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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Moving this here to get members ideas and thoughts.
I am working on this rail broom project mainly because I can and like tinker. I wanted it to be easy to adjust the broom height which I think have accomplished. Now I have to narrow the width to allow for ROW in bridges and tunnels. I just tried it out on one of my single track bridges and is too wide.
Now I am using this on my railroad but if I wanted to take to others, it would be nice if it would fit most layout ROW.
So I guess the big question on my mind is what width ROW are you using and what would be optimum? Yeah, I know.... I can do the math and make it to scale but where is the fun in that? LOL!
Right now I am right at 6 1/2" and a good 1" too wide for a couple of my bridges at single track. I suppose it is obvious to not be wider than most rolling stock or locos.
Motor vehicle Bicycle Machine tool Engineering Gas
 

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The first thing that comes to mind is indeed side clearance, the motor adds a lot of overhang,and I do realize it's position is driven by the gear train.

You can minimize the oval side plate of course.

My experience has been that it's hard to make the brush much wider than the rails, which means it will not be covering all the rails in a curve. One idea is to articulate/pivot the sweeper into a turn. Then I think you could minimize the width of the brush, and solve the issue.

I use a unit sold commercially, the following picture is not mine, but shows it on a short wheelbase car:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good Idea! Maybe an articulating truck right under the rear of the brush to follow the track and put the mount on a swivel? I was mainly trying to avoid belt drive even knowing that a gearbox adds width.
 

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I'm plagued with long pine needles that would clog the brush in a heartbeat. Any ideas? I was thinking of printing some sort of air blower using a 555 motor vectored low to the track. Or paint brushes at a front point angled out at the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh, I also believe if you raise the brush up off the track, it creates a blowing action that will clear debris. There are also some light duty blowers by Makita, Dewalt and others that could be modified to mount on our rolling stock and they are 18-20 volt DC.
 

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I use the 12 volt 3 inch blowers available at T/A. I shorten the cable and use the speed control that comes with this unit and mount it all on flat car. I have to adjust the speed control to not blow away my ballast!! These units do come with a flaxible mount which allows me to blow away at angles, not just forward. And I even used 3 inch metal 45 degree gas hot water heater pipe to make the end rectangular.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dan,
Is that like a bilge blower? Those are relatively inexpensive and a small foot print. You could add a speed control easy enough to dial in the desired fan speed. Also easy to fabricate a nozzle to direct the airflow pattern as desired.
I think I just found my next project... 😁
 

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I use the 12 volt 3 inch blowers available at T/A. I shorten the cable and use the speed control that comes with this unit and mount it all on flat car. I have to adjust the speed control to not blow away my ballast!! These units do come with a flaxible mount which allows me to blow away at angles, not just forward. And I even used 3 inch metal 45 degree gas hot water heater pipe to make the end rectangular.
Can you possibly post an image?
 

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After many, many years of faithful service, still going strong. Brush rotates in reverse of direction it is being pushed so it produces plenty of wind to remove loose leaves and it is powered by a 12V Gel Cell which is weight enough to keep it on the track even when removing acorns between the ties. Wouldn't be without it.
Motor vehicle Train Automotive design Wood Hood
 
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