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Ice Woe's #2

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    April 2003
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Ice Woe's #2
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 12, 2004 12:10 PM
Should have gave more info at first i guess! Have a sub-base of concrete in the ground which is covered with weedblocker fabric and staying put. Rails are laying loose on top of that and the main problem is the rails lifting up from the gravel, then when the ice does melt rails are laying haphazardly till I reset in spring. Using pea gravel found in most garden shops and feel that is where the problem lies. Thought of glueing down the track but read where thats not good either. Thanks for the quick responce! New to the forum and wish I would have used it long ago! Might add that the ice is either freezing rain or melting snow!
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Posted by bman36 on Monday, January 12, 2004 12:58 PM
Hi again,
Sounds like you built a good base. Pea gravel is a definate no no. While it looks nice and is clean it is round. Therefore it will not hold your track. You need to use gravel or chicken grit for ballast. Chicken grit tends to wash away though. Using what is called 1/4 down gravel will hold the track since it has a "tooth" to it. 1/4 down means it is all crushed to 1/4" and smaller. This should not be confused with "1/4 clean" since clean has all the crusher fines washed away. The fines when wet will help to solidify the track. Here in Manitoba we have an abundance of limestone which is relatively inexpensive to use. Check with a local quarry to see what is available. They should be able to direct you. Hope this is of some use to ya". later eh...Brian.
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 12:27 AM
Thanks for the advice-Will check into a supply house for the 1/4 down and lay it this spring!
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  • From: Smoggy L.A.
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Posted by vsmith on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 9:30 AM
Changing from pea gravel to crushed rock will help keep the track in place, but that wont stop the track from heaving when water saturates the stone and freezes, it will stil heave. I agree with pfd586 you need to solve the drainage problem first, as long as water can pool or accumulate under your track you'll still have the same problem. Since you have a concrete base maybe you can install drainage along side the existing concrete base. Or maybe better add a few more inches of concrete on top of the existing base to raise the trackbed level above the water line, then slope new soil up to the track so that water is always flowing away from the track. Thats what real RR's do. As long as the level of the concrete track base is above the high water level, or the water, melting snow, etc. can flow away from the track, your heaving problem should be greatly reduced.

   Have fun with your trains

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Posted by bman36 on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 12:34 PM
Hi again,
Agree with vsmith. I forgot to mention in my last post that you need to address the drainage issue also. As vsmith said the pea gravel is only part of the problem. As the snow melts this spring, watch from day to day how the run off disperses. This should give a good indication of how well things drain.
Lot's of snow here now. We had next to nothing until Christmas, now my new snowblower is well earning it's keep. Apparantly we have another Colorado low headed for us with a good amount of the white stuff. Gee, when I was a kid we just called them snowstorms. Times have changed. Well back to my rec. room and my layout. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...Later eh...Brian.
[:-^]
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 7:42 AM
Hi Mr. Hoboken,
If you decide to rebuild give the spline roadbed plans I sent you serious consideration, its a good system with more pros than cons. No need to sink posts below frost level that must be about the same in your area as here in Minnesota (42"). This saves a lot of hard work as the entire system "floats" just the same as track laid on a bed of crushed rock at ground level.

Sometimes I think that a layout built inside as vsmith from LA and Brian from the REAL great white north have done would be a good way to go, but what would I do for frustration then and besides the mosquitoes have to eat too, don't they?

Just kidding guys......OLD DAD.....Larry T.........hope this helps ED

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