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Hey Everyone! I'm new to G scale railroading, but not the hobby. i have a HO scale train set and im happy with it. But when the wife wanted a new garden out in the front yard, i said to myself, I want a garden railroad. so we designed and built the garden so i can run tracks through it. Im also a MOW worker for BNSF. (my job is my hobby!).

For my garden layout I've decided to build the tracks like i build track in real life. Im gonna use cedar ties, micro engineering tie plates for code 332 (they look more prototypical with 4 holes). Plus i plan on running my locomotive from battery and the crest trainmaster remote control.

So my questions are... Does anyone make rail bars like the joint bars used on the tracks?
Who has the best deal on Code 332 track? I'm leaning towards aluminum (mainly because of cost)
Is there scale blueprints for scratch building turnouts and 3 ways? i want to hand build pretty much everything for this layout.

any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance
 

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Well..................

From one track layer...to 'nuther.....

Wye ..hehe..not using code 250 Al. rail...?

Cedar or Redwood ties...ah but wait..what is your clime like??
Off the ground or raised...

Geez ...Chuck ..- we need a intro paper for these neBee's to read first..so you n I and the rest of the 'ol timers here don't have to keep writen the same words over all the time.....

Anyways,..welcome to your new home "M&P" ..ok your name goes here....

Try using brass rod..ends flattened and drill holes fer them bars ya wants!!! I do that on my turnouts...

I know there'll be "more" ?'s..but this'll get ya off an running..... for now..

Man...he's thinking now!!! Just wait till ya lay 'wake at nite..dreamin...

Dirk - DMS Ry. ( Home to #14 Turnouts on the mains )( your the 2nd BNSF'r here I know off... )
 

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Welcome!

The best track prices I've found are Llagas Creek and SVRR. I'd also question using code 332 - unless you need the greater mechanical strength, it's way oversized for scale track. With all the work of hand-laying, I'd like to have realistic scale proportions.

Llagas Creek's turnouts come as kits, with only enough ties to gauge the track, so you could just replace the kit ties and have essentially a fully hand laid turnout. Do you have access to any prototype design documents? Just scale it down and there you go.

I've only seen clamps and joiners for connecting rails. Someone is probably making them, but if not, it should be straightforward to make them yourself from a length of metal stock, or even have a sheet metal company make them on a laser cutter, with the holes all ready to go. I do wonder about small bolts and nuts loosening over time, but maybe you see that as job security? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Too answer some questions right away.

I'm going with 332 for the strength. Its going in a garden in Montana. So winter railroading will be in order and i want it to stand up. plus i just don't want to accidentally step on it and ruin it. (or anyone else for that matter) Its going on the ground with no ballast. (i know, i need ballast. it was the only way to get the wife to let me do the railroad at all! So i opted to let the ballast go) as for the kit's, i will defiantly go for it.

As for ya ol' timers/ old heads. be nice to the new guys. they are what carry on the hobby into the future. no offense guys
 

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Norm's Model Supply made prototypical stainless rail joiners with bolts, nuts and a jig to drill the rails but their website says they are no longer taking orders. I only bought the jig as the fishplates were pricey.
 

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Best use some spikes that will rust and hold in those ties. With your winters mother nature will take great delight in lifting stainless spikes out of the ties.
 

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Montana,
Welcome to MLS.
Sorry that you don't have a real name!
Take care in joining your track, so as to allow for expansion and contraction, especially with the aluminum.
Our tracks do like the freedom to move a little, or a lot.
Good luck,
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Too answer some questions right away.

I'm going with 332 for the strength. Its going in a garden in Montana. So winter railroading will be in order and i want it to stand up. plus i just don't want to accidentally step on it and ruin it. (or anyone else for that matter) Its going on the ground with no ballast. (i know, i need ballast. it was the only way to get the wife to let me do the railroad at all! So i opted to let the ballast go) as for the kit's, i will defiantly go for it.

As for ya ol' timers/ old heads. be nice to the new guys. they are what carry on the hobby into the future. no offense guys
From one new guy to another,I've been lurking on here for years now,build your garden railroad like the real thing!I'm sure you know more about road bed and such than most of these guys and what to expect with dirt ballast.Another thing M&Pis just as good a handle as SD90WLMT. D'on't take any of these guys guff
 

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My "handle" may be .... - SD90WLMT - ... which I sign in on...

Put please notice ...I still respectfully sign My Name..as do most that walk these halls......

Many here will ask this of others that seemingly leave their names off...

Don't you sign Your name when you write a note or letter...?

So far I don't see anyone doing more than to offer help and ideas...
We are all building a hobby...it will take US all working together to get this hobby we enjoy healthy and alive again...in spite of hobby decresses recently ..like the past 5 years ..or so..
Many are attempting to build new layouts inspite of lifes issues..it is not easy starting out when the hobby is sliding downhill...
Many companies are only ..holding on...
So lurk or build...complaining needs to go elsewhere tho...it won't build a railroad...
And reality changes...
My raindrops..are 8" - 10" or larger..no real railroad has to contend with that scale of an enviroment in their lifetime...my layout has to live with it every summer!!

We only model what works and runs in the real world...the scale from large to small does not transfer well.....

I hope you all will work and share your miniature worlds here....

Good luck..btw...

Dirk - DMS Ry.
 

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I used HO code 100 rail for joint bars. Hammer it flat (needn't not be entirely flat, but enough to where the head and web of the rail are the same thickness), then drill holes using a jig. Use one joint bar per joint, not the prototypical two. Put the joint bar on the outside, and use an 0-80 screw with the head on the inside so it sits next to the web of the rail, then the nut goes on the outside to hold the joint bar in place. This keeps things clear for flanges, otherwise you'd risk hitting the screws. The code 100 fits very nicely in the web of code 332 rail. My dad and I used this technique on his railroad, which we started building in 1980. Most of the joints are still holding solid 34 years later.

In terms of rail material, If the track is on a solid foundation, code 250 rail (even aluminum rail) will be sufficiently strong. The key is to make sure your track is on a solid foundation. I've been using code 250 since 1996, and have found it every bit as sturdy as code 332 in my installations. I don't know if the code 100 trick would work with the smaller rail, but code 83 might. That seems to be more popular today for HO scalers, so it's likely what you'll find anyway.

For the spikes, there are a few thoughts. First, I agree with the notion of using spikes that rust so they hold into the wood. The downside is that they rust, and over time the heads of the spikes may rust and stop holding the rail. I've heard both success and horror stories.

I've found it more effective to use spikes that are longer than the ties are thick. This way they stick out the bottom, and there's nothing to force them back out. I've got three bridges on which I'm pushing spikes back in on an annual basis. I put a new handlaid switch in last summer where the spikes are longer than the ties are thick, and the spikes are still as firm against the rails as they were when I put them in.

Later,

K
 

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I only saw help and suggestions being offered.
What's with the attitude?
Guff?

Don't forget to take and share your pics.
Hi, my name is John, what's yours?
 

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Hello, M&P,

I am a newbie too -- my first rail was laid in January 2014, but not by me; i hire constructionl, electrical, and irrigation contractors with experience in the railroading hobby. Nancy Norris of GR Magazine chose my rail for my site application and she made the right choice. It is Code 332 (brass in my case).

I say the heck with prototypicality when it comes to rail height. My track has been stepped on more than once by men who weigh a lot more than i do. It has been entirely fallen upon, okay? It did not budge. All is well in Code 332 Land, and may thanks go out to Nancy for making that choice for me when i was too green behind the ears to know that there even were choices.

Welcome to the forum -- i would love to see pictures of your layout as it progresses.

cat
 

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When it comes to laying track, Kevin Strong (East Broad Top) has plenty of experience on what works. His advice to use spikes that are longer than the thickness of the ties will probably serve your needs well.

I prefer puttering around with little live steamers, so I usually just "snap track" it with sectional track.

Best wishes on your new layout,
David Meashey
 

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I also hope things go well with you new layout

Please take pictures and post them on your progress.

Let us know if you have problems laying the track and tell us what you did to correct it.

All my track is sectional with plastic ties. Ties for Hand Laid rail do not do well in the AZ sun.

JJ
 

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Is there scale blueprints for scratch building turnouts and 3 ways?
There are a bunch of drawings around. The PRR Standard Plans have been scanned and are online at http://prr.railfan.net/standards/. The D&RGW stuff used to be online but someone decided to take it off and sell a CD-ROM instead. I saved a few of them, like this one:


I have scale drawings of a few turnouts/switches on this site, though most are dual gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the suggestions. I appreciate all of the input. I will post some pictures of the first section of the layout, when i get rail and start building.

Dave aka
Montana&Pacific
 

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Dave,
I skimmed over the thread, but I'll give my two cents.
First code 250 rail will work if you step on it, if you support it correctly. Same goes for 332. Secondly no 332 tie plates with 4 holes exist. Ozark makes 332 tie plates but they only have 3 holes. Hartford products makes a 4 hole tie plate for 215 and 250 (5mm base rail, llagas creek is one that has a 5mm base).
I use cedar for my ties, steel 3/8" spikes, 4 hole tie plates. Spikes will pop up over time, but various attempts using CA have proven successful in the past.
Since you have employee access, you can access the BNSF Engineering Page where to you're delight you will see a page that says something like "Standard Plans for Trackwork". Somewhere buried within that page is engineering drawings for the NP, GN, BN, and BNSF. This includes turnouts, grade profiles and a bunch of other interesting stuff.

As for joint bars, I've haven't found a joint bar that I find to be perfect. Lllagas Creek sells code 250 and 215 insulated rail joiners that look fairly good, but the NBW detail is incorrect as all the bolt heads are on oneside, and all the washer, nuts are on the other. This is to prevent the oversized flanges from hitting the nut detail.
All said and done handlaying is a create way to build track. Spend the money and buy yourself two or three three point track gauges, and a spiking plier.
I'm guessing you're along the Hiline?
Here's some of my handy work on a #9 turnout.


Craig
 
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