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I am getting set to build my first G-Scale layout, now that I am retired. My initial project will be an elevated freight yard 4' X 32'. Effectively this yard will be built like a deck, using 5/4's X 6 decking planks (PT) on 16" centers. I am planning on this yard to have double entry for at least two of the independent loops that I will be building after this project. My layout will have between 800'-1000' track and will have track power and most of the stuff I will run will be with battery power. My curves will be achieved using HDPE "Stringers" and my straights will be Pressure Treated 2X4's. With only a few exceptions, my entire layout will be elevated (my back isn't big on the idea of bending anymore). Where the layout is on the groound, I will be using the system similar to that discussed by Vernon Edwards in a 1990 article, except I will be using synthetic 2X4's rather than redwood. Ny running loops will be virtually level, and the minimum radius on them will be 10'. My operating sections will be a minimum 5' radius and no more than a 2% grade.
My question is this: How do I go about attaching the track to the various roadbeds? I am using Aristo .332 Brass Rail.
Thank you.

Noel
 

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Noel,

I was lucky and found about 3 can full of small aluminium screws, about 3/4" long. I used them on my old layout with 2x6 cedar, and my new layout wlth plastic 1x2's.
 

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I originally used nylon fishing line (the relatively clear stuff). I ran the line under one rail, over a tie or two and then under the other rail and then tied the ends together under the 1x6 board the track is on. I did this in the middle of each 6-ft section of track.

Then I found that the track expands and contracts so much that, even the large amount of movement that this method allows, it was just not enough and I got places where the track tried to bow upward when it expanded in the sunlight and sections pulled apart when it got cold. So I have now cut the line off and am relying entirely on the greatest scientific breakthrough known as "gravity" to hold the track down. It has remained in place (except for its own shoving itself around due to expansion and contraction in the heat ahd cold) even in high winds, on my elevated structure for about 5 years.
 

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I've got close to 200' of aristo 332 brass on elevated redwood 2x6's and some on compacted dirt.All the screws are out that attach the rails to the tie strips and I am using Hillman rail clamps. All the track is ballasted to hold it in place. We have 100degree plus days here and the track is in direct sun part of the day. It moves around a little bit in the ballast when it gets hot. Track has been down almost a year with no problems. With the rails clamped together they must be free to move when they expand and contact. I'm going to be installing some switches soon, will try attaching one to roadbed and check to see if it causes any problems. Hope this is of some help to you.


Best wishes,


Joe


Gee wanted to post a picture, but can't access my website. Guess I'll go see what's going on /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/cry.gif
 

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Noel

The IPP&W (host railroad of the OVGRS www.ovgrs.org ) has used code 332 track for over 20 years. It has always been attached to a solid wood roadbed, in most cases pt 2x6.

Our temperature range runs from about -35C to about 35C (about -30F to about 95F) and the track has never been adversely affected by being attached to the roadbed. Gord Bellamy lays most of our track and it was he who taught me the strategy of spiking the tie ends (not the middle) to keep the ties aligned when the rails expand or contract.

On the Northland, I have laid about 500 feet of elevated trackage using solid wooden roadbed or the ladder method. Although I use code 215 aluminum, I lay my track the same way as on the IPP&W. I spike every 12th tie through both ends with aluminum nails (siding nails with a brown head) leaving the head just proud in case the track must be lifted. The oldest track has now survived perfectly through 4 winters including last winter when it was buried under mountains of snow from mid November through mid April.

Track maintenance using this method is essentially nil. It takes a bit more work than floating track on the ground but the long term benefits to back and knees both operating and working on it make the small additional installation investment all worthwhile.

Regards ... Doug
 

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The Chicago Botanic screws the track to PT 2 by 6's. The boards are doubled up at the joints so as not to make a kink. It stands up to Chicago weather and winter very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Doug,
Thank you so much.
Do you pre-drill the holes for the aluminum nails? Do you use rail clamps? It has been suggested that I remove the screws from the underside of the Aristo .332 track, does this sound like it would benefit this type of system?
So many questions, so little time. My initial building supplies are arriving today, and as much as I want to get started quickly, I still want to do it right.
Regards,
Noel
 

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Noel

On the IPP&W where much of the track is Aristo brass code 332 ...

The tie ends are predrilled to accept the nails and then the nails are set leaving the head proud for easy removal should the track need to be lifted.

The track screws are normally left in on sectional track

We are battery/RC and live steam so no railclamps are required. We use just the regular rail joiners and amidst the general cursing of those small Aristo screws, the time honoured method of a small bit of grease to hold the screw on the driver works well.

In fact, if you take a look at the pics on the website www.ovgrs.org , you will see many examples of how the track is attached to the solid roadbed.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi Doug,
Thank you again, your experience is greatly appreciated. I will be running Battery/RC and Track power (sorry, no live steam is planned right now, but that may change when some of my friends visit, as at least two of them are into live steam).
My temnperature range is not as drastic as your's, we run from a maximum of about 24 degrees below 0, to the highest I have seen in these parts, 112 degrees (these are fahrenheit temperatures). I would say the normal range is -10 degrees to 95 degrees. I bought a whole bunch of Hillman rail clamps just to insure that I would be able to maintain track power. I have only recently decided that for me, Battery is the way to go, but there are others, my grandchildren included, that will be using track power. Not to be redundant, but do you think, since I have them, that the rail clamps would help me maintain track power better than the Aristo railjoiners?
After I send this, I am going to the OVGRS web site.
Again, thank you.

Regards,
Noel
 

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Noel
I think that you will have a problem with expansion if you are not careful.

If you fasten the ties to the roadbed then some expansion of the rails will take place due to temperature change. If the track is clamped together, then the expansion cannot take place at the end of each section of track. I am not sure that you can clamp the joints for electrical continuity and fasten the track to the readbed firmly. I suspect that it must be one or the other though no doubt somebody will have successfully done this.

The folks who successfully attach track to the roadbed and use track power generally use a feeder bonded to each section of track. The freefloating track on the ground crowd almost always uses track power and these are the guys that primarily use clamps to maintain continuity.

The battery/RC and live steam bunch are free to fasten track firmly to a permanent roadbed provided some expansion joints are established ie regular slip type rail joiners instead of clamps.
There is another active thread on expansion which discusses this very point.

Regards ... Doug
 
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