G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,
I recently posted our (my) brilliant scheme for using Hardibacker Board as roadbed on top of our undulating concrete base. Your posts quickly convinced me that without a solid level roadbed that the board would break as we walked on it. Thanks for the advice which we have heeded. So, back to the drawing board. If we needed a level concrete roadbed, then obviously we bring in a contractor; have him shoot a grade and pour on top of the existing concrete until it's all nice and level; then we use the concrete as the roadbed . Simple. The first one we saw said it would take a couple of months to get his jackhammers in to take out the existing concrete . When I assured him that was NOT what we wanted he disappeared. The second one said that he could lay about 4" on top of the highest point and bring the rest up to that grade with 8"-12" poured on top of the rest of the layout. Then he said he couldn't guarantee the whole thing wouldn't breakup within a couple of ears because it was a patch on top job. Plus the pouring of a layer that thick on top of 2,000' feet of roadbed would roughly equal the national debt of three small countries, which SAGRES unfortunately cannot afford. The other two contractor's we called didn't show up. 
We have since addressed raising the layout 30"-48" with landscape timbers or decorative block with an interior fill and lay tracks on that.  That appeals to us with old knees but again the cost element  and labor hours raises its ugly  head. I am desperate for ideas since I don't have any experience with any of this. We hope we entertain, amuse and educate between fifteen and twenty thousand museum visitors every year but our existing roadbed of 1/4" ABS plastic on top of sand on top of our uneven concrete has become an operational nightmare and taken a lot of the "fun" out of our runs and made it impossible to "operate", so we are limited to 4 trains going around in a circle all day long. They are nice trains, however.
Any ideas or opinions anyone has to share will be welcome. Please keep in mind we are a small club and have a limited budget but we will find the wherwithall do something that willsolve the current problem. 
I am adding some pictures one of our members recently took to show you what we are dealing with. Thanks, Eddie!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KV_bKxT_jg

Thanks,
Jim Shutt
San Antonio Garden Railway Society
 
G

·
Hi Jim,

I am using the PVC "method" as taught by Kevin Strong in a series a few years ago in GR Mag....it seems to work well for me, so far!

cale
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
Jim,

I don't like to "advocate" any particular method of railroad construction, preferring instead to merely show an alternate way of doing things that may or may not be the best way in any given situation. However if ever there was a good if not ideal situation for raised benchwork yours seems to be it. Raised benchwork as shown by the link is a lot cheaper and easier than constructing retaining walls and hauling in tons of dirt, Too, the front of the benchwork can be covered up with fence boards to look just like a raised bed, No one will know it's hollow inside and if you are using track power wiring can be run through there easily accessible but still out of sight.

archive.mylargescale.com/forum/topic.asp

Also remember that the benchwork can be any height. It doesn't have to be as high as mine. It can be knee high or a bit more to give good wheelchair access as well as a view for the kiddies. A good and fairly quick way especially for a club effort.

Just a suggestion for your consideration.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
Just one additional point:
Benchwork as illustrated can be done right over the exisitng cement work and open ground too by using cement piers to hold the benchwork legs. In fact if a slab is available at a strategic spot it'll make an excellent walkway.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Richard (Cary),
As you know, I am a huge fan of your benchwork and am still trying to decide whether to build my home layout like yours or to get Dan at Eaglewing to make me one like Bob Whipples in Jersey.
What I hoped for in this posting was to get an aggregation of ideas other folks have come up with that may be outside the box. For instance, one suggestion we have is to lay curbing or landscape border to the level of the highest grade and fill in between with decomposed granite; thoroghly tamped down. I don't know if that would give us enough drainage as when it rains here we'll get 3 or more inches an hour and if the curbs capture the rain inside it will wash the fill material away over the sides. The problem we have with buiding the laypout up too high is a four foot solid concrete grain elevator right in the middle of the yard area. Its not going anywhere and if we raise the level of the whole layout , the elevator goes out of scale. So , any other ideas will be welcome .
Jim Shutt
SAGRES
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,446 Posts
Easy solution:

Build up the sides of the existing concrete roadbed and float the track in ballast.

Either fasten something along the sides (e.g., wood, strap metal, backer board, or whatever), or the top (e.g., angle-iron) of your existing concrete work, or simply use ballast and yellow glue to build up the sides as a berm.  Backfill the area between the "sides" with crusher fines and float your track in that.  This will allow you to add to your low spots while minimixing the high spots and adjust your track at will.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
467 Posts
Over the years the IPP&W Railway has been rising up out of the earth.
 

 
Yards near waist height are simple decks covered with fiberglass screen and ballast. The 4 x 4 legs are set in deck blocks on patio stones. Small gravel (ballast) is used to level the patio stones if required.
 
In some of the lower lying areas new stone walls are being added. We all chip in and buy seconds by the skid load. The walls are great for resting a weary butt or sore back, and leaning on when uncoupling cars.
 

 
The track is always laid on pressure treated lumber. This keeps it straight and minimizes the effects of frost heave. Using lumber also allows for changes and upgrades, something that happens every spring on the IPP&W.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,626 Posts
Jim
 I finally got the video to work.
how about posting two over view photos of what your talking about.
 I can't see you hiring to do the contrete work.???
what part of the video was yours???

I think you sould think about Richards  S. raised method on wood.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
237 Posts
I have been rebuilding my whole layout on the PVC pipe subroadbed.  I would not recomend it for sunny hot climates or spots as the PVC pipe tends to warp too much with the heat.    Works  OK in the shade.

I would be inclined to use decomposed granite or crushed limestone as ballast on your layout, maybe with tie wire bent over to kind of hold it to the concrete underneath.

Terl
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top