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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope I post the pictures correctly or I'll have to do it all over....

Here are some pictures of my front yard project. I installed the pool this Spring and started on the retaining wall. I pretty much finished the wall with another 50 blocks this week. The hill raises about 6' from the top of the wall to the sidewalk along the side of the house, and are about 30' apart (20% grade?)

I have to use 8' curves and need grade to be less than 3% unless I use this section as downgrade only. Anyways, any ideas or comments will be appreciated, greatly!









looking off the Ridge of the Estate


Good 6-8' waterfall drop next to stairs going along the Concrete "wing" Wall


all done with Mocrosoft paint-the best I can do...

Switchbacks were suggested too...Is it even possible to climb this high as I have mapped out.
If I have to go up 72 inches at 3% grade, how much track length do I need?
 

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To answer the last question only because it is easy ... to rise 6 feet in climb at 3% you would need 200 lineal feet of track. I will leave the track planning suggestions to others as no matter how you slice the salami, this is a serious hill.

Regards ... Doug
 

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I'd add additional blocks and raise up and fill in with dirt and get it more level. I did almost the same thing you are looking at. I had to build a retaining wall 5 1/2 ft tall and then filled in with 25 yards of dirt but at least I do not have a grade per say. Later RJD
 

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Easy way to get a rough estimate of grade, use a 8 foot 2x4 or 2x6, (96") and each inch you raise one end is 1% of grade. Looking at that yard, you are probably looking at terracing and additional fill in. Also, if that retaining concrete wall is an integral part of the house foundation system, I would be leery of having a 6 ft waterfall next to it. If the ponds/stream leaked and washed away under the wall..... well we just had a house slide down a hill in Portland, Or because of leaking sprinkler piping. That is certainly a challenge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, I think the best way to "seal" the river and waterfall is to line with that heavy duty rubber lining? I plan on getting a straight board with long level taped to it as I make grade. I am wondering if the PVC pipe and stakes may be the way to go for me. Yes, I plan on filling the lower part to be level with the top of the blocks.
 

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If you are going to use a straight board to make grades. Make sure that it is strong enought not to sag in the middle. I did that and made a big problem.

What I did find in the trash was 6 FT contractors level made of metal that had all the bubbles broken out.

I just set it up and put a torpedo level on tops. It works well
 

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Just find you a straight 2 x 4 turn on edge and make sure not warped in that direction then your good to go with the level. Later RJD
 

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Slice into the hilland/or make lotsa trestles Biblegrove, then you can reduce the grade. Either that or you can build up the roadbed, maybe with another wall. Good luck neighbor, I'm starting mine this year too hehe ^^

-Will
 

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Posted By Biblegrove RR on 12/04/2008 7:45 PM
Wow, I think the best way to "seal" the river and waterfall is to line with that heavy duty rubber lining?


Be careful. Even a heavy rubber lining can get oles, cracks, etc. Of course, there's also the problem of sealing the joints, unless you can find a single piee large enough to cover the entire area in one go. Keeping the water completely contained can probably be done, but are you really willing to bet your house on it?

Just a friendly warning against underestimating the invasive and destructive power of water.
 

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You should check out Ray Dunakin's In-Ko-Pah RR layout, his winds up what most of us would consider a virtual cliff!
 

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Yeah, this is a sweet slope compared to mine! My space is also a lot more limited. I'm crammed into a pretty narrow strip. What are the dimensions of your yard? The bottom of your trackplan doesn't show, so it's hard to tell exactly how long a run you could get.

If it was me, I'd probably run the river downslope about halfway, then over to the middle of the block wall and put your waterfall in there. Not as spectacular a drop but you'd get a lot more scenic use out of the river and wouldn't risk your concrete retaining wall.
 

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It's hard to tell from the sketch, but I don't see what value the river or the waterfall adds to the railroad. There aren't any bridges, log dumps, harbor scenes or anything else even vaguely train related.

Also, those mortarless blocks aren't rated for retaining walls that are more than about 3-4 feet tall. If you do have a leak that manages not to ruin your house, it will probably push the bottom of the hill out and collapse the hill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Waterfalls are COOL!


The wall is less than 4 feet high

Has anyone in here experianced a leaking river/waterfall? Can't it be done?

I could use 1 continuous piece of that heavy rubbr liner the pros use. I appreciate the concern and info on water damage, it never crossed my mind but some good news here would be helpful...
 

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Water seepage is always an issue and concern. But looking at the slope of your yard I think you'll be OK, Everything slopes away from your foundation fairly quickly. I'd say as long as you keep the "river" at least 20 feet away from the house you shold be fine. It may be worth a call to the local building inspector for piece of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
20 FEET! It's only 30 feet to the pool.
Building inspector in Southern Illinois?
 

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Posted By Biblegrove RR on 12/10/2008 3:00 PM
Building inspector in Southern Illinois?


Yeah.. you can usually find him at the gun club or jug fishin' on Crab Orchard,,,
 

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I did not read all these.
but with a pool is there kids?

does public kids go down the walks?

I'd keep 10'dia min reguardless of changes.

can you run the trains inside the house someplace?

just thinking out loud
 

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BiblegroveRR

Here is a rough sketch of my suggestion. I think that you should consider going from a loop above the pool to the area next to the pool. Putting 100 feet of track between the two would give you a 3 percent grade. It would take 200 feet of track to go up the hill at a 3 percent grade to rise 6 feet. Doable, but more trouble. Try laying out some garden hose or some electrical conduit to get some ideas.



Terl
 

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Concerning the pool and the wall... May I recommend one of the following:

1. Keep the wall at least 15 ft away from the pool, or at least far enough that a child under the influence of testosterone won't try to leap the chasm.

2. Build a deck between the wall and the pool, such that there is no chasm to leap.

3. Install a permanent video camera to record the kids (and occasional adult) jumping from the wall into the pool, just to catch the perfect video for America's Funniest Home Videos of the one that slips as they start their leap and slams into and breaks the pool sidewall, dumping the whole water content into the base of the wall, causing it to collapse which creates a landslide which brings the $8,000 live steam locomotive and $2,000 worth of rolling stock down into the muck of dirt and swimming pool water. You might recoup the cost of the accident, (IF your video is not up against a naked child making an obscene noise which scares the dog into biting grandpa's groin). Oh wait, there is also the cost to repair the pool and landscaping... well maybe you'll go on to win the $100,000 at the end of the season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
forget about it, I'm moving to the housing projects after getting laid off last week anyways.

Thanks for your support!
 
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