G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm finally getting to construct my first railway. Due to lot size, this will be a smallish oval with 2.5m radius. I am building this as permanent/temporary with 1/2 of the layout built on a block wall and the other half built as removable/temporary. The temporary section will be built over pebble cover and a 32' straight built over pavers. This will be an elevated track used only for steam power locos.

I need to construct the temporary section so it is fully removable so it does not limit the yard and patio access when not running. I am looking for suggestions for constructing support pillars that I can quickly set up and level. I have considered setting sockets into the ground on the pebble cover and using pipe as support pillars. The layout will be single track for all the removable section, constructed on 8" wide DiBond with stringers for support.

Any suggestions for removable pillars on both the pavers or the pebble covered ground would be appreciated.

Joel
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,754 Posts
Joel,
How LONG is the removable section to be?
Is it straight, or curved?
Can it be one long piece, or several sections for storage when not in use?
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hello David,
Think of a long oval bisected lengthwise. There will be a 32' straight section and two curve sections on each end ( R=2.5M ) which need supported with removable pillars. I would prefer to have sections no longer than 8' to make storage manageable. This gives me 6 straight sections and 3 6' curve sections on each end.

All the track not constructed on the block wall will need to be removable and storage when the track is not in use.
61152
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,754 Posts
Joel,
So, the temporary sections will be like a mirror image of the block wall?
32 feet of 8 foot straight sections could be made in 4 sections rather than 6 then, or would you rather the 5 foot plus lengths for ease of handling.
Would you be able to store the curved sections beside, and behind the block wall, or do they need to be 'out of sight'?
Sorry for the questions, but need to think about this before answering.
Cheers,
David
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
David,

Correct, temporary section will be mirror image of block wall. Sections could be made in any length, I was using 8' as upper limit, sorry just noticed the mistake in my earlier post. I plan on creating a storage cabinet along side the house to keep them out of the way when not running. My main concern is the support pillars for the temporary section, as I would want to have it easy to setup and level. I think setting up the straight section along the pavers will be easiest but not sure about curved sections across the pebble yard.

Any additional guidance is appreciated!.

Joel
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,754 Posts
Joel,
Part of the reason for asking some of the questions was to see if you might consider keeping longer sections together for the curved pieces.
I had shown my removable section on my track before on MLS, which is approximately 12 foot long, about the same length as yours, but a larger radius.
I did this to make it 'easier' to just be able to roll in into my track on its caster carrier which is then removed when in place. Less joins to worry about and pieces to keep level.
But of course will not fit in your cabinet!
I am thinking that your three separate sections of curve at each end need to be nice and stable, although I guess when all joined up with the straights, it should hold itself relatively strong.
How about folding legs at one end of each section that can just sit on the pebbles rather than something more permanent into the ground?
Cheers,
David
61154


61155
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
David,

I like that design. I could use the stringers for the roadbed as part of the support system. Since I am only going up about 2' (looks to be similar to your elevation), it should be very stable.

Just curious what your setup and leveling time is on this design?

Joel
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,754 Posts
Joel,
You will have a tighter radius, so you have to take balance into consideration.
As the curve increases, so will the possibility of 'rolling over'!
As it sits on the fixed part of the railway at both ends with the four aluminum 'fingers', that are pinned in place, it is always level.
The legs are such that it also sits on the floor as well.
I can roll it into position, lower it down off the carrier and hook up the sliding rail joiners and be running in less than 5 minutes.
Like I said, I like easy and convenience, and this works for me.
But you can't fit the one piece curve in your cabinet!
Also, depending how you build it, it can get heavy as the size increases.
With the angle steel and dibond top, it probably weighs over 100lbs, so okay to roll, but a little heavy if I had to carry it.
Cheers,
David
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
David,

Very cool. Couple hints: I will be building a custom cabinet for this so I could prob make single piece work. Also considering using angle aluminum instead of steel. While I could put a pathway of pavers in, I am figuring on gravel for the moment. I could go with pneumatic tires for a cart, but will see. Setup would be so much faster with single piece curves.
 

·
Junior Senior Member
Joined
·
575 Posts
Joel,

Something to think about. How will you attach the modules together. I have a suggestion based on Jim Sanders' portable layout.

Each module is built on a plywood box with short pieces of dowel to index them. You just push the modules up against each other and the dowels align so all you have to do is clamp the rails together. Since the ends of the box are vertical pieces of plywood, he has a neat way of attaching the modules together.

He uses spring clamps, like these clamps . You can get them in many places. After the modules are butted up against each other you just reach underneath and clamp them together. Quick and easy. Takes 30 to 40 minutes to set up the track, 24 foot straight and 8 foot radius curved ends.

Hope it gives you some ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
I would probably put reverse loops at each end and run DCC or RailPro battery power engines to handle the reversing problem. I personally think that having to take a track section in and out everytime I want to run trains will results in running them much less. Looks like in the picture you could even have spur that runs into the storage area and never have to handle the trains as far as taking them in or out, or on and off the track. Remember the simpler you make the operation the more you will enjoy it, just give it some thought.

trainman
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,754 Posts
Trainman,
If you read the original post, this is for live steam!
Nothing worse than a loop where you can't easily get to live steam when manually controlled.
But understand your logic for electrics.
Cheers,
David Leech
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Trainman,

Thanks for the suggestion, but frankly I'm afraid of electricity and would rather boil water. Joking aside, the only way I could get this past the property development manager (my Significant Other) was to promise that non-running condition would have a minimal impact on the use of the back yard/patio for other purposes. An oval is about the simplest design and by removing half of it, the backyard is still open for non-train operation activities. My goal is to find a method to construct the temporary sections where setup and teardown can be done quickly and accurately and run time can be optimized.

Regards,

Joel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Back to your original question about adjustable supports - have you considered roller stands? Inexpensive ones can be had anywhere from $20 (Harbor Freight) to $30 (Home Depot).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
573 Posts
Another frame method you might consider is galvanized steel "track" like steel studs but without holes. The pieces could be pop riveted together and the dibond pop riveted to the top creating very strong, stiff units. My current railway is built this way but with a composite lumber top. A negative for storage would be the 3.5" thickness of each segment. Since you are on a permanent base very little leveling should be required each time you set it up. Pavers set in the gravel could work as a leg base.
I would stay away from wood outdoors but the method of locating segments Rich mentioned is very effective. Since you are low to the ground getting under to attach segments together would be difficult so connecting them on the top or the side of the frames would be the way to go. Dwight Ennis used over center latches on the sides of his modules for that purpose.
Triple R services www.realsteamservices.com makes an aluminum frame that, while more expensive than home built, works very well. It was my third portable track setup (the first two were wood-another story) had locating pins, adjustable legs and the segments were held together with velcro straps. I like your idea of aluminum angle for the stringers and cross pieces but you may want to consider a bottom surface also as a torsion box arrangement for sufficient strength to avoid sagging between legs since live steamers are heavy.
I hope you'll keep us abreast of your results. Ron Brown the founding editor/publisher of Steam In The Garden always said the most requested articles were for how to construct a live steam track.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
441 Posts
Since yo are on stable footing, why not use 4 x 4 posts. Stand one in the middle of your track section. The weight of the track section will hold the post in place, and the track sections held together will keep the post from shifting. And the posts will all be the same length and store easily.
 

·
Junior Senior Member
Joined
·
575 Posts
Tom,

The clamps are actually very easy to use. You squeeze them open, reach about halfway under the modules, push them up and release. To take them off you feel under the joint, grab the clamp, squeeze it open and pull down and out. You never have to get "under the modules" so it is a quick and easy way to attach them together.

Use lots of times.

By the way, Jim stacks the modules on those flat carriers furniture movers use. Wraps a couple of straps around them and rolls them to his truck. Very easy way to move them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
573 Posts
Hi Rich, Jim is a really smart guy so I have no doubt it works great! The op's layout looks like it will be low not the waist high set up Jim has. He's probably younger than I am but I don't bend as well as I used to hence my suggestion. I still remember our great time when you visited all those years (and 3 railways-not counting portables) ago.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks everyone for your great suggestions. I will continue to give this some thought as I am waiting for the track and turnouts.

Joel
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
So another question regarding the use of DiBond as a base material. I see two products listed.
DiBond: .012 aluminium composite with polyethylene core
ePanel: .008 aluminum composite with polyethylene core

Dibond is quoted at $159/ 4'x8' sheet, ePanel is quoted at $69 / 4'x8' sheet

Is the added stiffness of the Dibond worth over 2X the price? The distributor is claiming you can't tell the difference and wants to sell me the ePanel. I'm only going to need 3 sheets for my current design.

Thoughts?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top