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  • jbvb
    replied
    One point about handlaid frogs: if you aren't using PCB ties, you need to hold the frog together with solder somehow. With Code 100 rail, the bases of the point rails and wing rails touch in an HO frog with proper tolerances, so soldering is relatively simple. Just have a broken hacksaw blade around to cut the flangeways larger if you wind up with too much solder in places.

    For Code 83 and smaller, the point and wing rail bases don't touch in HO. So you need to lay down a sheet of shim brass (.010 will do) under the point and wide enough to tie the wing rails in. And before you spike anything down, make sure the base of the rail is clean in the areas you'll be soldering. I showed how I temporarily spike rails in place while fettling the frog on page 10 of my Eastern thread:

    http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...1&whichpage=10

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  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Bruce,

    It was indeed. Thanks for digging it out!

    Note Karl's comment in there about things being more difficult to think out than to actually do. The time-per-turnout will improve considerably with practice.

    Thanks again!

    Pete

    in Michigan

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  • Dutchman
    replied
    Pete, I think this it the thread that you were looking for: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=42720

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  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Mike, Bruce, et al,

    Several Months ago Karl (K9Wrangler) posted a question on hand-laying track in the Construction Forum:

    http://railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=42109

    I posted a number of hints from my "Don't Ask How I Know This" file, and they seemed to be well received. Karl took things to heart, produced some very nice track work, posted it up, and I can't find it. :erm:

    For both of you, though, one key to the process is to thoroughly clean the rail before you use it. Brand-new rail, in those lovely ME bags, is full of lubricants of one sort of another, probably from the wire-drawing process that creates the rail. Removing this before you try to use the product is essential to a Happy Experience.

    Gather your prototype data, have at it, use the NMRA gauges, have a test truck or two, and take your time. It's fun, liberating, and laden with the potential for seriously cool track.

    Enjoy!

    Pete

    in Michigan

    Leave a comment:


  • Dutchman
    replied
    Keep us posted, Mike. I picked up some code 70 rail today that I will use for some HOn3 turnouts. I am stockpiling the materials and will soon give it a try myself.

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  • Mike_Engler
    replied
    Thanks James and Bruce for your input. I think it's plenty to get me on the right track (pun intended).

    I think I'll try to build one or two in-place using the FT points and frogs tools, and spike every thing except the circuit board throw bar. If they don't work I can always then try the regular Fast Tracks method.

    I will also talk to Gerry L. - he is always helpful.

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  • Dutchman
    replied
    I see that James was responding as I was working on my response. I'm glad that there is some consistency in our answers.

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  • Dutchman
    replied
    Mike, let me respond to at least some of your items. I hope that other jump in as well. I would also urge you to check locally with members of your region/division for further guidance. Gerry Leone is in your neck of the woods, so he would be a good resource.

    As an aside, we are in the same position. I have six certificates done and am looking at the civil engineering as the seventh.

    Before going into your questions let me say that we recently evaluated a layout here in the Garden State Division for Civil Engineering. The owner presented a turnout, a crossover, and a crossing to be evaluated. He is modeling in HO, code 83. He builds his turnouts in place, so he puts his ties down first, sands them level, an then spikes his rail in place. (I think that he might add some goo or similar adhesive to the bottom of the rail, too.) He only uses one circuit board tie, and that is for the throw bar. He does cut his own ties. His work is exquisite. He does not add tie plates, etc. He does not use any jigs or templates. When evaluating his work, he lost some points for not having details like tie plates, but it did not stop him from earning merit awards for the three items under consideration.

    Now, as to your questions.

    1) Adding the wood ties. One way that I saw this done was to print out the turnout template off the Fast Tracks site, mark off the position of the circuit board ties that you soldered on the turnout, and then place wood ties on the template where there are no soldered ties. The person demonstrating this had put down a light coat of spray adhesive to hold the ties in place. After sanding the ties, he placed the turnout over the template and ties, having put some goo on the bottom of most of the rails. He 'activated' the goo by running a hot soldering iron over the top of the rails. Then he spiked the rails. Finally he removed the finished product from the paper template. In places the paper did not want to come off the bottom of the ties, but it was hidden by the ballast.

    I hope that others have some suggestions for this.

    (2 & 3) This might vary from Division to Division a bit. If I were building the piece for a contest, I would add such details, but for a non-contest evaluations, I would probably not add them.

    (4) Since the number of ties needed for these three items is not that great, I would cut, distress, and stain my own. Just my opinion, and what I will do myself.

    (5) If you make it clear that you are modeling a backwoods line and have it appropriately ballasted for that setting, then you should be fine. Again, check locally for their advice.

    (6) A crossover is a fine choice. The 'degree' of that crossover is up to you. I would build one that I would be likely to use down the road.

    Again, I hope that others jump in with some ideas for you.

    Good luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • jbvb
    replied
    ME's weathering is towards the black end of the spectrum. Your backwoods line might have had more orange; less grease, more rust. But I find it tiresome to brush enough paint on a rail that's already in place so there's no silver patches that show up from odd angles. Some people spray the whole thing, but I don't want my ties the exact same color as the rail.

    1: I build mine in place, but it sounds like it would work. I defer to jig-users.

    2. I have been told 4 spikes per tie is a requirement, and that they be more-or-less scale, e.g. ME 'Micro' rather than 'Small'. I don't know the earliest date for tie plates, but they weren't widely adopted on Class 1 RRs until WWI. Around 1970 the B&M still had a lot of yard and industrial tracks that didn't have them at all. It will go best with the judges if you dig up a prototype picture and follow it.

    3. For a backwoods line, odd-shaped ties: some warped, some rounded where they were cut from a small log, maybe some with splits. Lengths should be fairly even. Ballast could just be dirt (cheapest, least durable but widely used on prairie branches). Or cinders, river gravel or slag. Or mostly dirt with patches of some or all of the better material.

    4. Lightly-built RRs often used shorter ties. Creosote treatment was expensive, so a short line might not have started using it till long after the mainline roads. Ties from 'up the holler' were less standardized.

    5. Not if you have some appropriate pictures.

    6. 90 degree can be built with minimum filing. But look at pictures and Google's old books to count parts and figure out where you will need joint bars. A crossing would probably have had tie plates early on.

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  • Mike_Engler
    replied
    ..........

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  • Orionvp17
    replied
    quote:


    Originally posted by jbvb


    Pete, that varies with era. Back when more track work was done by hand, they tended to leave more of the tie above the ballast, and ballast on top of the tie was fairly uncommon - even if the track foreman didn't make the gang sweep it off when the job was done, it would tend to shake off and fall between the ties as trains passed.


    Agreed. And those section foremen really took pride in their work. They probably still do, although now much more of their job is mechanized. But seeing that tie laden with ballast was ... well... too good to pass up..

    This is a nice shot, laden with detail. One of the Herron Rail "Stanley Y. Whitney" B&M DVDs shows the process from the start, with the welder, the grinder, the heat treat process, the slitter and the signal wires bonded to the repair, all circa 1950 or so.

    Pete

    in Michigan

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  • jbvb
    replied
    Pete, that varies with era. Back when more track work was done by hand, they tended to leave more of the tie above the ballast, and ballast on top of the tie was fairly uncommon - even if the track foreman didn't make the gang sweep it off when the job was done, it would tend to shake off and fall between the ties as trains passed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Orionvp17
    replied
    Just don't go letting your ballast get on your ties -- it ain't "prototypical!"

    Pete

    in Michigan

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  • Dutchman
    replied
    James, it is always good to have some prototype photos available to show 'conformity'.

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  • jbvb
    replied
    The rail gang has been working in the Haverhill, MA passenger station, and I thought this was worth posting here:



    This is a temporary compromise joint between new 136 lb. (I think) rail on the right and older, probably 115 lb. on the left. Note how they built up the smaller railhead with weld because they didn't have the right set of joint bars on hand. They can get away with it for a few days because it's in the middle of a station where all passenger trains stop, and the freight speed limit over the bridge is 5 MPH anyway.

    Now, if you make an ugly joint, you've got a prototype.

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