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Discussion Starter #1
Here is my question we are going to build a tunnel/mountain and the track that we are using is lgb brass and we use track power. The problem is that once the track is in the tunnel and we are talking about fifteen ft and we have no way to clean the track. How would stainless steel track work in the tunnel as far as not need cleaning to get the current to the engine and can you mix brass an stainless together. I know other people talk about leaving a spot to get to the inside of the tunnel in case of maintance. Thanks for any help/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif
 

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Pete,

The general rule of thumb is to not build a tunnel that you cannot reach the middle of from both sides. That said, it is rather limiting on design to hold to that rule.

Stainless would be a good way to assure that the 'Trons flow through the tunnel. Yes, you can mix stainless with brass, without problems. In the scientific world, where tolerances are tighter, it is generally frowned upon, but for our use, it works just fine. Witness that the brass Hillman Rail Clamps have stainless screws. One other thing, the cross section of the brass and stainless rails in code 332 are a tiny bit different, and will break a brass Hillman clamp if you try to use that. I recommend using a stainless clamp to tie the brass rail to the stainless rail.

I have a friend who made a tunnel through a literal mountain, well, scale mountain, at least. The distance through the tunnel had to be thirty feet, and perhaps more. From the top of the "mountain," to track level was probably 15 feet. There are 12 inch:foot scale trees growing in the mountain that are nearly 20 years old, and 20-30 feet tall.

What he did to solve the problem was to build the mountain with a hollowed out middle that was reached through a manhole and steel ladder down to the track. Essentially, he built a structure that was as big as 20 ft by 5 or 6 feet, and about 10 feet tall, and then piled dirt over it.

I don't know if you want to go to that extreme. Just remember, if you have no way of reaching the middle 7 feet of your 15 ft tunnel, you will have your favorite locomotive derail and fall off the track at the center point of the tunnel, the first time you send it through.

SteveF
 

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I have two' long curved tunnels. I havn't got to were I've been able to run a train thru the yet. I did check for clearance with an Accucrft 1:20.3 box.
I also added double guard rails to hopefully prevent derails. Track is hand laid 250al.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replys.No steve the tunnel/mountain will be about three ft tall and be built on a curve the tunnel portion will be about fifteen feet in length the track where the tunnel/mountain will be built has been down for two yrs and is one spot that i have not had a deraliment knock on wood. but thanks for the heads up on the use of stainless rail clamps. We use split-jaw clamps now and have not had any trouble with current flow. But i didnot know about the brass clamps breaking when used with the stainless track and thanks again.
 

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You can clean it with a track cleaning engine/car/caboose. Recognize that brass rail within a tunnel is well sheltered from the elements and a light surface cleaning will be plenty to get continuity.
 

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Posted By SteveF on 06/04/2008 6:40 PM

I have a friend who made a tunnel through a literal mountain, well, scale mountain, at least. The distance through the tunnel had to be thirty feet, and perhaps more. From the top of the "mountain," to track level was probably 15 feet. There are 12 inch:foot scale trees growing in the mountain that are nearly 20 years old, and 20-30 feet tall. What he did to solve the problem was to build the mountain with a hollowed out middle that was reached through a manhole and steel ladder down to the track. Essentially, he built a structure that was as big as 20 ft by 5 or 6 feet, and about 10 feet tall, and then piled dirt over it. I don't know if you want to go to that extreme.


That sounds like the kind of challenge I would consider taking on! What a tunnel and mountain you have described !
 

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I run my track cleaning caboose through the tunnel.
If you need, you can place the caboose in front of the loco instead of the end of the consist.
JimC.
 

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I have always thought a tunnel layout like this would be interesting:

From the front it would appear to be one tunnel through the hill (the green area) from left to right.

I think it would be cute to run two nearly identical consists... the only difference being the headend power. One should be a Diesel and the other a Steam Locomotive.

Standing in front you would see the Diesel go into the tunnel on one side and (if timed right) a Steam Loco would come out the other side./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif

The wing like hills on the sides would obscure the trains from view on the back side so you would not necessarily see the Steamer coming in, nor the Diseasel coming out the back.

If running only one train, you would see it go in, but it wouldn't come out!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif
 

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You're emphasis on clean track is JUST ONE of the considerations. As Steve said...the general rule of thumb...is to be able to reach anything INSIDE the tunnel...so hatches are needed in a 15' tunnel. There will be the day of a derailment...perhaps not from track considerations...perhaps a dropped car...a train going opposite (ugh)...or worst...critters living in there. When you plan your access method...try to think how you'd see what's happened in the tunnel...reaching into a dark void and not knowing what's there...can get ya bit. It's one thing to have the hatch...it's another thing to be able to use it easily.
 

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Track and roadbed can be assembled and then inserted into the tunnel; a curved tunnel shouldn't be impossible. Derailments, etc. can be resolved by pulling out the track and roadbed assembly, repairing or eliminating the problem, and then re-inserting the assembly.

Of course the connections at each end of this assembly to the rest of track would require some engineering, but isn't that what this hobby is all about?

Art
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Greg no the whole tunnel that will go through the mountain is going to be curved. That being said the curved section of track that will be in the tunnel has been down about two years and we have had no problem with derailments with this section of track. It is lgb r1 curve track with split-jaw clamps my main concern is the brass track getting dirty and not allowing the engine the proper amount of electricity to run. That is why i was thinking of replacing the brass track with stainless steel track. I do not know much about ss track but i have heard you do not have the problem of cleaning the track.Any opinions or suggestion will help.
 

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Well, as you have probably gleaned, you are doing everything "wrong" as the "book" goes.

So, what I would do is everything I can to minimize problems.

I would use SS, I would use flex track to minimize rail joints, I would find a way to be able to pull the track out of the mountain, or have an access portal.

The current situation of "no problem with derailments" will definitely be subject to Murphy's law.

That's my best advice, assume that ANYTHING that can go wrong WILL go wrong. Take all the measures to counteract this.

Regards, Greg
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 06/06/2008 9:01 PM

Well, as you have probably gleaned, you are doing everything "wrong" as the "book" goes. So, what I would do is everything I can to minimize problems. I would use SS, I would use flex track to minimize rail joints, I would find a way to be able to pull the track out of the mountain, or have an access portal. The current situation of "no problem with derailments" will definitely be subject to Murphy's law. That's my best advice, assume that ANYTHING that can go wrong WILL go wrong. Take all the measures to counteract this.[/b] Regards, Greg


Most definitely good advice. You don't want to find yourself having to tear into your mountain one day because something got irretrievably stuck in there.
 

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I built my tunnel big enough to crawl into. I find that I have to crawl in about once or twice a year, usually for a very thorough cleaning. By the way, guard rails don't work. Or at least mine don't.

I laid the track first, using cement block as a base, and making sure that it was dead flat. Then, I made a frame out of electrical conduit, cut in half, bent into a U shape and shoved into the ground. Make it high enough and wide enough to get into fairly comfortably. Then cover with hardware cloth, then cement soaked burlap, then add mortar until it's a half inch thick. Let it dry thoroughly and cover with dirt.

I have had problems with possums and moles taking up residence.
 

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Posted By astrayelmgod on 06/07/2008 7:38 AM

I built my tunnel big enough to crawl into. I find that I have to crawl in about once or twice a year, usually for a very thorough cleaning. By the way, guard rails don't work. Or at least mine don't. I laid the track first, using cement block as a base, and making sure that it was dead flat. Then, I made a frame out of electrical conduit, cut in half, bent into a U shape and shoved into the ground. Make it high enough and wide enough to get into fairly comfortably. Then cover with hardware cloth, then cement soaked burlap, then add mortar until it's a half inch thick. Let it dry thoroughly and cover with dirt. I have had problems with possums and moles taking up residence.


Interesting construction method. I'd like to see photos of your work on this tunnel.
 

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Pete,

Years back in 1 of the LS mags, there was a tunnel built that was about the same length as yours.. It was curved 2, he had a hatch in the middle for excess & put plastic over the concrete on the side walls so that he could pull out cars & locos if they derailed.. My friend in Topeka said he would leave a lot of detail parts in the road bed where the ties pulled them off.. Never did here if it worked..

BulletBob
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Once again thanks for everyones comments my wife and myself will be starting on our mountain/tunnel in a couple of weeks. I have been collecting all the information we can get. We have pretty much all of the materials to do the job we just need three or four days to do it we do not want to rush it. I will try to keep you posted on how it turns out.
 
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