Grades and Mountains

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Grades and Mountains
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, June 23, 2018 7:49 PM

Aloha,

Under the do the project supported by materials plan, we have decided improving the landscape will be our summer project.  I just spent two hours surveying, measuring, and thinking under a new company of policy of thinking it through before starting.

One area would benefit by a gentle rise to visually separate one loop from another.  I have as much as a 100" run, but that would require digging out a dwarf somthing or other tree that is doing very, very well (a rarity for us!), making a 70" run more realistic.  I figure a 1.5" rise would be the minimum for visual effectiveness, making t a 2% grade.  I understand that this would be acceptable for an LGB 0-4-0 and a string of shorties, 2x 2 axle cars, or 1x 4 axle cars.  Alternatively, being blessed with rocks for a change, I could "dam off" that tree and use the full 100" run.  Thoughts?  

With regards to plants, I am willing to risk my impatiens and oregano, how far around and below them should I dig when I move them to backfill in the new raised area?

One thing that confuses me is to how to keep even a gentle slope in place.  I can certainly make some tiers using larger rocks  I'd like to say groundcover will hold it in place, but groundcover and I have a bad track record.

As for the raised area itself, for reasons of space I plan to run the tracks on some salvaged hollow tile on the backside, texturing the exposed surfaces with tinctured concrete.  Once the track starts to curve into full view, I'd hoped to just dam the fill area with lava rocks.  I have sufficient hollowtile to run the track on it for the whole area, but that seems like overkill.  Again, I welcome thoughts.

Moving from that "grading" issue to another "rising" one, we are going to commit the rest of the rocks to our mountain range, connecting the tunnel complex of  "Dude Step Range" to "Hell's Mountain," at least visually, and offering a chance for trains to disappear from view, if even for a moment.  The tunnel complex was half hollow tile, capped with paving stones, and topped with lava rock and broken bits of concrete.  It worked, but it looks spindly, so I am again soliciting ideas.

Lava rock will be the main component.   The extension to the tunnel complex also needs to have a flat top for structures  and PLAYMOBIL as well as some capacity for planting.  Elephant trunk is not available, so that is out.  I can get sprinkler boxes and stack the rocks around and over them, but will they take the load?  Also, how would I backfill the intersticies between the lava rocks and the sprinkler boxes and, again, keep that fill in place?  I have lots of broken concrete bits, but I am not sure about that, and I'd like to try planting things in those intersticies.

I am looking at a late July start date, at least for the new mountain, so I have time to collect material.  A fence installation will provide the fill dirt by then.

 

The rain has passed, the thinking is done, I think I should get some trains on the track!

As ever, I appreciate your thoughts.

Eric

 

 

 

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Posted by ttrigg on Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:27 AM

I'm going to digest your intent for a day or two. BUT first DO NOT disturb you 'healthy tree' if at all possible. Second, the 2% grade will affect train size but not nearly to the extent you are concerned about. I've taken my LGB 0-4-0 pulling 1x 40ft combine, 1x 40ft coach and 2x 20ft coaches up the bridge to my chalet with no real problems. That is a 17% grade. Coming down is a different story, it wants to run away so I kill the power and it slides down.The 2% is not as big a deal as you fear. Are there any curves on this drade? That will have impact on train lenght.

Tom Trigg

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, June 25, 2018 2:30 AM

Tom,

Thanks,  No rush.  This is purely an aesthetic change (for once!).

The track is rough "half dog bone" that will peak where it starts to curve back in on itself.  The radius is 4-5 ft, as I had to use a mix-match of track to get it to fit in the space.  Using the picture below, you can see the straight run coming up from behind the impatiens towards the viewer.  "Little Thomas" is heading back towards the tunnel complex in the direction of the RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) to your right.  The dwarf tree is just out of sight beyond the impatien "tree."

I will remove 1' of track to accomodate the "cliff" that will separate the inner loop where I posed Little Thomas and our outerloop mainline.

To help frame this conceptually, our inner loop represents a private or semi-private line serving our industries (In time, it'll be one of the private plantation railroads...sort of.).  The other loop represents our common carrier (Our version of the Oahu Rail & Land Co.). This means short trains, little locos, and little cars are all OK on the inner loop.

I have shots from this weekend I can upload later to help frame this part of the project.

 

Thanks as always!

 

Eric

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Posted by ttrigg on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 8:26 PM

Moving plants to different location. The following has worked well for me. Flowering plants like your impatiens, dig about 1 1/2 to 2 iches around the plant and 2~3 inches deep. Set the root ball on a paper towel and lightly tie the towel to the main trunk. Raid your recycle bin for a tub or bowl like a butter tub. Mix up a batch of Mirical Grow, put an inch in the bowl before the plant and let it soak. If the new location is immediately available leave the plant in the Mirical Grow for 10~15 minutes before replanting. If needed you can keep the plant in the bowl for about 3 days. When the transplant is finished, leave the towel in place and trim at ground level. It will keep the soil intact around the fine hairlike roots. The dwarf tree can be transplanted the same way, just double the dimensions. For two weeks after the move give another drink of Mirical Grow every third day. About 1/4 cup each time. 

Tom Trigg

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 10:21 PM

Tom

Thanks.   I have collected a bunch of coffee "cans" against an unseen need.  The need is now seen!  We will move out on this part of the project once we have a start date for fence, as that will determine dirt availability!

Eric

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Posted by ttrigg on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 1:04 AM

Are you planning on elevating just the track or will you also elevate the 'plateau' inside the loop as well? You can use a 'tray' for the ground cover. I've used the 'plate' from micro wave dinners many times.

Tom Trigg

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 10:04 PM

The plan is to elevate the plateau, too.  I want to set this area apart visually a bit by elevating it, and I hope it'll mask some of the tunnel complex's spindliness.

I've never thought about the tray.  Our usual mode of operations is to bore into the gravel (the top 6" of the whole RR bed), fill the hole with soil, and plant.  It has worked for impatiens, rosemary, that dwarf tree, and some flowers.  Ground cover has been a struggle.  I'll try it!

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 1:15 AM

Update:

The project is a go, with a start date to follow after a fencing project provides the dirt.

We will leave the dwarf tree in place and accept a steeper grade.  That tree actually grows and seems bug and rot resistant, so why risk a good thing? In fact, a recent attack all but destroyed the impatiens.  Miracle Grow is on hand should they survive.

I will have to remove 2x 12" pieces of track to accomodate the curved portion, but that will hardly matter in terms of how things work.  The visual impact of using lava rocks here instead of scored concrete should make this nominal loss of trackage more than acceptable.  We will reserve the scored concrete on the straight portion that faces our fence, where horizontal clearance will be a factor.  The plan is still to sink those hollow tiles into the garden bed to serve as both retaining wall and roadbed.  We have plent of concrete chucnks we can glue on, too, to texture that up.  We found a good wash of red-brown latex goes a long way to turning concrete bits into lava rocks!

 

And now we wait for the permitting office to finish the paperwork for the 1:1 fence...

 

Eric

 

Aloha,

Eric

 

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Posted by chocho willy on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 2:41 PM

sounds like it's going to be another railroad empire, BB

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, August 12, 2018 6:38 PM

Update:

 

1:1 fence goes in place this week.  We will stage the hollow tile and stones for a "go for broke" project this weekend.

Quick question, which will guide stone selection and thus the final grade.  How deeply must I countersink them?  If, for instance, I want this "peninsula" to rise 2" about "level," how much of the stone work must be underground?  This is  working / playing RR, so foot traffic up to, over, and through the new rise is as assumed as the donward acceleration of gravity on earth of 32.2 ft/sec(squared).

All hands to the shovels!

 

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 10:47 PM

Dirt on site...Naturally dumped right on top of my spare ballast pile. Super Angry  

I am not sure if this weekend will be the start of the big dig or not, but we shall see!

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, August 19, 2018 1:58 AM
Update: I took the inner loop out of service today when shortened it by 1'. Beyond the obvious clearance checks, this freed a 4' section for use elsewhere and obviated the need for a 1" spacer track, which can only help electrical continuity. A couple plants went into pots, and I began preliminary rock selection. Professional obligations will preclude progress this week. Oh, and an unsuccessful effort last week to transplant a rosemary "tree" dictates that the rise will begin AFTER the dwarf whats-it-called tree. Have a great week! - Eric

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