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Wire mesh fencing

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Wire mesh fencing
Posted by Dave-the-Train on Saturday, February 27, 2010 6:15 AM

Moving on from daft questions to the completely impossible...

In the UK we fence pretty much all property except front yards and common land...  So trying to get my head round what is or isn't fenced in the USA is an interesting challenge.

To make it a little more simple I will confine what I'm looking for to Chicago in about 1985. 

More precisely I have:-

  • two railroads crossing at grade with three main tracks. 
  • To the north are tail tracks for a coal facility. 
  • To the south there is track in pavement for switchers to serve a number of small(er) industries. 
  • At the east end of this (off scene) there is a large(ish) RR yard serving these switching leads, Locals, MoW and interchange/transfer moves with the other RR.
  • At the west end of the street trackage the track feeds into a contract car works.

So... I reckon...  Maybe...

  • There is a long fence between the RR Main tracks and the tail tracks???
  • There is no fence between the RR Main tracks
  • There is no fence between the RR Main tracks and the pavement????
  • There would be a fence round the perimeter of the RR yard with maybe a gate across the track between the street track and the yard itself???  This gate might be pretty much always open...?
  • There would be a fence round the car works with a gate that is only open for switching moves.
  • Which, if any, of the small(er) industries get fences I don't have a clue... except maybe the fronts along the road don't have any fence but there might be fences between buildings... there has to be somewhere for the local cops to catch the bad guys like in the movies...
  • I'm wondering if a watercourse cutting across the road and tracks (as mentioned elsewhere) would have fences along each side???

I guess that that's quite a lot of fence but I'm not sure about most of it. 

What do people think please?  Any suggestions?

After years of searching for a good wire mesh fence material for H0 (rather than the expensive short amounts of stuff you can buy) I've stumbled on filter bag mesh fabric.  What I've found is very similar to Walthers' fence material.  I reckon that I can sort out the posts and horizontals with either wire or plastic rod.

What sort of height would mesh fence be in the suggested scenarios please?

Are there any particular things/details I should look out for?

Thanks

Tongue

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Posted by Doc in CT on Saturday, February 27, 2010 8:00 AM

 

 A surprising amount of track is not fenced in any way or railroad property.  Fences are used to prevent trespass or theft.   In my town in northern CT the only chainlink fences I can think of are at car dealerships (the back road of the property, some factory areas in the back country, construction site (sometimes) and the self-storage unit.  Tracks are not protected.

Usually 7 or 8 ft is sufficient height (1in in US measurement is a starting point.  Don't forget the diagonals in the corners

Alan

Co-owner of the proposed CT River Valley RR (HO scale) http://home.comcast.net/~docinct/CTRiverValleyRR/

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Posted by chutton01 on Monday, March 01, 2010 2:57 PM

I live in a suburb of NY, not far from the Queens border - I have been all around the Tri-state area, and my experience is that working class and lower middle class neighborhoods fencing is incredibly common - there is a lot fencing - often times the fence comes right down the sides of property right to the sidewalk, with or without fencing across the front (this is in fact what we have in our house - one side abuts commerical property, so we have a 4ft chainlink fence on that side up until the business set back, then an 8ft privacy chainlink (with slats woven in the chainlink). to the rear of the property. Nowadays plastic panel fencing is very common for new fencing installations, and I'd say 2 out of 6 properties have it (again, in Nassau oftentimes the front is not fenced in, but as you enter Queens and Brooklyn fully enclosed properties are the norm until you reach the high income neighborhoods (those backyards are usually enclosed by wooden fencing, woven or pallisades - or brick/stone walls).  If you have a swimming pool, it must be enclosed by fencing, and since lots of people have dogs, backyards at least are fully enclosed by fencing - also the back property lines of businesses where they abut schools, homes, apartments, etc - fencing.  I zoomed over my area w/ Bing and confirmed my observations, then viewed a few South Chicago neighborhoods, and it looks the same - lots and lots of fencing.  In high crime areas, I remember seeing chain link or wrought iron fencing on the roofs to prevent crims from breaking in that way.  Fencing along highways (especially if there is a sudden elevation change - say a street overlooking a rail ROW), fencing (usually chain-link) to prevent people from entering areas under elevated highways, fencing as buildings! - 8 or 10ft Chainlink fencing around a big square area w/ lockable gate, then bolt corrugated roofing over the now enclosed space.  Fencing along highway medians (Jersey barriers w/ chainlink fencing or cement panels embedded) - fencing along railroads especially passing thru residental neighborhoods - privacy fencing, usually the woven slat chain link I mentioned above.  Industrial and commercial (distributors/auto-shops/wood-working shops, etc) - plenty of fences enclosing their yards - often Woven chainlink or corrugated sheet welded to pipe or beams (sometimes, the sides of shipping containers - those seem to be dirt cheap nowadays).  And in areas of high pedestrial traffic there are a lot more iron fences to guide pedestrians into cross at crosswalks only (I believe UK cities have had this idea for many decades now).
OK, you get the idea, dense urban areas & working class neighborhoods = lots of fencing). Now, in 1985 I don't remember plastic fencing panels, maybe they were available but not common, but definitely remember the following:
Chain link - everywhere and thensome
Privacy Chain link - also common, especially for business/residential property lines
Wooden Pallisade fencing - pretty common, especially in nicer areas (wood plank fencing wasn't that common by then).
Corrugated sheet - more or less found in industrial areas, not only as fencing but as shed and lean-to material.
Iron fencing - Usually upscale areas, although simple could be used to gate off alley access to a business (chain-link was cooler for this I think, especially if they mounted an intercomm in the fencing).
Brick & Stone fencing - Same are iron fencing - albiet concrete block walls are fairly common in industrial and commercial areas...

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Posted by Dave-the-Train on Monday, March 01, 2010 3:13 PM

Brilliant Thumbs UpApprove  Thanks for the effort.

Could you explain thedifference between chain link and privacy fence please?

 Thanks

Tongue

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Posted by chutton01 on Monday, March 01, 2010 5:00 PM

Easy, actually - chain link fence can have flexible slats woven into it to sort of block the view:

Chain link privacy fence

Actually the privacy chain link fence we have abutting our property has thicker slats, so you really cannot see through it - however, thinner slats like these are common on Long Island along the Long Island railroad ROW (e.g along Sunrise Highway in Lynbrook, along the West Hempstead Branch in W. Hempstead, and by the Recycler/Waste Management place in Melville on New Highway.

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Posted by chutton01 on Monday, March 08, 2010 8:58 AM

I saw this thread in my 'recent posts' list (I'm not Captain posterman I guess), and for those readers who may care I'd figure I add some corrections/more info.

1) The new LIRR row fencing I mentioned is not Chain-link privacy fencing, but instead is expanded metal fencing (representative company's product page linked to).  This fencing sucks for railfans, as you cannot get a clear camera shot thru any openings, unlike regular chainlink - although the main purpose of the small links is to prevent climbing the fence.  You can find scale micro-mesh sheets to (more or less) duplicate this fencing, but a long run of model metal fencing would be kinda pricy - best stick w/ the painted wire & tulle chain-link method for fencing the ROW.

2) Privacy fencing actually means any non-see thru fencing (like plastic panel fencing), not just chain-link w/ slats - I want to add that to prevent confusion and not get called out on it.

3) Stockade fencing is the modern equivalent (I believe) of the old panel fencing, with abutting vertical wood pickets forming a solid wall - the picket's tops are almost always pointed or rounded.  This is extremely common for boundaries between residental & commercial properties (and has been for decades), and best of all, it is available in (HO scale at least) from Branchline Trains.  I apologize for conflating Stockade w/ Palisade fencing - palisade fencing seems to be what is usually considered 'picket fencing', although there are several styles, some approaching stockade fencing density.  Around my area, as wooden fencing goes,  palisade is fairly rare, post - and - rail being the second most common after stockade.  Also, stockade fencing and chain link fencing running alongside each other (with a few cms between them) along a boundary is very common (and having such a combo in the backyard, I can vouch that its one massive pain in the hiney to clear the leaves and weeds out from between those fences)

4) What is now the ubiquitous plastic (vinyl) panel fence seems to be a creature of the 21st century - it has been used in a lot of installations which in the past would have been wood or chainlink.  Again in my area, White (shiny, plasticky white) is by far the most common, although there is a handful of tan - not sure why green or brown vinyl fencing is not common yet, surely those colors can be molded.  Anyway, this is great as we can now use the Bachmann and Lifelike picket fences (those are very common vinyl fence styles in the real world) without any further finishing than a bit of weathering (keep the shine!).

5) Finally, I forgot to mention one of the most common boundary dividers in residental areas - hedges and bushes. Stupid, because one of our side boundaries for our house is a hedge (between us and another residence - the other side is a store, and that has a chain-link privacy fence.

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Posted by dehusman on Monday, March 08, 2010 10:24 AM

Dave-the-Train
In the UK we fence pretty much all property except front yards and common land...  So trying to get my head round what is or isn't fenced in the USA is an interesting challenge.

Varies by area and era. Older and farther away from major urban areas the less fencing and locks you will find. The more recent and closer to urban areas, the more fencing you will have.

To make it a little more simple I will confine what I'm looking for to Chicago in about 1985. 

One intermodal facility near downtown Chicago is surrounded by two 20 foot high chain link fences about 2 feet apart, with the space between them filled with razor wire and with barbed wire on arms on top of the main fences.

More precisely I have:-

two railroads crossing at grade with three main tracks. 

To the north are tail tracks for a coal facility. 

To the south there is track in pavement for switchers to serve a number of small(er) industries. 

At the east end of this (off scene) there is a large(ish) RR yard serving these switching leads, Locals, MoW and interchange/transfer moves with the other RR.

At the west end of the street trackage the track feeds into a contract car works.

Private property will be fenced at the private property line. Railroad property will be fenced only if there is a way to control access or to prevent foot traffic.

The railroad crossing probably won't be fenced unless it is above or below grade and that will be just to keep things from falling or being thrown off the embankments.

The tail tracks would be fenced in if they are on the coal companies property. So if the tracks are on private property they would be inside the coal company's property and would be inside the perimeter fence of the coal company. If they are railroad owned tracks then they would be outside the coal company's property and would be outside the fence, but access would have to be through a gate. You will have to decide on whether the track is private or railroad owned.

The street trackage would only have fences at the property line and the spur into the property would have to go through a gate, if the property was fenced.

The railroad yard would probably have the side off the mainline fenced and the support facilities fenced. The mainline side would be trickier, there might be a fence between the yard and the mainline if there was room. There probably wouldn't be a fence between a tail track or switching lead and the mainline. How many grade crossings are there? If you have grade crossings then putting up a fence is a waste because people can gain access to the right of way at the crossing. You might have fences along the right of way put up by the property owners to keep people from accessing their property from railroad tracks.

There won't be gates across mainlines, industrial leads, running tracks or switching leads.

A water course would have fences around it if there is a manmade channel with a sharp drop-off and the channel can be isolated by the fences. If its just a glorified drainage ditch then it won't be fenced, BUT the properties adjacent to the ditch may have fences around them. If the channel is fenced then the fencing will be uniform along the entire length of the channel on both sides. If the properties are fenced then the fencing will be different (height, material, color, barbed wire, no barbed wire) along each property line. If the channel is fenced then the fence will tie into the bridge and there will be fencing to prevent anybody from entering the channel at the bridge. If the properties are fenced then the fence will "turn the corner" at a bridge but not necessarily tie into it.

Most urban fences would be in the 6-8 ft range minimum, the more valuable the property protected or the more anti-tresspasser the owner the higher and the more barbed wire on it.

Older property may have board fences or wrought iron bars. Don't forget bars or wire cages over windows

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by Dave-the-Train on Monday, March 15, 2010 4:26 AM

Thanks very much for these superb answers. Approve Thumbs UpApprove Thumbs Up ...and my apologies for not coming back sooner - bit of a busy/rough week.  Disapprove

Haven't forgotten bars on windows Smile  or blocked up windows... or even bars on blocked up windows... just haven't got round to that yet...Laugh  Okay... so would concrete blocks or bricks be more usual for blocking up windows? Mischief

Seriously - thanks for the very full answers. ApproveThumbs Up

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Posted by chutton01 on Monday, March 15, 2010 8:33 AM

Dave-the-Train
Okay... so would concrete blocks or bricks be more usual for blocking up windows?


I know you meant this as a joke...but I can't resist:
As you probably know, starting in the mid-1960s, throughout the 70s & early 80s, large numbers of buildings were abandoned/fire damanged (arson) in NY City (and I would presume Chicago too - I once read a story that has the saying 'Eventually Chicago will be a big empty lot that owns itself').  To stablize and secure these buildings cheaply and quickly, concrete blocks were used to block up the window, often the newish and clean concrete blocks contrasting with the dirty (and often fire damaged) brick facades around them.  With determination squatters and crims could gain access with a sledge-hammer against these blocks, but a) they could do the same against bricks and b) the blocks were sufficent for most purposes of preventing trespass. - Oh, and c) It gave Mayor Ed Koch of NY City at the time a level surface to put up window decals on those abandoned buildings...Tongue

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Posted by Dave-the-Train on Monday, March 15, 2010 12:46 PM

dehusman
There won't be gates across mainlines, industrial leads, running tracks or switching leads.

I know it's a bit different but what about "smash gates"... I think that's what they're called... barriers tied to interlocking that show if a lesser road's movement has jumped a major road's authority at a grade crossing... and maybe elsewhere?

Thanks

PS

dehusman
The street trackage would only have fences at the property line and the spur into the property would have to go through a gate, if the property was fenced.

This bit is particularly relevent to me Approve

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