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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a method to cross a 30" wide concrete sidewalk and keep rails flush . . . I don't want a trip hazard. I'm thinking of sawcutting rail grooves, but how would I secure the rails. Any ideas? I've searched the forum but can't find a solution.

Thanks
Dave
 

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If it's only 30" and only walking on it you could use some of these from Split Jaw:

Walk On

You wouldn't have to worry about cutting the concrete.
 

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I would think that if you live where it snows and the sidewalk was one that needed to be shoveled, you would want to recess it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. The Split Jaw system looks interesting but I would prefer a recess to eliminate trip hazard. Snow is not a factor and this is a private sidewalk in my backyard. Question is how to seat the rails if I sawcut a path?

Dave
 

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Just cogitating out loud here. Because my yard is so narrow I considered putting track across my driveway and though a lot about how to do what you are considering, but I never tried anything... (I went elevated and limited the track to just one side of my property.)

How wide of a channel do you think you can cut?

If only as wide as a rail then just epoxy it down. Don't know how well that will work in handling thermal expansion. Or how accurately the two grooves can be cut to set the gauge properly.

Or maybe cut the slot and then (or maybe "before" cutting) drill holes every few inches both inside and outside the gauge for anchors to be set in the concrete. Then use pan head screws into the anchors to grip the rail foot on each side. Screw heads (at least on screws within the gauge) would have to be thin so the wheel flanges would not bounce on them. Maintaining gauge this way might be very difficult given the difficulty of drilling holes in concrete very accurately.

If you can cut the slot as wide as the ties are long then it would be lots easier to maintain the track gauge. Just lay the track in the gap. But I would fear someone dragging their feet would catch on a rail and bend it or knock it out.

The 7+ inchers just embed a section of angle iron in the concrete with a flange way next to it. This is often done as the concrete walkway is installed. Or they cut a full section out for the track. Some put preassembled rail down and then pour concrete around it, with something removeable (wood strip) next to the rail on the flange side to keep the cement out of the flangeway, then peel the strip out.
 

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Dave

You may find what Stan Cedarleaf did to cross his driveway on his first layout of help. Although Stan runs battery power and you may run conventional power, it may give you some ideas and modify the design to your needs.

Stan's Driveway Crossing
 

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If I was to do it, I would either do it Stan's way or I would use a concrete saw, cut the concrete and completely remove it wide enough to ust the "Split JaW Walk On's". Just repour the concrete in the removed area jus don't pour it full depth, leave it low enough to add the 'Walk On's"
 

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Give Jerry at Split Jaw a call, he will create most anything you want out of the plastic he mills for the walk on boards, so if you cut a slot in the concrete, he could make a "Plank" to fit in the slot with the rails embedded. Just a thought.
One of our members had his layout planned before he had his driveway poured, left 2x4 flat to create channels and laid his track in the grooves on ballast, I've walked on it, not a trip hazard.

Good luck, Nick
 

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I did my sidewalk similar to Nick's friend and just layed regular track in ballast, it's been there about 10 years and besides foot traffic I've had wheel barrows, hand trucks, wagons, bicycles and who knows what else and have done nothing to it, but run trains on it...





 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all for the input and to Dean for the pictures of that great layout. My new plan borrows from all responses. I will sawcut a slice from the sidewalk, install a concrete sub-base, fill to grade with PT or composite board material. Then, I can route a passage for the rails in the wood or composite. I saw something similar in Garden Railways on a wood deck. Rails can be siliconed, epoxied or screwed down for stability. If I were crossing perpendicular to the sidwalk, I would ballast in the area just like Dean. However, I anticipate that I may be crossing at an angle, perhaps up to 45 degrees, making solid, fill-in material necessary.

Dave
 

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Dave, pics of your progress and completed crossing would be appreciated :)
 
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