust cars and have ready to run 124 scale cars. I cut up a control unit for remote mounting, sliced up three lane changers, two for lanes and one for the pit in. [...]

You got my attention with your pit lane design. How to adapt the pit in, pit check and pit out , using your technique ?

Gerson
 
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