The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

A place for the discussion of garden railways & any garden style/scale portable layouts
User avatar
ge_rik
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 3958
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by ge_rik » Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:18 am

Andrew wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 6:16 pm
The cat thinking you'd lost the plot reminded me that I was praying the neighbours weren't watching the other day as I bashed up coal on the front drive. They' really think we'd fallen on hard times if the saw me scrabbling about after lumps of coal just a few mm across...
:laughing3: :laughing3: :thumbright:

Rik
------------------------
Peckforton Light Railway - Blog Facebook Youtube

User avatar
Soar Valley Light
Driver
Driver
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:18 pm
Location: North West Leicestershire

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by Soar Valley Light » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:22 pm

Hello Readers,

I mentioned my 'wandering' track alignment in my New Year post, I have an update.

One advantage of having the railway is that the garden is much lower maintenance, thanks to plenty of ground cover plants and a reduction in 'crop' plants. Most of the growing is done on the allotment these days but I still have a few fruit bushes and a row of raspberries. The raspberries are old now and and some of the canes died off last year, however, there are plenty of healthy roots pushing out from the canes, some came up very close to the railway and needed moving to avoid some incongruously giant foliage beside the track. This afternoon seemed like a good opportunity so I set too and removed the strays to the proper run of canes. This job took me into places I don't often get and thus gave views along the railway I don't normally see. To my horror the alignment problems mentioned are, in places, far worse than I thought. In fact, the kinks are so severe that I'm pretty sure they are bad enough to fetch anything I ran at the moment off the road. I can't pin-point the cause but the problems all see to exist where the maximum amount of 'terra forming' took place to create the railway. I thought I'd thoroughly compacted the ground as it went back in, ramming it with a punner in thin layers, but nevertheless it can only be ground movement which has done this. Many of the 'kinks' are outward, so if it was thermal movement of the track it would need hot weather to cause it - this has been noticeably absent in North West Leicestershire of late! No matter what the cause, I can see no option but to unpin the track and ease out the alignment to something trains can run over smoothly. If it happens again I'm going to seriously consider reconstructing the formation. That would be a nightmare but better than having this palaver every year!

This may not look bad but it's far worse than the alignment I originally layed.
2021 track misalignment1.JPG
This curve is on an embankment between 6" and 12" high on about 2' of filled ground (I was mining sand and gravel from a natural deposit I found!) It was a really sweet, regular curve when layed and has survived for several years without movement.
2021 track misalignment4.JPG
This turnout was built and layed as a straight turnout, it's developed a distinct curve over the last 18 months, the mainline is actually the curved leg and the regular curve that was laid now has 'lumps' in it! There was almost no filling of the ground in this area.
2021 track misalignment5.JPG
The next two photo's are on an even higher embankment than the one previously mentioned, just over 12" of fill and right on the edge of the sunken path. The ground is supported on concrete troughing units laid on their sides on top of each other. I expected this might move as compacting soil into the open troughs wasn't easy. There was some movement two years ago but I adjusted the alignment last year. This is also the stretch I ballast up in ash, held with building glue. It's not a soild bond as there is little other than the Terram under the track for it to bond to but it seems to have held last year (I'm hoping these aren't 'famous last words'!).
2021 track misalignment6.JPG
2021 track misalignment7.JPG
The next shot is of the loop point at the end of the first embankment mentioned. They were part of the regular curve when laid. The final shot is of the loop at Woodhouse, immediately behind the points, the loops were laid with regular curves and with a constant interval between them, as you can see, that is no longer the case. The cross level has also gone way off here too. I didn't get the bubble out to check - I didn't need to!

It's all very frustrating but, as the old saying goes, 'if at first you don't succeed try, try again' (but after the second try, do something different!)

CFLR Andrew
Attachments
2021 track misalignment3.JPG
2021 track mislaignment2.JPG
"Smith! Why do you only come to work four days a week?
"'cause I can't manage on three gaffer!"

User avatar
philipy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:00 pm
Location: South Northants
Contact:

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by philipy » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:18 pm

Andrew,
That all doesn't look good at all. Forgive me but I can't remember if/how your track is fixed down?

User avatar
Soar Valley Light
Driver
Driver
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:18 pm
Location: North West Leicestershire

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by Soar Valley Light » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:03 pm

Hi Philip,

It's not good at all.

The foundation is two 2x1 Filcriss strips spaced apart with 2x2 Filcriss blocks alternating with 2x2x18 to 24" Filcriss posts at 18" centres. The space between the Filcriss strips is filled with pea gravel before being covered in Terram (off cuts from the real thing picked up at work), the ground is made up around the filcriss and well rammed to support it. The track is layed on top of this, tacked into the Filcriss around every six sleepers (but up to every other sleeper on curves). The pinning seems to be holding so it's the Filcriss that's moving in the ground. It occurs to me that frost heave may be a factor but there is one short spot (not pictured) between two turnouts where the Filcriss is stiffly braced and well supported by the ground where there is a misalignment normally associated with the worst of the hot weather. I'm really at a loss to explain it. It defies everything I've ever learnt about managing track - and I do that for a living!

CFLR Andrew
"Smith! Why do you only come to work four days a week?
"'cause I can't manage on three gaffer!"

User avatar
philipy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:00 pm
Location: South Northants
Contact:

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by philipy » Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:16 pm

It's surprising how much stuff moves around, however well tamped, once water gets involved. I suspect that because your Filcris is a rigid construction ( Without expansion gaps, presumably?), once one section moves, it puts undesigned strains on everything else, and that then continues to "wriggle" as it tries to regain its built-in angles and curves every time it rains, dries or freezes.

User avatar
Peter Butler
Driver
Driver
Posts: 4075
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:33 pm
Location: West Wales

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by Peter Butler » Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:23 pm

philipy wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:16 pm
It's surprising how much stuff moves around, however well tamped, once water gets involved. I suspect that because your Filcris is a rigid construction ( Without expansion gaps, presumably?), once one section moves, it puts undesigned strains on everything else, and that then continues to "wriggle" as it tries to regain its built-in angles and curves every time it rains, dries or freezes.
If so, could that be described as 'not fit for purpose?' I thought Filcris was manufactured and promoted for this job.
The best things in life are free.... so why am I doing this?

User avatar
pippindoo
Trainee Fireman
Trainee Fireman
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:01 pm
Location: Leeds
Contact:

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by pippindoo » Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:54 am

As a Filcris advocate, Ive learned its a very easy to use product, quick to erect, easy to cut, screw together and one big advantage is its flexibility. Ive noticed this numerous times on my railway when on a hot day, the whole frame can move outwards slightly as it expands, though ive never had anything even remotely like Andrew is experiencing. However, my system is approximately 15" high off the ground and so the legs supporting it have a bit of leeway to allow this flexibility, and the resultant resettling as temperatures change. The whole raised frame can, and does , adjust as one, and the flexibility of the supporting legs have the ability to bend slightly to allow it without any problems. I remember Andrew, when you posted photos as you started to bury your railways framework into the earth and thinking then that, being buried like that, if it was still prone to the expansion and contraction phenomanon, it could get 'messy'. As youve posted above too, your trackwork is very securely fastened to the framework, almost every other sleeper at some points, I cant help thinking that with any movement, however slight, wether expansion, contraction or frost heave, there just isnt much 'give'. Obviously, a concrete or block foundation isnt as prone to expanding and contracting. Just a suggestion based on my experience. It must be gutting to have such a distaster and i sincerely hope it isnt too much graft to put it right and crack on. It would be interesting to hear anyone elses experience of a 'buried' Filcris framework. I guess lots have used Filcris to edge lawns and flowerbeds but in that application its not really critical if it warps slightly now and then. Hmmm, I'm intrigued!

User avatar
Soar Valley Light
Driver
Driver
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:18 pm
Location: North West Leicestershire

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by Soar Valley Light » Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:59 pm

Hello Pipp,

Like you I've been a great advocate of Filcriss. As you say, flexible, easy to use, not to mention quick to assemble and easy on the eye without further work.

I think you have probably hit the nail on the head here, it's the fact that it's buried - the very thing which I imagined would make it stable and resistant to heat variations. I was concerned about hot weather but that doesn't seem to affect it, I never dreamt that the cold would pull it about or that the frost would push it about. The fact that the movement doesn't happen every year gives me a wee bit of hope. I think it's worth unfastening everything and correcting the alignment. It seems to have worked for the ballasted section (so far!). Maybe I should get some ballast around the problem area as soon as it's been lined up again.

If that fails I can see no option but to go for complete reconstruction. That will be a disaster, the primary problem is that I can't afford it. I'm not sure I could face digging the garden up again (I'm not sure I'd be allowed to). I have everything crossed for success with the realignment! I shan't rush into it though, the weather needs to be a bit better before I make a start.

CFLR Andrew
"Smith! Why do you only come to work four days a week?
"'cause I can't manage on three gaffer!"

User avatar
ge_rik
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 3958
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by ge_rik » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:19 am

I've not used Filcris but I have experienced settling with the concrete 'breeze' blocks I use. I can't help feeling that movement is somewhat inevitable with any sort of track foundation given that we are wanting fairly fine tolerances in a relatively hostile environment.

Not sure if this would work, but I can't help thinking that maybe you could reduce the number of fixing points between your track and the Filcris foundations??? That way, the track would be able to 'give' a bit more when the foundations move. Doesn't real track sort of float above the trackbed? Would this in some way mirror real practice?

Just a thought.

Rik
------------------------
Peckforton Light Railway - Blog Facebook Youtube

User avatar
Jimmyb
Trainee Fireman
Trainee Fireman
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:43 pm
Location: Weston-super-Mare

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by Jimmyb » Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:17 pm

My current railway in on trenches and blocks for elevated areas, and my initial plan was to screw the track down ever 30 - 60 cm, using standard fish-plates to hold the track down. My first summer (2018) saw some tremendous movement, and I now (generally) use a more substantial method of semi-permanently holding the track together, and allow on the whole the track to move over the ballast, except where specific positioning is required. The track moves, but as a whole, and disinformation in the track has not (yet) occurred.

User avatar
Soar Valley Light
Driver
Driver
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:18 pm
Location: North West Leicestershire

Re: The Charnwood Forest Light Railway

Post by Soar Valley Light » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:38 pm

Thanks for sharing your views guys, your suggestions are all worthy of further study and considering. I need some better weather before I can put any of it to practical purpose. I shall update you once the temperatures rise! :sunny:

In other news I have made a start on my momentum van. I began by stripping down the Zeecar mechanism. That was more of a challenge than I expected because I've only got a very small vice and there wasn't really room to position the mechanism between the jaws. I found centre punching the axles out from the wheels most successful. At this point I thought the axles were off centre on the mechanism body but on reflexion I now wonder if punching the wheels off may have shifted it even further. The picture clearly shows (on the uncut axle) that they were off centre. It was clear that the body is quite flimsy and the axles are, indeed, free to move laterally by a small amount. Care, in fact great care is needed. The CFLR is a 1'-11 1/2"gauge railway and so I run on 32mm track, my Zeecar axles were about 10mm longer than the IP engineering wheelset axles and so needed cutting down. With the wheels off I did manage to grip them in the vice. When I had finished I fancied I might have kinked the axle slightly, it had certainly shifted in the bearing again but once adjusted looked ok. The IP wheels were easy to 'de-axle'. They were an easy fit on the Zeecar axles, possibly a little too easy. The photo below shows the trimmed axles and the stripped down IP wheelsets.
Momentum - zeecar dismantled.JPG

On fitting the wheels to the Zeecar axles I detected a slight looseness but convinced myself that it would be ok once there was some glue on the axle. When trimmed for 32mm use there isn't a lot of axle poking out of the mechanism, great care is needed to make sure the wheel doesn't carry any glue back along the axle as far as the body. When positioning the wheels to make sure everything is equally spaced around the centre of the body there was a certain amount of shuffling of the wheels, double so when I realised there was still a very slight looseness, enough to risk a 'wobble'. Whilst juggling all these aspects of positioning I realised that glue had migrated a long way towards the body. I gave it a scrape with a blade and thought I'd got away with it. I now left well alone for 12 hours until the two part epoxy had properly hardened.

After an impatient wait my first concern was to see if there was any 'wobble' of the wheels on the axles. I gripped the body and a wheel with a view to 'giving it a spin', to my horror nothing moved, the glue had caught the axle in the body! I ran the blade around the axle where it entered the body and gave the axle a gentle tap and to my relief movement returned! My joy was short lived as both wheels were out of true, the one on the end of the axle I suspected may have been bent was about 3mm out, the other about half that. Clearly this would not do. Some gentle manipulation with pliers had no effect. Leaning back on all my permanent way experience, I picked up a hammer! it was only a small tack hammer and (for a pway man) I wielded it very gently. Some carefully aimed taps to the outer side of the wheel rims followed. This really was a case of 'slowly, slowly, catchy monkey'. Taking it a little bit at a time I managed to get things back into true. I'm satisfied there is no more than 0.25mm of wobble on either wheel now. As the axle also still runs pretty true I am more inclined to think that there was some deformation of the axle during the shortening process and that the movement of the wheels on the axle was a very minor component of the problem.

I had toyed with the idea of mounting the mech on the van floor with a chain drive to the IP wheelset, however, when I looked at the van assembly it looked feasible to use the Zeecar axle so I thought I'd give it a try. A hole was cut in the floor to accept the mechanism before construction started. The build of the body has been progressing all week. My kit building experience in this scale is virtually non existent, this is only my second one. I'm 90% of the way through building a Brandbright hopper wagon. I was thoroughly impressed with this kit, the standard of the components, the clarity of the instructions and the way the kit went together. I like my vans and coaches to be as tall as my (Accucraft) locos so I am always looking for the taller items of rolling stock. The Brandbright brake van looked good but the IP version had an extra 10mm of height so I went with that. It's a nice kit. Subtly different in all aspects mentioned to the Brandbright kit. I fancy there might be slightly less detail but without comparing the two it can be no more than a gut feeling. I may see if I can persuade someone to buy me a Brandbright van for my birthday to have a go with. I certainly want a second momentum van so this may be the second project. I'd like to try a floor mounted, chain driven version of the Zeecar mech and I also have a smaller and slightly less resistant mech out of a Glendale Express toy that I'd like to try - all in good time though! The final body assembly stage of the IP van is sitting on the bench gluing as I type. I'm hoping I might get down to the actual installation of the 'momentum' into the 'van' over the weekend. I'll keep you all posted of course.

CFLR Andrew
"Smith! Why do you only come to work four days a week?
"'cause I can't manage on three gaffer!"

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests