Buying Guide – Standard Scale Track – Miniature Railways

 

 

 

PNP Railways track is a modern robust system of easy to assemble parts.

Each component mimics the appearance of their full-size counterparts.  

 We have taken all the hard work out of laying track.  Manufactured to the correct size, with pre-drilled pilot holes, the sleepers are ready to use.  The rail chairs slide onto the rail and are either clipped into the sleeper or screwed in. No cutting, drilling, treating required.  Assemble and lay and enjoy years of trouble-free running.   

Track components are available for both standard and narrow gauge.  This guide is about our standard scale system. The track is available in kits or as individual parts depending on your requirements.  The range consists of six sleepers all compatible with the three types of rail chairs, Screw Fit, Clip Fit and a Chair for Bar Rail.   

 What is standard scale? 

The gauge is the distance between the rails. Full size standard scale is 4ft 8½” or 1,435 mm.   Standard gauge is the generally accepted gauge as it allows many locomotives and rolling stock to run on the same lines.  The first standard gauge railways were created in Britain during the 1830’s.  

Why are standard gauge railways 4ft 8½” wide?  The reasons are not clear. Some say that the width represents the width of a Roman chariot, while others suggest that it may be the usual width of a horse-drawn carriage. Whatever the reasons, the gauge stuck: today, about 55% of train lines around the world are built to standard gauge. 

What gauges does the track system come in? 

We produce track for the following gauges

  • 3½” Gauge  
  • 5″ & 3½” Dual Gauge  
  • 5″ Gauge 
  • 5″ True Scale 
  • 7¼” Gauge 
  • 7¼” & 5″ Dual Gauge 

 

 

 

Which sleepers should I choose?  

Here is a brief overview of each sleeper in the standard scale range.  

  • 3½” Gauge Sleeper – Over scale, but still in keeping for standard scale engines. The sleepers are suitable for narrow gauge, ground level tracks (if your balance is ok) or raised level tracks.  
  • 5″ True Scale Sleeper – Designed for standard gauge rolling stock and locomotives. Suitable for both ground and raised level tracks.  

What rail chairs are available? 

We offer two types of rail chairs for the profiled rail, 5/8” x 5/8” (16mm High) and 2lb Yard (21mm Highigh). A generic rail chair which we refer to as our ‘Screw Fit’ chair and our own design ‘Clip Fit’ Chair.   It is down to personal preference which rail chair you choose. The ‘Screw Fit’ chair requires screws to attach it to the sleeper. The ‘Clip Fit’ version pushes into the sleeper. If using bar rail, we can offer a chair to suit 10mm x 20mm black bar stock.  The ‘Clip Fit’ chair is only suitable for use with our plastic sleepers, the ‘Screw Fit’ and Bar Rail chairs can also be used on wooden or recycled plastic sleepers. 

Screw fit Chair:

Bar Rail Chair:

Clip Fit Chair:

How does the ‘Clip Fit’ chair work?

As its name implies it requires no screws to attach it to a sleeper, it clips into position in seconds. This chair is suitable only for the PNP Railways plastic sleepers and 5/8” x 5/8” (16mm) Aluminium Rail. It’s prototypical shape and simulated square head screws, blend well with standard and narrow-gauge models.  

 

What special features does the PNP Railways track system have? 

Apart from being very easy to assemble.  If using the plastic sleepers and chairs together, automatic gauge widening is achievable.  Each rail chair in the range will allow automatic gauge widening.  For ease of explanation we will use the ‘Screw Fit’ Chair as our example. 

The rail chair comes in two pieces. A chair and a spacer. The spacer has a spigot and two arrows on it. The spigot is used to locate the chair into the sleeper.  The spigot is off set, so placing the chairs on the sleepers with the arrows facing in will set the gauge.  

 

 

To achieve gauge widening on corners, one chair is turned to achieve a 1/32nd widening.  To achieve 1/16th widening turn both chairs 180º 

Figure 1 : No Gauge Widening

Figure 2 : 1/32nd Gauge Widening 

Figure 3 : 1/16th Gauge Widening 

 What is the track system manufactured from? 

The sleepers and rail chairs are plastic injection moulded.

The sleepers have a wood grain finish to give them a realistic appearance. Together with the two-tone colouring of the rail chairs this gives a rusty/weathered look.  

 

Is the sleeper solid? 

The sleepers are not solid. They have a hollow ribbed underside that will allow the ballast to enter, creating a very stable base to run on, limiting the amount of track movement.

How long will the sleepers and chairs last being plastic? 

The sleepers and chairs are both manufactured from virgin engineering polymers.  The properties of these can be guaranteed. Our system will provide you with many years of trouble-free running.  We have customers who have had our track system down for 20 years and it is still going strong. 

What happens if you drop fire onto the sleepers? 

As with wooden sleepers the fire should only be dropped in the appropriate place. Should hot coals drop onto the track they will mark but should not burn. 

What rail profiles can be used with the PNP Railways track system? 

There are three types of rail profile that are compatible with our standard scale track system.  

  • 5/8”x 5/8” (16mm High) flat bottom Aluminium Rail  
  • 2lb Yard (21mm High) Rail  
  • 10mm x 20mm Bar Rail  

 

 

Only the 5/8” x 5/8” (16mm High) flat bottom aluminium rail is available from PNP Railways.  2lb Yard (21mm High) rail is available from The Miniature Railway Supply Company Ltd and Bar Rail is available from your local steel stockist. 

How easy is the track to assemble? 

The track panels are very easy to assemble. No tools required apart from a screw driver if using the ‘Screw Fit’ chairs.  Please look at our on-line video tutorial at www.pnp-railways.co.uk 

Which track option is best for me? 

This does depend on what you are planning on running.  If you are looking to lay a short length in the garden to run up and down, look at our track kits.  The kits contain all the items required to make up a 10m length of track.   The PNP track system is suitable for light and heavy use including club and commercial environments.  

How do I work out how many sleepers, chairs and rail I will need? 

If you need assistance working out how many sleepers, chairs and rail you will require, below are the recommended sleeper spacings.  Alternatively, you can email us with your enquiry.  

  • 3½” Gauge  
  • 5” or 5″ & 3½” Dual Gauge  
  • 5″ True Scale 
  • 7¼” or 7¼” & 5″ Dual Gauge 
70mm Centres
80mm Centres
100mm Centres 
166mm Centres  

Are the ends of rail pre-drilled for the fish plates? 

The rail is not pre-drilled, it is easy enough to drill using a fish plate as a template.  Please look at our on-line tutorial video.
https://www.pnp-railways.co.uk/technical-advice/

Fish Plates, what is the difference between the light and heavy ones? 

We offer two types of fish plates, light duty and heavy duty.  Both suit 5/8” x 5/8” and 2lb yard profile rail. It is down to personal preference and what you will be running on your track.  

I want to lay an oval track; how do I create the curves?  

If using profiled rail 5/8” x 5/8” (16mm High) or 2lb Yard (21mm High) this can be bent using a rail bender. If using bar rail this can be bent using two garden forks or stakes.  

 

 

I am thinking of using wooden or recycled sleepers; which rail chairs are suitable? 

Two of the rail chairs in this range are suitable for use with wooden or recycled sleepers, the ‘Screw Fit’ and Bar Rail Chair.  

PNR -1T-D for 5/8″x5/8″ (16mm) profile rail, PNR-3N for 2lb a yard (21mm) profile rail or  PNR- 5B for bar rail (10mm x 20mm)

 

What is the difference between the chairs for wooden, recycled plastic and the PNP Railways plastic sleepers?

There are two differences between the chair for plastic sleepers and chairs for wooden sleepers. The underneath of the chair or spacer is flat and does not have the spigot which is used to locate the chair in the plastic sleeper.   The screw holes are round, rather than obround.  The obround hole in the chairs for plastics sleeper allow for gauge widening.  Automatic gauge widening is not possible with the chairs for wooden or recycled plastic sleepers.  

 


When would I use bar rail in place of profiled rail?
 

Bar rail has some advantages over prototypical shaped rail. It can cost less, due to local availability which will save on transport costs.  The black mill scale finish helps make it resistant to corrosion.  It does not need bending with rolls when creating curves and it welds easily. The disadvantages are not looking prototypical when used with standard scale stock. Should the sleepers on ground level track not be on a firm substrate it can move down the bar which has no foot. 

I would like to create a siding, are points available? 

Hardwood points are available for 5” and 7¼” and dual gauge in 10ft, 20ft or 30ft radius, either as a kit or fully assembled.  The points can be built either left or right hand and are fitted with a simple point change mechanism. The sleepers in the point kit are wooden as they are of various lengths.   A separate point lever kit is available which will allow the point to remain trailable. Track connectors can be acquired from http://www.rideonrailways.co.uk/accessories/page02.pdf 

Can I add a buffer stop?  

We supply a kit to make a 5” Gauge buffer stop or if you would like to build your own you can purchase the lazer cuts for 5” & 7¼” separately.  

What do I have to do in preparation of laying a track? 

There have been various articles written about laying our track system, here is a good article that we would recommend reading.  

Building a Garden Railway by Martin R Evans serialised in Model Engineer. https://www.model-engineer.co.uk/ 

  • Part 1.  Vol 221 No. 4591 – 20th July – 2nd August 2018 
  • Part 2. Vol 221 No. 4593 – 17th – 30th August 2018 
  • Part 3. Vol 221 No. 4595 – 14th -27th September 2018 
  • Part 4. Vol 221 No. 4597 – 12th – 25th October 2018 
  • Part 5. Vol 221 No. 4600 – 23rd November – 7th December 2018 

I have a model that I would like to display, can I buy a short length of track? 

Whether you are looking to display the finished model or require a short length of track to stand the loco on while building, you can purchase a kit of parts that make up either a 4ft (1.25m) or 8ft (2.5m) length of track.   The kits are available in all gauges with either the ‘Screw Fit’ or  ‘Clip Fit’ chair and include the sleepers, chairs, screws and rail.  When mounted in a plinth and dressed with ballast the track takes on a very authentic look.   

 

I have a good idea of what I am looking for, before I commit can I see a sample? 

Sample packs are available for each gauge. The pack consists of a sleeper and selection of rail fittings in your chosen gauge, the packs are free, but we ask for £5.00 towards postage and packing. If you are interested in receiving a pack please complete the sample request form and return it with your payment, alternatively you can pay for the postage via our on-line shop and email us your completed form.  PNP Railways also attend several exhibitions throughout the year.  Please refer to our news page for details.  

How do I purchase? 

We hope that we have provided you with a good overview of the PNP Railways Standard Scale Track range. All our products are available to buy on-line. Delivery is available worldwide.  Please contact us for a quotation if you are outside of the UK. Collections from our premises in Stroud, Gloucestershire are by prior arrangement.  The prices quoted in this Buying Guide are including VAT at the current rate.  If you have any further questions or would like a quotation, please send us an email at enquiries@pnplastics.co.uk 

Safety 

While all reasonable steps have been taken to produce a product for use on miniature railways permanent way.  It is the responsibility of the end user to ensure that the track components are assembled correctly and have been laid on a stable and secure base and only used for the purpose for which they are intended. Frequent inspection of the track components for defects, loose fasteners, damage and stability should be carried out regularly.  

Standard Scale Track Price List 
Standard Scale Sleepers 

Discount for Quantity – (301 – 600 – 5%)  –  (601 – 1000 – 7.5%) –  (1000+ – 10%) 

PNR-9K  3½” Gauge Sleepers 

Sleeper Dimensions: L 190mm x W 22mm x D 15mm 

£0.52 each 
PNR-8A  5″ Gauge True Scale Sleeper  

Sleeper Dimensions: L 225mm x W 22mm x D 15mm 

£0.56 each 
PNR-1T-C  5″ Gauge Sleeper 

Sleeper Dimensions: L 250mm x W 33mm x D 25mm 

£0.70 each 
PNR-1T-A  5″ & 3½” Gauge Sleeper 

Sleeper Dimensions: L 250mm x W 33mm x D 25mm 

£0.70 each 
PNR-1T-H  7¼” Gauge Sleepers 

Sleeper Dimensions: L 353mm x W 50mm x D 25mm 

£1.25 each 
PNR-1T-G  7¼” & 5″ Gauge Sleepers 

Sleeper Dimensions: L 353mm x W 50mm x D25mm 

£1.25 each 

 

Rail Fittings for Plastic Sleepers 

Discount for Quantity – (301 – 600 – 5%)  –  (601 – 1000 – 7.5%) –  (1000+ – 10%) 

PNR-1T-B  Rail Chair to suit 5/8″ x 5/8″ (16mm) Rail  £0.15 each 
PNR-2G  Rail Chair to suit 2lb yard (21mm) Rail  £0.15 each 
PNR-5A  Bar Rail Chair to suit 10mm x 20mm Bar Rai  £0.21 each 
PNR-7Y  Clip Fit Rail Chair to suit 5/8″ x 5/8″ (16mm) Rail  £0.15 each 
Rail Fittings for Wooden Sleepers, Recycled Plastic  
PNR-1T-D  Rail Chair to suit 5/8″ x 5/8″ (16mm) Rail  £0.15 each 
PNR-3N  Rail Chair to suit 2lb yard (21mm) Rail  £0.15 each 
PNR-5B  Bar Rail Chair to suit 10mm x 20mm Bar Rai  £0.21 each 
Screws
Discount for Quantity – (5 – 10 Packs – 5%)  –  (11 – 20 – 7.5%) –  (21+ – 10%)   
 
PNR-1T-E  Screws – Pack of 100  £3.25 

 

Rail 
PNR-2C  5/8″ x 5/8″ (16mm) Flat Bottom Aluminium Rail – Please order in multiples of 2.5m lengths Discounts Available for Quantity – Price Per 2.5 Metre Length  0 – 10 – 2.5m Lengths 

11- 20 – 2.5m Lengths    – 5% 

21–40 – 2.5m Lengths – 7.5% 

40+ – 2.5m Lengths – 10% 

£9.53 

£9.06 

£8.82 

£8.58 

Fish Plates 

Discounts for Quantity – (11 – 20 – 5%) – (21 – 40 – 7.5%) – (41+ – 10%) 

 
PNR-2F  Fish Plates – Light – A set contains 4 Fish Plates and 8 Nuts & Bolts  £4.20 

PNR-3K 

Fish Plates – Heavy – A set contains 4 Fish Plates and 8 Nuts & Bolts 

£5.95 

Rail Bender 

 

PNR-7N  Rail Bender for 5/8″ x 5/8″ (16mm) & 2lb yard (21mm) Profiled Rail  £POA 

 

Buffer Stops 

PNR-5M 

5 Gauge Buffer Stop Kit  

£49.90 

PNR-5K 

5 Gauge Buffer Stop Laser cuts and spacers

£25.99 

PNR-BSK2 

7¼” Standard Scale Buffer Stop Laser Cut only 

£36.00 

 

Points & Point Levers
PNR-5T  5″ Gauge Point Kit – 10ft Radius – Left Hand  £213.73 
PNR-5U  5″ Gauge Point Kit – 20ft Radius – Left Hand  £267.29 
PNR-5V  5″ Gauge Point Kit – 30ft Radius – Left Hand  £334.24 
PNR-5W  7¼” Gauge Point Kit – 10ft Radius – Left Hand  £274.50 
PNR-5X  7¼” Gauge Point Kit – 20ft Radius – Left Hand  £326.00 
PNR-5Y  7¼” Gauge Point Kit – 30ft Radius – Left Hand  £381.62 
PNR-5T-RH  5″ Gauge Point Kit – 10ft Radius – Right Hand  £213.73 
PNR-5U-RH  5″ Gauge Point Kit – 20ft Radius – Right Hand  £267.29 
PNR-5V-RH  5″ Gauge Point Kit – 30ft Radius – Right Hand  £334.24 
PNR-5W-RH  7¼” Gauge Point Kit – 10ft Radius – Right Hand  £274.50 
PNR-5X-RH  7¼” Gauge Point Kit – 20ft Radius – Right Hand  £326.00 
PNR-5Y-RH  7¼” Gauge Point Kit – 30ft Radius – Right Hand  £381.62 
     
PNR-5Y-ASSY  Assembly of 1 Point  £224.03 
Dual Gauge Points 
PNR-12U  5″ & 3½” Dual Gauge Point – Assembled  £POA 
PNR-12V  7¼” & 5″ Dual Gauge Point – Assembled  £POA 
Point Levers 
PNR-70  Point Lever – Unpainted Kit   £38.50 

 

Track Kits  
10m Garden Track Kits – Screw Fit Chairs 

Discounts for Quantity – Please note the discount structures are different for each track kit type. 

The kits contain all the components, sleepers, chairs, rail and fish plates 
PNR-10B  10m (32ft) – 3½” Gauge Garden ‘Screw Fit’ Track Kit   £227.44 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 3%) – (3 Kits  – 6%) – (4 Kits  – 7.5%) – (5 Kits  – 8.5%)   
PNR-10C  10m (32ft) – 5″ True Scale Garden ‘Screw Fit’ Track Kit  £213.60 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 3%) – (3 Kits  – 6%) – (4 Kits  – 7.5%) – (5 Kits  – 8.5%)   
PNR-5S  10m (32ft) – 5″ Gauge Garden ‘Screw Fit’ Track Kit   £202.58 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 3%) – (3 Kits  – 6%) – (4 Kits  – 7.5%) – (5 Kits  – 8.5%)   
PNR-5R  10m (32ft) – 5″ & 3½” Gauge ‘Screw Fit’ Garden Track Kit   £271.01 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 4%) – (3 Kits  – 5.75%) – (4 Kits  – 8.75%) – (5 Kits  – 9%)   
PNR-6J  10m (32ft) – 7¼” Gauge ‘Screw Fit’ Garden Track Kit   £190.37 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 3%) – (3 Kits  – 4.5%) – (4 Kits  – 5%) – (5 Kits  – 5.5%)   
PNR-6K  10m (32ft) – 7¼” & 5″ Gauge ‘Screw Fit’ Garden Track Kit   £250.04 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 4.5%) – (3 Kits  – 5%) – (4 Kits  – 6.5%) – (5 Kits  – 7%)   

 

10m Garden Track Kits – Clip Fit Chairs 

Discounts for Quantity – Please note the discount structures are different for each track kit type. 

PNR-9Z  10m (32ft) – 3½” Gauge Garden ‘Clip Fit’ Track Kit   £208.72 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 3%) – (3 Kits  – 6%) – (4 Kits  – 7.5%) – (5 Kits  – 8.5%)   
PNR-10A  10m (32ft) – 5″ True Scale Garden ‘Clip Fit’ Track Kit  £197.36 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 3%) – (3 Kits  – 6%) – (4 Kits  – 7.5%) – (5 Kits  – 8.5%)   
PNR-8B  10m (32ft) – 5″ Gauge Garden ‘Clip Fit’ Track Kit   £189.59 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 3%) – (3 Kits  – 6%) – (4 Kits  – 7.5%) – (5 Kits  – 8.5%)   
PNR-8C  10m (32ft) – 5″ & 3½” Gauge ‘Clip Fit’ Garden Track Kit   £251.51 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 4%) – (3 Kits  – 5.75%) – (4 Kits  – 8.75%) – (5 Kits  – 9%)   
PNR-8D  10m (32ft) – 7¼” Gauge ‘Clip Fit’ Garden Track Kit   £182.58 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 3%) – (3 Kits  – 4.5%) – (4 Kits  – 5%) – (5 Kits  – 5.5%)   
PNR-8E  10m (32ft) – 7¼” & 5″ Gauge ‘Clip Fit’ Garden Track Kit   £238.34 
Discount Structure – (2 Kits  – 4.5%) – (3 Kits  – 5%) – (4 Kits  – 6.5%) – (5 Kits  – 7%)   

 

Display Track Kits  
Display Track Kits – Screw Fit Chairs 
The kits contain all the components to make up a 1.25m (4ft) or 2.5m (8ft) length 
PNR-10E  1.25m (4ft) – 3½” Gauge Garden ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £27.15 
PNR-10G  1.25m (4ft) – 5″ True Scale Garden ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit  £25.95 
PNR-2K  1.25m (4ft) – 5″ Gauge Garden ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £24.75 
PNR-2L  1.25m (4ft) – 5″ & 3½” Gauge ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £32.45 
PNR-3S  1.25m (4ft) – 7¼” Gauge ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £23.40 
PNR-3T  1.25m (4ft) – 7¼” & 5″ Gauge ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £29.95 
     
PNR-10D  2.5m (8ft) – 3½” Gauge Garden ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £54.25 
PNR-10F  2.5m (8ft) – 5″ True Scale Garden ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit  £51.85 
PNR-2I  2.5m (8ft) – 5″ Gauge Garden ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £49.45 
PNR-2J  2.5m (8ft) – 5″ & 3½” Gauge ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £64.86 
PNR-3Q  2.5m (8ft) – 7¼” Gauge ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £46.77 
PNR-3R  2.5m (8ft) – 7¼” & 5″ Gauge ‘Screw Fit’ Display Track Kit   £70.20 

 

Display Track Kits – Clip Fit Chairs 
PNR-9M  1.25m (4ft) – 3½” Gauge Garden ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £24.75 
PNR-9O  1.25m (4ft) – 5″ True Scale Garden ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit  £23.80 
PNR-9Q  1.25m (4ft) – 5″ Gauge Garden ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £23.00 
PNR-9S  1.25m (4ft) – 5″ & 3½” Gauge ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £29.85 
PNR-9U  1.25m (4ft) – 7¼” Gauge ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £22.35 
PNR-9Y  1.25m (4ft) – 7¼” & 5″ Gauge ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £28.40 
     
PNR-9L  2.5m (8ft) – 3½” Gauge Garden ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £49.45 
PNR-9N  2.5m (8ft) – 5″ True Scale Garden ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit  £47.60 
PNR-9P  2.5m (8ft) – 5″ Gauge Garden ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £44.95 
PNR-9R  2.5m (8ft) – 5″ & 3½” Gauge ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £58.50 
PNR-9T  2.5m (8ft) – 7¼” Gauge ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £44.65 
PNR-9V  2.5m (8ft) – 7¼” & 5″ Gauge ‘Clip Fit’ Display Track Kit   £56.75 

The prices quoted include VAT – Valid from May 2021

Carriage is extra and is calculated on weight and destination 

Orders can be place on-line at www.pnp-railways.co.uk or by telephone 01453 83 33 88