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Track laying

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Track laying
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 7:03 PM
I am planning a garden G guage layout in my backyard in conjunction with my pond. I live up Ontario Canada so we can snow and the fros line is 8" aprox. How should I prepare my roadbed for minimal frost shifting? What type of track should I investin for minimal maintanece with track powered equipment? I have heard about nickel silver? It cost more than brass. Will brass require a lot of cleaning? I was planning on pouring a 4-5" cement renforced roadbed with balast secured tot he wet cement and then siliconing the track to the balast to allow for frost shifting if there is any. Is this the best way or is there a better method of laying my trackwork to maximize electrical continuity and minimize the maintenace and cleaning.
Let me know or email me ddankwardt@sympatico.ca
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, January 17, 2003 10:04 AM
Garden Railways mag has listings for three garden railroad soc/clubs in Ontario.

We have met many of the members of all groups and visited many of the London O railroads.

I am sure that any of the three Ontario groups would help with your questions.

George Edgerton, Monroe, CT, gegscale@aol.com

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 8, 2003 4:58 PM
Brass fell out of favor decades ago in the small scales because it requires so much cleaning. I don't think you can even buy new brass track in the small scales anymore. Nickel Silver requires far-far less cleaning and is about the only thing people in the smaller scales use. Why brass has come back to haunt large scale is beyond me.

As far as roadbed goes I have built almost two hundred feet of SPLINE roadbed made from TREX (www.trex.com). Spline construction will give you gentle easements, flowing curves and solid vertical strength so you won't have any sagging problums.

Personally, I fell that cement roadbed is a little over building unless you need to drive over your track, but thats just me.

May all your weeds be wild flowers...OLD DAD
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 8, 2003 7:31 PM
Old Dad, I can tell you exactly why brass still is used. Cost. Not for nothing ,but stainless steel (Nickel-silver) is way out of my price range and aluminum is too soft. Live Steamers do not need such great conductivity (None) and on top of that , soldering proper jumpers and a bit of elbow grease build character.....
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 8, 2003 10:52 PM
Hi Slick1,

I should have known my last comment regarding brass track was bound to touch a nerve in someone, sorry- that wasn't my intention. I realize now that I should have left that last comment out of my post. . I just felt DarylDankwardts question as to the type of track that offered "minimal maintenance with track powered equipment " he should invest in needed to be answered in an honest straight forward manner. If the cost of N/S out weighed the benifits for Mr. Dankwart I felt that should be his decision.
Your reference to Live Steamers is of course correct, but in my own defence, Mr. Dankwart didn't mention Live Steam in any of his questions so I made no reference to that issue.
Now, if I may give MY perspective regarding Cost. Having delt with brass track durring my early small scale years and then switching to Nickel Silver I gained first hand knowledge of the pros and cons of each. With this experence in mind I decided it was worth my time to save-up the needed cash for N/S rail since I also am not a wealthy person.

"Soldering proper jumpers"?, WHERE DID THIS COME FROM? And since when is soldering jumper wires the "PROPER" way of doing things, its just ONE of the ways of insuring good electrical continuity between rail sections. Rail clamps are another way, soldering the rail joiners to the rails as I do is another way- and NO this practice has NOT given me a moment of concern in TEN years of out-door railroading.

If elbow grease builds character then I must have PLENTY of this attribute since I have been applying elbow grease in this hobby for over 50 years.

And one more thing Slick1, if you feel a need to rebuff me in the future please try to stick to the subject and not digress in other directions or to other subjects.

Still website friends I hope...OLD DAD
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 9, 2003 2:11 AM
OLD DAD:

I think your point about Brass in small scales indoors is valid, but then I'm not an indoor small scaler.

Another set of advantages to Brass in the garden is that it weathers to very nearly prototype look in a short time. It also bends well with a rail bender and I've never invested in prefab curves.

I'm sure slick meant no offense.

As to soldering joints... well it may very well build character, (I don't know since conductivity is not an issue with me) but burnt fingers from hot locos does a lot for the spirit also.

I think you'll find a LOT of gardeners both steamers AND sparkers like brass for several reasons, not the least of which is cost.

Not all, but a lot.

Regards,

LDH
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 9, 2003 7:57 AM
Good Morning, OLD DAD. .. I ment no offense, I do believe my comments were valid in regards to "Jumpers" although as we both know good railclamps do as good a job if not better. As far as Character? I've got a feeling we have both built up a heck of alot of that over the decades.... more than I sometimes care to admit..... I've noticed a few of your posts on this site and it certainly seems that you have alot to offer on a variety of skills regarding Garden Railroading, it's good to have you here. Have a good day , Slick.
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Posted by Marty Cozad on Sunday, November 9, 2003 8:23 AM
Daryl
Couple of Qs you'll have to ask yourself. If you build a GRR will you spend lots of time running? Will you change it often as in every year or so add to it? What size and type of trains will you be running on it.? This will help you decide which one of these answers are best for you. OH, The big one, How much money do you want to spend?
Let us know then maybe we can help better.
I personally have done this for 12 years now and tried most everthing above. My 10,000 sq ft RR has little to no roadbed maintance and the RR grows every year somehow track wise. I do brush up ballast cause the track has to free float with the heat here in NE ,USA. We have frost sometimes up to 36" No track problems. I spend extra time at raodbed work so later I can run trains at any time and we can have open houses with up to 6 trains running at once encluding live steam. My goal is good track work so others can run their trains w/o worry of derailments.[^]

Is it REAL? or Just 1:29 scale?

Long live Outdoor Model Railroading.

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 9, 2003 6:50 PM
Good evening guys, glad to hear from both of you. I may have jumped on you a bit too hard Mr. slick...I get a little intense sometimes so please don't take my comments too personal.

NOW, lets stop all this bickering and try to do as Mr. Cozad is doing and give Daryl the help he has asked for.

May everyones weeds be wild flowers....OLD DAD
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 9, 2003 8:15 PM
I'm relatively new in garden railroading but have good luck with 1/4 minus gravel between 1"to 2" deep as a base and "turkey grit" as a finish. I live in a very sandy area so not a worry about drainage. Also the temp rainges from 110 deg's at times in the summer to 30 deg's. below 0 in the winter. So far I have not had much of a problem with track movement, As for laying track, I use solid rail brass. I don't worry much about cleaning it as I have all my locos converted to battery and remote radio control. We have to irrigate every day in the summer months because of the sandy soil with sprinklers w/river water and the track gets fairly dirty..
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 9, 2003 8:57 PM
i use aluminum rail and hand cut pressure treated ties (use a face mask when cutting)--i attach the track to the ties a little differently--i drill four holes through the ties and push bared #12 electrical wire up through them--i then crimp the wire to either side of each rail with nipper pliers--i learned this technique from a seminar by jim stark several years ago--he used concrete ties he cast but the same system works for cut ties--i am using the trex system discribed by old dad on my latest layout
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 9, 2003 10:46 PM
Hi Daryl, I took a break to watch a movie on TV....Mr. Cozad makes a good point with his reference to spending extra time on roadbed construction. The old computer quote "garbage in garbage out" can also be applied to roadbed design. Or to put it another way..."you get what you pay for"...so evaluate the various styles and choose the one that looks the best for your situation. Good luck.

Hi Royaljames...good to have you and dewaromi on board the forman.
I'm glad to see that someone else is using the spline system...I feel its a great style of roadbed with a lot of pros going for it, I don't understand why it never gained much populariity in any of the scales. Maybe its like trestle building, a lot of people may think it looks like to much work.

Well, its getting late so good by for now...OLD DAD
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 10, 2003 2:16 AM
Marty Cozad:

Nice to hear of a "sparker" who allows live steamers to run on your layout. I've not had the opportunity to do this yet, (visit a sparker with my Aster), but I would hope that any sparkers that would allow this would also understand that WE steamers DO understand that we have to bring our own Alcohol and buff rags and WILL be responsible for cleaning oil off rails we MAY contaminate.

Like to meet you some day.

Regards,

LDH
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 10, 2003 10:12 PM
vettbass,

Hi again, I'm a "sparker" who allows live steamers to run on my track. Things can get interesting if they don't have R/C as I have several grades in my track...one is 5%. Slow when going up hill and looook-out-below going down hill.

Daryl,

Just a thought about bonding your ballast...if you choose to float your track on a bed of loose ballast you won't need to bond it in place. If you decide on a roadbed style needs bonded ballast give CONCRETE BONDING ADHESIVE a try. Home Depot has this product. I've had great luck with this as have several others in our GR club.

Latter...OLD DAD
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 12:49 AM
OLD DAD:

The new loco mama bought me came with RC as part of the kit. I'm going to take advantage of the wintertime to also convert the Aster C&S to RC. I've obtained a couple of servos and reciever from the model airplane hobby and have started on doing the reversing lever first since it is the easiest. Only has to be moved to three possible positions, forward, neutral, reverse. Once I have this one done I'll do the steam valve since it's a full-open to full-closed situation with infinite possibilities in between for speed regulation.

BTW, I had a 7% grade included in one area of my Hawaiian layout and the Aster has no problem pulling a 5 car consist up this. The down slope was less severe so I didn't have a "run like heck" problem. With RC tho this will go easier since you can "pour the coals" to it going up, and back off going down.

Regards,

LDH
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 15, 2003 9:54 AM
Vettbass,

Just a reminder you are not allowed to use Aircraft R/C freqs for ground operations. A post on one of the other forums detailed freqs for each. Suggest you get rcvrs from R/C cars & trucks to go with the servos.

SM
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, November 15, 2003 3:35 PM
sandyman:

Thanx for the tip. Actually as I understand it, the freqs for the Aircraft RC servos are already modified for use by Railroaders for this reason. Generally, RC servos for cars and trucks are not strong enough to operate steam valves and reversing levers, tho there may be some that are.

As sold by model RR suppliers, these come with this in consideration already.

I did not mean to imply that I go to the Aircraft hobby directly, just that the Steam Loco servos are originally FROM that hobby, as I understand it, as opposed to from RC Cars and trucks.

Thanks again, since this is good advice to any who might try to do this directly.

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