Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sarissa MDF Train Track

The Usambara Railway project is slowly moving along, with the addition of some track from Sarissa. The track is made from the usual 2mm MDF board, where you lay a rail strip over a linked set of ties. The rail strip is not very tall, so there is very little clearance if you want to add a rock bed under the track. With the exception of the two end ties, the rest of the ties are uniform in shape and there was no attempt to burn in any wood grain texture. Overall, it's rather bland looking and I had concerns on how sturdy it would be in the long run. 

The connections between the track sections are overly complicated and not very good looking. You use small linker sections that fit into the end ties, and leave a visible section of MDF between the ties.  The connections are fiddly and I managed to break a few bits merely by disconnecting the track.  The connector design also prevents you from laying a bed under the track and still have the pieces able to disconnect. 

As such, I decided to cut up the connector pieces and redo the connections to allow a card/rock bed and reduce the chances of the pieces snapping during regular use.  Overall it seems to work well, though the height of the rails are problematic as predicted in terms of clearance. But as I won't be rolling the train along the tracks, I'm not worried and I think the visual improvement and increased strength are worth it.

My final assessment is that it's not a great product on its own, but will be serviceable with modifications. 


  1. I was curious to see what this was like, so thank you for the review. Your little tweaks have certainly made it more than serviceable.

  2. It looks okay. I took a section of HO model railway track, cut it down to a narrow gauge scale for 28mm figures, built up ballast around and under it then took a mold from it. Casting up new track sections from resin is a doddle.