Building an up-and-under layout with a K-Line trestle

Taking the advice of several people, I worked on my train layout yesterday. I disassembled my L-shaped layout of two 4×8 tables, rearranged them to make an 8×8 area, and now put down a combination of Lionel and Marx wide-radius track.

As always, there was something to learn.I made an up-and-back-down loop with a modern K-Line 24-piece trestle. I think K-Line makes the best trestle on the market today and it’s the one to get, unless you happen to find a used Lionel or Marx one and can get it cheap. (Make sure all 24 pieces are there!) The K-Line trestle is intended to sit right under each track joint. Lionel and K-Line track ties actually sit right on the trestle. Marx ties are spaced just far enough apart that the trestle fits snugly in the gap. Neither arrangement causes a problem. You place the trestle piece, then drop two metal clips in place and screw them down tightly enough to hold it together.

But when you have a mixture of Marx and any other track, those track joints cause a problem. They’re too close together for the trestle to fit in between, but too far apart for them to sit securely. The problem is most pronounced on curves. So what I ended up doing was turning the trestle slightly to get more available area to hold the ties. It worked.

Another possible solution is to get out a slotted screwdriver and start prying up tabs and moving ties around. I opted to dink around with the trestle pieces instead.

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One thought on “Building an up-and-under layout with a K-Line trestle

  • May 26, 2005 at 8:13 am

    At the suggestion of one of my online train buddies, I tried clipping the track sections together with track clips before putting them on the trestle. This helps the stability of Marx track on the K-Line trestle significantly. Just one caveat–the spacing on Marx ties keeps you from using Lionel track clips. You have to use Marx clips, which are a different design.

    Marx clips aren’t expensive but since the people who have them might not necessarily know what they are, they can be difficult to find. Unlike Lionel clips, which slide under the ties and run parallel, the Marx clips sit perpendicular to the ties when you clip them on. You can use one clip, or one on each side. On the trestle I use one on each side, although using just a clip on the outside would be a way to bank the track if you wanted.

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