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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I'm ready to start laying track outside but here's where my questions start. The garden area that I'm going to run in is brand new... as in I just removed the sod and added black dirt last month. After tilling up the ground and mixing in the new dirt should I water it down to compact it BEFORE I lay track or just lay the track and hope for the best? I plan on laying down landscape fabric to TRY and stop weeds, plants, ect... from growing up in my right-of-way and putting the track on that then adding balast. Anything else I should look out for or do?
 

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Watering it down will help it to settle but if you're looking for a fast fix, you might want to rent a compactor.

Mark
 

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I would recommend compacting.



Are you going to put anything else down besides the landscape fabric? Most folks put something down to support the track and possibly screw the track to it.



Some use a small ditch of gravel, or ladder system made of wood or pvc. I used electrical conduit. Costs $1.10 at Home Depot for a 10' piece. Pretty simple and fast to put in and helps support the track. I pound rebar stakes into the ground at strategic points (no certain distance, curve sections I use more, on average a rebar stake about every 3'). Then I use zip ties to hold the pipe to the rebar. Some folks use only 1 strip of conduit, I use 2 ziptied together, kind of works like a cheap and quick ladder system. Some screw the track to the conduit to secure if you will be stepping around it often or if you have kids or pets.
 

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Steve
I removed sod and spread topsoil on the garden area last fall .I did not rototill the topsoil in. I planted plants last fall and this spring in the garden. i have laid Roofing Shingles on the ground ,then added Crusher fines on top of them, then laid the track freefloating. It is posted in this forum. The posting Title is--- Laying track outside now.:)
 

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I added dirt and I stopped when I thought I had enough....I wish I would have added more because of settling.

I used a hand tamper 8" x 8"....boy was that a lot of work.

My suggestion since I have already done what you are going to attempt, is add dirt tamp. add dirt, tamp, add dirt, tamp. When you think you have added enough..add more because even if you tamp it down with a machine, you are STILL going to have settling...I don't care what anyone says!

Where I added my new line, I brought it up to level with my brick retaining wall, and it is still settling down..even though I hand tamped it ALOT!

I wish I would have soaked it each time in between the adding dirt and tamping. This would have helped with the settling...I would think.

Good luck.

Bubba
 

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Posted By Madstang on 06/04/2008 10:12 AM

I added dirt and I stopped when I thought I had enough....I wish I would have added more because of settling. I used a hand tamper 8" x 8"....boy was that a lot of work. My suggestion since I have already done what you are going to attempt, is add dirt tamp. add dirt, tamp, add dirt, tamp. When you think you have added enough..add more because even if you tamp it down with a machine, you are STILL going to have settling...I don't care what anyone says! Where I added my new line, I brought it up to level with my brick retaining wall, and it is still settling down..even though I hand tamped it ALOT! I wish I would have soaked it each time in between the adding dirt and tamping. This would have helped with the settling...I would think. Good luck. Bubba


I plan to eventually start a new railroad line on the ground. Reading this and other posts has definitely given me pause . . .
 
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Ron,

with your heavy freezing ground, you should build your roadbeds like the romans built their famous highways.
rocks, smaller rocs, gravel, smaller gravel, sand and topped with slabpaving.
some of these roads still are in use today. (topped off with asphalt/tarmac)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to everyone for you suggestions. I had planned on just laying the track right on the ground with a strip of landscape fabric underneather it with the ballast added to that. But with all of you suggestions I'm now reconsdiering that idea and am looking at either using the conduit to attach the track to or the ladder method. I had tried the ladder method once before on a much smaller and tighter layout and really got frustrated with it but this time I have much larger curves and more straight areas so it could work out fine. We'll see..... /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif
 

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The RBR area was stripped of topsoil (geeez already 8yrs ago), used a minimum 3 layers of newsprint (therefore up to 6 withoverlap), conduit only for electrical, backfilled with alpine mix, wintered over due to freezeup (which is a great thing as it would settle just like former highway construction protocols), in spring track dropped into place and marked r/w bdrys and joints with numbered masking tape, lifted track extracted alpine mix to width marked to a minimum 3" (to earlier newsprint) backfilled with 7mmgyra (approx. .25" crush), tamped/filled/tamped to desired grade, relay track with AC joiners/ 1mm dab of lgb condutive grease on each lip also hillmans clamps at turnouts . . . . .

Any new phases will be done the same way of course /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif


goodluck with yours,
doug c
 

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If able, rent a compactor. If not, rent or buy a hand tamper. I think they come as large as 12" x 12". Without compacting one way or the other, it will settle unevenly making it more of a hassle in the long run.
 
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