Fish plates in a fiddle yard

Discussion in 'Permanent Way' started by OzzyO, 28 July 2020.

  1. OzzyO

    OzzyO Western Thunderer

    Hello all,

    we are just starting to build a O gauge (31.5) layout using exactosacale and C & L parts on the front and copper clad in the fiddle yard.

    Can anyone suggest who's fishplates to use in the fiddle yard, I did try putting a standard Peco one on a rail but it would not fit (Slater's code 125 B/H).


  2. markjj

    markjj Western Thunderer

    I believe SMP do a fish plate that fits code 125 rail properly sold now by Marcway.
    I saw a thread about them somewhere it may have been on Facebook.
  3. Allen M

    Allen M Western Thunderer

    Hi OzzyO
    If you are using copper clad why not just but up the rail ends and solder both to a sleeper, or just an extra but if the sleeper not in the right place.
    3 LINK likes this.
  4. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Just solder copper clad sleeper close up either side of the rail joint. no need for a fish plate.

    3 LINK likes this.
  5. OzzyO

    OzzyO Western Thunderer

    We're looking at using copper clad at about 4" centres pointing towards the centre of the 18' circle, as half of the layout is the fiddle yard it's to try and keep cost down a bit.. About the only time that two bits of copper clad will be next to one another will be at the track joints.

    Does any one know if any of the Peco fishplates will do? If we have to solder them up it should not be a problem (I hope).


  6. Bill Campbell

    Bill Campbell Western Thunderer

    Hi OzzyO

    The Peco rail joiners (as distinct from proper fishplates) can be fitted to C&L code 125 rail if the slot is opened out a bit using a screwdriver - been there!

    I would advise against soldering everything solid as you may then experience problems with expansion and contraction with temperature variations.

    It's interesting that you have chosen copperclad construction - for a project I compared the cost of copperclad and rail (50mm length sleepers at 50mm centres and excluding the cost of solder) against Peco ready to lay O gauge track and the copperclad method was substantially more expensive. Once upon a time copperclad was cheaper but the increasing prices for copperclad strip and rail mean it is no longer so. Prices for track components have risen much more quickly recently than ready to lay track - rail on its own is now approaching the cost of ready to lay track and soon it may be cheaper to buy the track and strip out the rail!

    Best wishes.
    simond likes this.
  7. simond

    simond Western Thunderer


    I bet it won’t Be cheaper if Peco read your post!

    interesting cost comparison. CC was definitely cheaper than anything else,

  8. OzzyO

    OzzyO Western Thunderer

    Hello Bill, all,

    I did a cost assessment a while back and it does make interesting reading. The following are all for the same length of track.

    8 full roads in fiddle yard 76.5 yards.
    Peco track B/H £645.60
    Peco rail B/H £356 plus copper clad at 6" spacing (£57.00) total £413.00.
    Slater's rail B/H £250 plus copper clad at 6" spacing (£57.00) total £307.00.
    Peco points @£52.00 each x 10 £520.00 add the Peco track total £1165.60.
    Hand made points @ £10 each x 10 £100 add the Slater's rail etc. £407.00.
    A cost difference of £758.60 (can get a loco for that).

    Simon, I don't think that Peco need to read the post.


    simond likes this.
  9. Allen M

    Allen M Western Thunderer

    The other way to save money in a fiddle yard is to look round the SH stands for Peco, Hornby etc track with code 100 rail. Often very cheap it the sleepers are damaged. When soldered to PCB sleepers, as there are no chairs on the inside, FS wheels will run without any problem.
    The words of a cheapskate who built a complete O gauge light railway layout that way.
    adrian and simond like this.
  10. OzzyO

    OzzyO Western Thunderer

    A very good point Allen, but I'm not that sure what a Heljan loco would do to code 100 rail with the sleepers at 4" centres. The other thing is when do you think that we will get to look around the second hand stands at shows. We have lost the best part of this year due to the lock down on getting started on the layout so we don't want to loose any more time. In normal time we would have been round the S/H stands like bees around a honey pot. eBay has been a good friend to us saving us some money on some parts.


    Dave Bowden likes this.