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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I should share a few pics below and info on how and why I constructed my railway. I took ideas from everywhere and in this story the Australian references to brand and other things may need explaining. Any questions please ask and I will load some more images later as I have maxed out on this one
After thirty five years in 45mm gauge live steam you would think I’d have bigger tracks as time went on, but no, with each house move they are getting smaller. Faced with a move to a small inner city house with virtually no back yard I thought I would have to be a collector of gauge one rather than a runner until we moved again. I had only 8 metres x 12 metres to play with going from the kitchen window wall up to the back fence in the carport. I needed something that could be removable especially in the carport and in case we move again.
As you can see from the images below I couldn't do the usual concrete in for posts so I came up with a different lightweight approach.
I used an aluminium garden edging called "Linkedge" here that is an L section with slots for easy curving on the horizontal edge and what I call "Fishplates" to join each section on the vertical edge.
This was spaced out with "Merbau" timber strechers just as in normal ladder style construction and to keep it light I placed aluminium screen door security mesh on top then a layer of garden weed cloth then laid the track. I pegged the track down loosely ( I have learnt never to pin it down hard, let it move a bit) and then applied a layer of ballast with some 'plantings' of artificial grass, some rocks to make it look solid. It isn't, water goes straight through.
Then I made some open tables that I just sit the track base on, no bolting down, with even just some basic two leg support in some areas, as when assembled this base construction stays together and doesn't move. These support tables then just sit on the paved surface or in the garden bed just sit on pavers that have proved very stable and easy to adjust if need be. No concreting down of support posts. In the carport section I use cheap carpenters saw horses and I have a quickly removable bridge and a short removable section for access to the house back door.
I now have a removable layout in 2 metre long sections that I can dismantle, change or enlarge by reusing the materials. This has suited my situation and I hope it inspires ideas in others for layout construction.
Russell
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I bent the aluminium right angle quite easy by hand. With the slots already cut it's very easy to bend. I suspect this product isn't readily available around the world so if you use normal aluminium angle I suggest cutting slots in the horizontal section same as shown in the images.
Russell
 

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Thought I should share a few pics below and info on how and why I constructed my railway. I took ideas from everywhere and in this story the Australian references to brand and other things may need explaining. Any questions please ask and I will load some more images later as I have maxed out on this one
After thirty five years in 45mm gauge live steam you would think I’d have bigger tracks as time went on, but no, with each house move they are getting smaller. Faced with a move to a small inner city house with virtually no back yard I thought I would have to be a collector of gauge one rather than a runner until we moved again. I had only 8 metres x 12 metres to play with going from the kitchen window wall up to the back fence in the carport. I needed something that could be removable especially in the carport and in case we move again.
As you can see from the images below I couldn't do the usual concrete in for posts so I came up with a different lightweight approach.
I used an aluminium garden edging called "Linkedge" here that is an L section with slots for easy curving on the horizontal edge and what I call "Fishplates" to join each section on the vertical edge.
This was spaced out with "Merbau" timber strechers just as in normal ladder style construction and to keep it light I placed aluminium screen door security mesh on top then a layer of garden weed cloth then laid the track. I pegged the track down loosely ( I have learnt never to pin it down hard, let it move a bit) and then applied a layer of ballast with some 'plantings' of artificial grass, some rocks to make it look solid. It isn't, water goes straight through.
Then I made some open tables that I just sit the track base on, no bolting down, with even just some basic two leg support in some areas, as when assembled this base construction stays together and doesn't move. These support tables then just sit on the paved surface or in the garden bed just sit on pavers that have proved very stable and easy to adjust if need be. No concreting down of support posts. In the carport section I use cheap carpenters saw horses and I have a quickly removable bridge and a short removable section for access to the house back door.
I now have a removable layout in 2 metre long sections that I can dismantle, change or enlarge by reusing the materials. This has suited my situation and I hope it inspires ideas in others for layout construction.
Russell
very nice some really great ideas, Bill
 

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Very nice use of space and material. I think I would paint those orange legs a more neutral color. I really like your landscaping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have had 100 kph winds here in winter (not sure what that is mph) and nothing moved, not even the loose ballast but I don't leave the buildings out except the engine shed that I have a cover for.
I have one siding under the carport and going to add another soon to store extra trains and add interest to my switching operations by widening the sections there.
And yes I was going to paint the saw horse legs another colour to hide the orange but six years later I still haven't got around to it
Russell
 

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Very impressive!! What is the blue coating on the ends of the boards attached to the aluminum sides? And what are you using for the artificial grass? It looks to tall to be grass carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The blue coating on the timber ends is just left over house paint I used to seal the end grain. Probably didn't need to do it as the tropical Merbau timber is used here for outdoor floor decking and seems to last a huge amount of time exposed to our harsh weather so it will last me out.
The artificial grass is from a local hardware chain that sells it in rolls and this is the expensive one that's got longer grass and varied in height and colour. I waited until they had just a metre (3 foot) left on the wide roll that they usually throw away and got it for a huge discount. Being 3 metres wide it will last me forever if I need to replace any or make a bigger layout. It looks much better than the little square 'short' grass mats I normally see.
Russell
 

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That looks really nice!

I am going to look to use some of your ideas, specifically the artificial grass. It looks wonderful
 

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The landscaping edging is widely available in the US, including where else? Amazon
1st pic the same as Russel used except missing the connecting channel on the back. If you want that type you probably will have to import it from AU.
Russell mentioned cutting Vee's in order to bend for an inside bend. The edging comes precut for an inside bend. (Pic 3)
The edging often comes in kits (with really big nails to hold the edging edge.

But, Here's the magic. Flip the assembly over to create a "deck." add (rolled) asphalt roofing to cover. Russell's spanner spacing is fine as a deck, the track will provide the support between.
This approach if you would rather not go to the work of adding screen, cloth and ballast. Of course you could just skip the roofing and use the frame naked.

The second brilliant thing about Russell's idea is that it's a lot less work than the other great method of deck building, using steel stud channel.

Thank's Russell you made my next layout far easier to build (instead of steel studs) which of course means it's much more likely to get build and sooner rather than latter. :D :D :D
:cool:

Oh, for legs? Use Tee posts with a "Man Saver" Tee Post pounder, 98E BASIC T POST DRIVER for small Tee posts at $450 would more than work. https://www.rohrermfg.com/
A double post every 3-4 single posts for a single track, or double Tee posts all round for double track deck. ($450 sounds like a lot but divide it by 100 or more Tee posts or $4.50/pst.) You could always pound the Tee posts the old fashion way with a two handle "Post Pounder" if you're a glutton for punishing yourself. :eek:

I luv it. Thanks, Russell ! :D




 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Chris Scott for finding suitable garden edging over there as it's always a lot easier than making your own out of Aluminium angle.
Glad everyone likes the attempt at some scenery as Steamermeister says "it's subtle but effective". I found by doing ballast and some fake grass with a few rocks makes even the narrowest part look more realistic for my trains to roll by. My next project is to make the depot area better with a building as having an engine shed, coaling tower and water tank on the steaming up area has transformed the look of the layout on that side so a depot building and water tank will improve the scenic look on this side but I need to keep all buildings narrow to fit the space, not easy in 1:20 scale. I have an old POLA depot that I will kitbash into something that should be narrow enough so I'll post pics when it's done.

For those who may have not seen the video of my track go to 'live steam' section here in MLS and view Graham25 recent post of a few weeks ago titled "Easter Monday steam-up ". This video of a steam up with a group of friend's trains of all scales and types shows the scenery, construction and overall view better than the close up still shots.
Russell
 

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Best solutiion to a lightweight, easy to install RR that I have seen. There is indeed a U.S. product called Dimex Easyflex, that is close to Linkedge.I have a couple of ideas for a base. I plan to go no higher than 24" above ground, so there are some choices, like "Bison Versadjust", sold as pedestals to support decks , etc. No digging. Thanks for the inspiration.
 

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Getting inspired! How did you set up bending the stuff to get an accurate radius? For example, the Aster BR-5MT that I am working on has a minimum 2 meter turn radius. I can use "chord" and "rise" to calculate radius and build a template. Perhaps you found a simpler way?
 
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