Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

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CSL
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Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by CSL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:14 pm

So, the extension is partly planned and the first challenge will hopefully be clear from these photos...
20190709_211855-01.jpeg
20190709_212419-01.jpeg
The existing line might just be visible to the right of the photos.

The new section needs to cross a path which is in regular use for accessing the main part of the garden, including dragging the lawnmower and full garden waste wheelie bin (and children's ride-on toys) over the crossing point. I reckon the chances of permanent track standing up to that punishment are slim. Also, it's a narrow point so I don't want the railway to make it too much narrower.

As the photos show, I also want two sets of points on the removable section, which also needs to account for diverging tracks (basically two continuous curves with a junction route between them) and a length of perhaps three feet or more - sorry, not currently there to measure!

I've had two thoughts so far:

1. Remove the affected path slabs and replace with concrete with a channel in it. Fix the removable track to a wooden board which fits in the channel. Cut a heavier-duty wooden board to fill the channel when trains are not running.

2. Slightly lower the slabs. Construct a low-profile "bridge" from Dexion* or similar, with slotted angle for the sides and flat metal transverse pieces linking them and supporting the track. Probably insert or fix rubber or wood packing under the "bridge" so the slab supports it.

Are there other options I haven't considered? Any tips on practicalities, including fixing the removable section quickly in the right place to line up the rails correctly each time?

Many thanks for any advice!

*Is Dexion a thing for domestic use these days? - when I checked the website it was all about services for industry.

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by Peter Butler » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:34 pm

As I see it you couldn't have points in a worse position than that! The chances of having a successful removable section with all those connections to be made every time are slim to non-existent. I know you are restricted by your situation and need to find a way around it so my first thought would be to leave the track in place and alter the path in such a way the slabs are raised just above the level of the rails and have a removable section of path instead of removing the track.
I think this could satisfy the domestic needs as well as maintaining your sanity.
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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by CSL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:44 pm

Peter Butler wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:34 pm
As I see it you couldn't have points in a worse position than that!
True, true. But it's no more than exhibition layouts have to put up with. I'm not giving up yet! (Well, I haven't started yet.)

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by CSL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:49 pm

"...a removable section of path instead of removing the track..."

I had discounted that on the basis of the full wheelie bin and lawnmower, but I'm starting to think of it again. Any thoughts of how it could be built?

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by tom_tom_go » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:50 pm

Do you need to have points?

What about cutting into the concrete tracks with a diamond crossing?

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by CSL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:55 pm

tom_tom_go wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:50 pm
Do you need to have points?

What about cutting into the concrete tracks with a diamond crossing?
The points would be sooooo good for operational variety!

Cutting the slabs is possible but is basically the same as option 1 - or have I missed something?

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by tom_tom_go » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:57 pm

Do you have a track plan because all I see is a crossing that doesn't require points?

I wouldn't remove the slab just cut directly into it, you don't need to add rails either.

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by CSL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:34 pm

tom_tom_go wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:57 pm
Do you have a track plan because all I see is a crossing that doesn't require points?

I wouldn't remove the slab just cut directly into it, you don't need to add rails either.
I'll sketch a track plan when I have a moment - it's all in my head! But trust me - the points would be good (they weren't in my original idea... and then I saw the light...).

Not sure what you mean by not needing rails...!

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by tom_tom_go » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:46 pm

www.anyrail.com for track plan

Cut grooves into the concrete, you don't need rails then.

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by idlemarvel » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:36 pm

I'm with the "leave the track in place and raise the path" brigade. You wouldn't need to raise the path that much, only the height of rails plus thickness of slab and a small air gap, which you would remove at running times. You could even use a steel walkplate to make it even lower and easier to remove. You want your pointwork to be as flat and rigid as possible otherwise it will be a source of constant frustration.
Dave Miller
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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by CSL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:39 pm

tom_tom_go wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:57 pm
Do you have a track plan because all I see is a crossing that doesn't require points?
I went for the low-tech approach!
20190711_212918-01.jpeg
Hopefully you can see that including the points in that awkward position:
1. Creates a reversing triangle.
2. Enables trains to change direction round the circuit from anti-clockwise to clockwise (although not in the opposite direction) without stopping or reversing.
3. Provides an end-to-end run between the bay platforms of the two stations.
4. Provides an out-and-back run from the bay platform of Station 1.
5. Provides an out-and-back run from the bay platform of Station 2.

That's why I'm quite keen on having them there!

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by CSL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:47 pm

tom_tom_go wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:46 pm
Cut grooves into the concrete, you don't need rails then.
Have I got the right mental image from this? I'm picturing a train with its wheels rolling on two edges milled out of the concrete slab - which would (a) crumble over time and (b) damage the wheels (especially the plastic ones!)...

Is this another case of humour not working online?

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by CSL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:53 pm

idlemarvel wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:36 pm
I'm with the "leave the track in place and raise the path" brigade. You wouldn't need to raise the path that much, only the height of rails plus thickness of slab and a small air gap, which you would remove at running times. You could even use a steel walkplate to make it even lower and easier to remove.
Comments appreciated. A steel walkplate sounds like a rather unattractive addition to the garden, however, as it would be in a prominent location.

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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by Peter Butler » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:15 pm

Even if it is still available, Dexion has to be one of the most unattractive construction devices ever conceived. As a temporary support for your track it would be an eyesore and one which you would not be proud to show I'm sure.
The main concern is one of making positive rail joins each time the temporary track is put into position. It is difficult enough to get one straight section aligned, but you would have to make four track joins, ( sixteen rail ends ) each one on a curve, which I think would deter you from spending the time and eventually put you off garden railways for good!
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Re: Suggestions please: removable ground-level section

Post by CSL » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:34 pm

Peter Butler wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:15 pm
Even if it is still available, Dexion has to be one of the most unattractive construction devices ever conceived. As a temporary support for your track it would be an eyesore and one which you would not be proud to show I'm sure.
Fair enough, but in my mind's eye the only visible part would be the sides of the removable structure - and they could be diguised.
Peter Butler wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:15 pm
The main concern is one of making positive rail joins each time the temporary track is put into position. It is difficult enough to get one straight section aligned, but you would have to make four track joins, (sixteen rail ends ) each one on a curve, which I think would deter you from spending the time and eventually put you off garden railways for good!
Very much agree with the point about ease of installation at the start of a session. Possibly I should be looking at my own habits (e.g. I usually don't bother to put the station building, etc. out) and concluding that the extension is all a bad idea...
But... why exactly is a completely normal feature of exhibition layouts - many of which have considerably more than sixteen rail ends and are packed up, transported and reassembled more frequently than I operate my garden railway, if I'm honest, and which involve electrical connections to boot - such a terrible idea in this case? There's probably a good reason, but it's getting late!

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