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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for practical advice on the appearance, construction and running of a dog bone style track something like 100m long. I think my questions are best addressed by a list of points:
Heights. I have a garden with a height difference of 1.3m or so. So far I have constructed a track with at one end a ground level tunnel with two 0.6m x 0.9m concrete slabs forming the roof and at the other end a horseshoe loop in a cutting 0.3m deep. This means that my planned track route height will likewise vary from minus 0.3m to a metre. I can hide the view of the cross garden tracks with a hedge or grass if need be.
Question 1. Would it be better to be a 0.0m to 1.3m in height? This would mean If so I would need to break up some concrete that forms the tunnel roof. I note that a well known track in East Sussex has a tunnel/cutting at one end.
Question 2. Would 2.4 GHz RC or manual live steam running be affected by the tunnel or cutting at the other end?
Question 3. Radii. The track will have a minimum radius of 5m, except for the horseshoe cutting (dug out already) which has a 0.3m depth and a 3.25m radius. I know that almost all Gauge 1 locomotives and stock will suit this radius but would the running be smoother with a 5m minimum throughout? Alternatively, should I use Cliff Barkers 45.5m gauge track for the 3.25m horseshoe curve? The garden could accommodate the 5m curve, but I would have to move a kids slide etc.
Simon
 

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some simple answers:

as close to flat as possible, the flatter the better
will your system reach the distance - cannot tell, depends on system and antennas and installation, get advice from the supplier
track radii seems good enough, but of course the bigger the better. You will never be unhappy you widened the curves.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Many thanks for your reply. Please note that the layout will be flat. What wlll vary will be the height from the track to the ground.
 

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As Greg said "You will never be unhappy you widened the curves." The 3.25M radius will work but you are cutting it close. No matter what you run, it always looks better on larger radius curves. With this you should have #8 or larger points.

Out of curiosity you say the layout will be about 100M. Do you mean there will be 100M of track or is the layout a 100M from end to end?
 

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Hi Simon,
From the flag, it appears that you are in the UK.
Have you considered joining G1MRA as you might also get good advice from their various groups.
IF you are running manual control, it is nice to have easy access to your loco and things like cuttings may at some time cause an issue if you can't easily reach down to adjust something.
Tunnels are fine, but guaranteed at some time you will stop in the middle of it!
Likewise, even at ground level it can be awkward, and nice to have it up a couple of feet.
I have Fosworks RC on a battery powered diesel and there appears to be no issue going through my concrete tunnel.
Cliffs gauge widened track would certainly help for the 3.25 radius.
I have about a 12 foot radius at one point on my track, and the larger locos certainly feel it and slow down on the 'regular' gauge track.
Try not to keep it too flat, I have probably less than a 1% climb over about 50 feet and it's nice to make your locos work just a little, and also tests your driving skills.
Have fun with the build.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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I would suggest the higher the better, so 0 to 1.3m high is good. Tunnels on curves are a pain. Just make sure you can easily remove the roof so when something derails due to an acorn rolling in, it can be accessed easily.

3.25m or 12 ft radius is pretty wide and should be fine, though bigger is always good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Pete. I am pleased to say that the track is close to straight through the tunnel. It is roughly 9ft long, with 2 concrete slab roofs at each end and a pair of pull out timber sections in the centre. 3.25m radius = 10' 8".
 

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See my new layout in Ardèche it covers most of the things one should strive to do (if you have the space, time and dough.) I figured that over 71 and having had a big illness i should indulge in it before it was time to go... About the tunnel either keep it very short (less than a meter long, or have a form of removable roof top for maintenance and access, or do what paul Abrahalm did in Kent, have a tunnel entrance and a short tunnel leading to a hiden cutting for the rest of the tunnels length ,then ditto to exit same. Another solution is to have an access by either a sort of block house accessible through a ladder (thats what Jens Bang did) or use sewer sections in which a man can enter and a shelve for the track and a short tunnel at the entrance and the other entrance accessible to men is out of sight. This i have seen at the Ardèche Miniature scenic garden railway. But you need a contractor and his shovel to do it! Large radius and long pointwork are a must grades are a question of what you want to do. If long mainline class one trains is your thing than don't, at least not with live steam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
According to a UK expert on gauge-widened (45.5mm) track: 5.5m radius - no need for it, 4.25m radius - optional, 2.75m radius- best to have it.
The UK owner of a lovely 1.75 inch gauge track (44.5mm) said trains slowed on a 4.25m radius 180 degree corner. Having checked the position of the kids' slide today, it seems to me that a 4.1m radius gauge-widened curve is possible. If I keep to the lower height then trains at this end will be hidden in a cutting and I think this is more elegant.
 

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I model in Gauge '3' and SM32, but my guiding principle has always been Real World. Thus I think of corners in terms of chains radius. A BR normal curve was 8chains, a station curve was 5chains, a free shunting curve was 5chains and an express curve was 60chains. Only the Great Central used 600chain curves...

My Gauge '3' curves work out at roughly 3ch and 5ch radius or 3m and 4.5m radius.

Thus I use both +1mm gauge widening and Superelevation and I gauge widen on the INSIDE curve. This makes the wheel heel over easier on the coning.

I don't know which G"1" std you use (1/32 or 10mm) but converting the radius to chains will give you something that you can work on.

Regards

Ralph
 

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Quick note on tunnels. Make tunnel height more then you think you need. Voice of experience. So many different scales , 1/32 to 7/8, and loco and car heights, friends come over. etc.

Jerry
 
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