Construction started

Keith May 7, 2009

  1. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Impressive! What kind of ballast will you use? I have heard of Chicken Grit (sold at feed and farm supply stores) as ballast, but being a limestone product, it's much too light for Rio Grande ballast, er, cinders!
     
  2. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've seen blackish/gray decomposed granite where I got the rocks.
    I'll probably use that, since it appears to be a reasonably good match for Rio Grande ballast!
    And when watered down, it'll hold the track in place very nicely. Allowing for movement, as the ground moves. Especially during winter months.
     
  3. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Minimal work today. Bought a box of Split Jaw rail clamps earlier this week.
    Have been slowly installing them on track work. Need to get another box of them tomorrow.
    Then maybe I can finally start working on getting track leveled out better, in preparation for ballasting!
    Although, if it keeps aining like it has this past week, I'm gonna have fits trying to get things together and running by vacation time in July!
    But, at last attempt, trains ran, with a few derailment problems, that were corrected by adding dirt under the track at derail points. Turned out to be a small number of low spots, or a couple of sections riding high.
    Wanna try to PA and/or the MAC pretty soon. Just to see IF either is gonna run!
    Have a pole, and drywall sanding screen now, so I can do some necessary cleaning of track before next attempted test run.
     
  4. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Weather cleared up, and dried out enough, so I could get some more work done.
    Was able to break up ground under track, to remove weeds, and to help get track
    lowered, so I could get it leveled out much better.
    Plan to start adding ballast soon. Maybe next weekend.
    Should be ready for openhouse in July yet!

    Did get track leveled out, in all directions. And yes, I DID run the Big MAC! :tb-biggrin:
    And much to my surprise, it ran, without derailing! The PA also did good.
    Couple of low track joints caused problems though, with a couple of passenger cars.
    Think final ballasting will solve that problem. Outside rail, I think, is slightly lower
    in certain areas, causing flange(s) to ride over rail, causing derail.

    A few freight cars that caused problems before, now run without problems!
    Just for loads of fun, I set up 6 cars, caboose, and GP40. Ran, in the dark, for maybe 45 minutes, to almost an hour. I sat and watched, enjoying every moment of it!
    The folks even kicked back and watched for a bit too, and enjoyed it.
     
  5. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Track gang was busy again today! Went and got 440# of grey/black ballast.
    As of now, I have about half the track ballasted. Watered in. Not sure I'm gonna do any more tonight though. Might work on it more tomorrow. If not, I'll attempt to finish next weekend.
    Photos of current progress later.
     
  6. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    As promised, a couple of photos, showing work done by track crew Monday afternoon.

    East end, looking to the west.
    [​IMG]

    West end. Looking to the east.
    [​IMG]

    Remaining track to be finished when I can get to it, and IF/when weather
    decides to cooperate! By not raining!
     
  7. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Keith, jut a curiousity question, did you trench out where you laid your track. You should always trench out from where you will lay your track, even if it is a simple french drain type trench. At least a 6 in deep x 4in ch wide trench should be dug out and use crushed limestone or washed river gravel the size of quarters, this will keep water flowing in a rain fall and also keep from washing out the stone you laid your track on top of. also spraying a 1:1 ratio of water and concrete bonding adhesive to your crusher fines under you track will help keep them in place, if not they will end up everywhere and your train wheels could hit them, making them derail later on. I also noticed you used reetaining walls which is ok as long as you use pvc piping for drainage, you can't french drain a retaining wall area as one club found out the hard way. A hard rain came along and there was a water build up hydraulic situation in the ground and caused the retaining wall to burst outwards. They did the layout over using 1 inch pvc piping for drainage. Just making suggestions.
     
  8. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Was able to finish ballasting track this morning.
    Now, I just need to clean track, and make a few test runs.
    That way, I can see what adjustments I may need to make.

    Has been raining quite a bit of late. Has given sub base a chance to settle in.
    I've had no trouble with anything, as I've been building.
    Most of the area I've built on, has been walked on for the last 20+ years, so
    packing isn't really needed.

    I've still got things to do, but the major work is complete.
    Yard tracks need to be worked on next, and that's gonna require
    some major excavation at some point.

    So ,at this point, I'm really quite pleased with how things have come together,
    and how things are looking. Adjustments as necessary as the summer months approach.
    Maybe as winter eventually sets in. Until then, don't fix it if it ain't broke!
     
  9. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    About ready to head out and make another test run, now that track is fully ballasted.
    Photos will be taken, but probably not posted, since I have apparently not done things
    properly, according to some. However, they can come and do things right, at no cost!! :sarcastic:

    Anyway, I've completed what I had set out to do. The few people that have seen what I've done really like how it looks. Neighbor yesterday made positive comments, which made me feel pretty good!

    Will see what railroad club open house July 11/12 brings as far as comments.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2009
  10. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sure hope you don't live to regret not adding drainage as suggested. That is what old timers are for, (not age, but experience)

    With as much rain as you describe you have, I'd be a bit leary about not having good drainage. The idea about mixing concrete bonding adhesive with water and spraying your ballast is sage advice. I've seen it done and you can walk on the track and sweep leaves and junk off the track without disturbing the ballast at all.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2010
  11. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Last post on the subject.
    Yes, plenty of rain of late. But, NO major downpours, that COULD be a source of trouble.
    Since completion, things looks good, with no problems. I'm headed out to make another test run, now that track is completely ballasted. Any minor track problems can be fixed as, or IF they crop up. Will be taking photos of test run, but will NOT be posting, since things aren't done the right way, according to some. With NO help around, I'm doing things my way, with no trouble! I've got some ideas, but need to observe things, especially during a rain/thunderstorm.

    I've tried to share my work, and enthusiasm about what I've done.
    But, appears that was a complete waste of time. Therefore, as
    already stated, no further updates.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2009
  12. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Keith,
    I have watched your build with much interest--I do hope you continue to keep us posted! The ballast looks great!
     
  13. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    I might have missed it in your threads as lately I've only had time to skim through the post, but are you free-floating your track on the ballast?
     
  14. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ballast done. Trains running.
    Major rain the other day. Absolutely no problems.
    That I've seen. Have not checked up close yet. No time.
     
  15. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Had a second day of major rain/thunderstorms today!!
    About 1/2" hail today though, along with a severe downpour!!
    A few photos as the rail was letting up, and after it had cleared out.

    Switch leading to eventual yard lead.
    [​IMG]

    Same section, with a slightly wider view.
    [​IMG]

    Loop on eastern side of layout. Water between rails, but NOT over!
    [​IMG]

    Best overall shot I could get, showing how bad it was!
    [​IMG]


    And yes, water did cover the track where turnout is. Although barely!
    With these photos, I can now work on digging out a couple of drainage areas, to help drain the water next time! Have ideas as to how to do it, and where I want to
    redirect the runoff.

    As for the rest of the layout, not being done correctly, according to some.
    I will ask a simple question:
    Where is the washout etc.......That I was told would happen??
    (Sarcastic remark)

    Anyway, it took a real beating, but held up very well! Only thing I've noticed, are a few small pieces of loose ballast, but nothing major. Have a few spots that I could use to add more ballast to, as it's a bit light in a couple of places.

    As I've said before, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and more so, knowing that it can hold up to a rather severe rain/hail storm! Two days in a row even!
     
  16. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Keith, As it is now summer, I wonder how well it would fare during the sring, and late winter when things can get plenty more wet? Perhaps the drainage pipes would be a good idea? Will the frost heave in winter mess things up? There's not a whole lot of ballast there to protect the track alignment.
     
  17. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    I don't know. I'm sure minor changes and repairs will be needed.
    Gonna have to wait and see as weather changes.

    Drain pipes mention previous have been installed.
    Has not rained hard enough since then, to see if they do as expected.
    Or if I'll have to make additional changes to the track.
    Again, I'm gonna have to wait and see.

    Not sure how bad frost heavy is, or will be.
    Won't know how bad things are effected
    until next summer, after things thaw out.
    Ballast may look lighter than it is. Yeah, I've probably
    gotta add more, but I really need to get yard lead and
    yard track dug out and placed first. Then, I can make
    minor modifications as needed, lifting track a bit more, adding ballast and such.
    Keep in mind, it's still a learning experience for me. I'm quite sure there's gonna be things that have to be changed or modified in some fashion. That's the chance I took, when I decided I wanted to build a garden railroad!

    It works fine right now. And as long as it runs without problems, I'm happy!
    And as long as I'm happy, that all that counts!
    Held a railroad club open house this past weekend, since I was on vacation for the week!
    Those folks that did stop by had positive things to say about my project! So, I gotta be doing something right!

    Anyway, I'm headed to bed. First night back to work after vacation, it hurts!
     
  18. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great to hear the club visit went well--any photos from that show?
     
  19. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Think Mom grabbed a few, between visitors.
    I'll have to double check first. Will post them if she has them!
     
  20. EricB

    EricB TrainBoard Member

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    Keith, how did the ballast there hold up after the rain?. I think that the advice that was given earlier in this thread was a suggestion for construction so that you wouldn't have to keep fixing things after each storm.

    As for your frost heave, I think it will be minimal. It looks like you just have the natural soil in your yard. It doesn't tend to collect moisture in the winter and it doesn't get too cold where you are either. Even when I was living in Georgetown, our frost heave was minimal.

    Eric
     

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