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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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There should be sufficient holes in the drain tube so I would think cutting the tube to be unnecessary.

I would be more concerned about the drainage of your retaining wall. You might check with a local landscaping contractor or experienced gardener about your wall and satisfy yourself that it has good drainage and is stable for the height and configuration as built.

I have seen in my local dry climate even low walls of only 2 feet high start to topple over without proper anchoring back into the slope. However we have an expansive clay here so my situation could be very different from yours, which is why I recomend you talk to someone local.

When you put in your track, pay attention to drainage. Don't let the track dam up the slope. Make drainage pipes and bridges in natuaral gulleys. Espeacially where does the water go when it drains off your roof? Your lucky to get work done this late in the winter. Keep us posted.

Terl
 

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Biblegroverr

Looking back at your original plan, it might be convenient for you to start the track up the hill at a different place on the lower loop so that it becomes a return loop. Also how about bringing the river meanduring down the hill in the middle of the hill so that the rail road has to bridge is several times on it's way up the hill. It would add more railroad interest.

Terl
 

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Just my opinion, but I am not a big fan of helixs. There is quite abit of tack in that helix, that I think would be more interesting to stretch out and put on the slope. I would definitely mock it up with electrical PVC pipe and compare it to snaking down the slope.

Terl
 

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Let's do some quick calculating for your helix. I would make 10" clearance the minimum from the top of the rail to the Bottom of the bridge above. Assume that it is 2" from the bottom of the bridge to the top of the bridge rail, this would give us an even 1 foot rail to rail. With a 10 foot diameter curve the circumference is about 31 feet and the grade would be 1ft / 31ft = 3.2%. With 8 ft diameter the circumference is 25 ft so the grade is 1/25 = 4%. This would be about the limit for traction on such a curve. Actually you would be much better off to make all your curves level and make the grade of the track steeper between the return curves. For a 2% grade curve with 1 ft of grade rise you would need 1/ 0.02 = 50 feet of circumference, which is about 16 foot diameter. It might be a good idea on your return curves to plan on cutting into the hill on the upper part of the curve and use that dirt to fill in on the lower part of the curve. This would reduce how high your tresttle work would be needed on the lower part and how far (what diameter) it would stick out in the air on the downhill part.

Terl
 

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Based upon my experience of fishing derailed trains out of a 14ft long straight tunnel, I would recomend that you shorten up your tunnel as much as possible in favor of an open cut because maintainence will be much easier. I'd recomend that you only use large stones in your retaining wall.

I like seeing the progress you are making.

Terl
 

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By big rocks I means rocks at least as big as the concrete blocks you use on your lower retaining wall. I have found out that over time when I used anything smaller, that they were just too easily pushed around by soil movement, especially for retaining wall purpose.

If you went with two boxes instead of one on your tunnel for access, it would probably make track installation and maintainence much easier. If you have the one box already installed, don't worry about it you can probably get by. I would just use dirt or crusher fines to make the floor of the tunnel, because it is cheap and easy to move around. Hope this helps.

Look forward to seeing your progress.

Terl
 

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Just thought of this idea. Out of wood build a subroad bed on top of the tunnel. Make it one piece or two pieces. Attach the track, then shove the whole thing in from the end. Should conform to the tunnel because you built it on top of the tunnel so it's curveature matches. One suggestion would be to cut a bunch of 1/2" plywood strips about 4" x 18". Now screw two layers together on top of the tunnel with the upper layer of plywood spanning the joint of the layer underneath in a bricklike pattern.

Terl
 

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I recently redid the dirt subroad bed in my tunnels and found a good way to help level the dirt inside. I took a 2x6 board about 4 feet long and shoved it side to side and in and out of the tunnel, from both ends. It acted like a miniture road grader and left the dirt pretty smooth and level. Sorry I took so long to reply to your questions. Hope this helps some.

Terl
 

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I think that the appearance of the rock is just fine without the need of a mortor facade, but that is your asthetic decision. I have found, however, that rock walls mortored together are much more durable than dry walled, but you can stick plants in the cracks with dirt for a more natural appearance.

Terl
 
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