Best track base?

CoggesRailway

Registered
25 Oct 2009
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That will certainly work, I like to lay the track on occasional pressure treated batons floating in ballast (so they are invisible) they last well in free draining gravel and you can easily lift and adjust, the baton just gives it a bit more solidity than just in ballast alone. But this topic is really how ever you feel is best!
 

coyote97

RR, technical things, 4x4
9 Dec 2009
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southern Germany
Thats it.....too many opinions because of too many reasons.

Today, i am glad having my track just layed down in balast, because its very easy to change the layout.
I know of a man who fixed the track on a kind of waterproof styrol-pads and fixed the balast with a kind of glue.
Others just lay the track down, doing the upper inches with some dry-cement that gets wet just by pouring water over it. gives a solid trackbed.
Bricks under the track seems to be a verycommon method....i think its really o.k.

Me, i will mix up the different methods for where they match the best way.
So i am building very massive bridgeheads of solid concrete where i can fix down the track directly on the bridgehead, other parts will lay in "free balast" with a foil under it to stop the weed growing up.
If u are sure of your layout,you should choose a fixing method like the "brick-thing".


Greetings

Frank
 

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
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We've been here before - I have a theory.

Building regs require you to put your foundations at least 1.0 metre below ground in order to avoid frost heave. Nobody's going to dig down a metre for a garden railway, so you're likely to get some movement at some time.

Just dig down until you hit virgin soil, lay some geotex, use ballast of a size that won't get sucked up by the garden vac, and wallop a treated stake in the ground every 10 foot or so in the centre to screw a sleeper to every now and then. Set your stakes to the right height and you can bone the ballast through.

Job done :clap::clap::clap:
 

a98087

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8 Nov 2009
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Ive used a mixture of methods and here gos:

Concrete
I just take off an inch of turf, no need to go very deep, as its not structural
You just make a mold/ shuttering and pour away
You get custom shape trackbed.
Its very permanent and when the track is screwed in via rawlplugs its doesnt move.
I used a 5:1 sand cement mix aka a weak mortar mix,

loose Ballast
You need about 40 mm ballast depth,
looks good,
easy to adjust to iron out any bumps,
make sure you put down a weed membrane to keep dirt and ballast seperate
Ideal if you like to rearrange track constantly

Raised decking boards
Nice way of making raised railway,
The only problem I had was mixing different sorts of timber for the trackbed, as the different thickness caused problems.
I also used insuffuicient number of supports that caused sagging in places.

Another method is if you want to make a bridge, use 2 lengths of metal L section, with a plywood deck, the metal takes the weight, and you can build the cosmetic bridge frames another day.

Any more questions please ask, and dont be afraid to try something and then rip it out if its not right.

Dan
 
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garrymartin

My Family,Railways, Beer and the Seaside
The ground level areas of my railway are built in a trench some 6 to 7 inches deep filled with a layer of small rubble hard-core with concrete above that. A thin layer of mortar was then used to make an approximately level surface to which the track was then screwed. Small pieces of slate being wedged underneath to produce the final level of the track. Ballast consisting of 4 parts horticultural grit to 1 sharp sand & 1 cement was applied as a wet mix:sleep: Its still where I put it after 4 years including some severe winters.
I would say build as close to the final railway that you want as you can do within your time,space and money restrictions, its a hard slog but its worth it in the end:D
 

JRinTawa

Member of the Wellington Garden Railway Group
25 Oct 2009
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Northsider

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I used breeze blocks laid on edge for the curves, with the straight sections on 3"x2" timber 'bridges' in between. With hindsight I'd lay the blocks on their sides (45mm gauge is a bit tight on the edge of a breeze block); and the note of the 'clickety-clack' changes when the train passes from block to timber: which is a minor things, but I notice it! I used chicken grit for ballast, which wasn't right -but then the pigeons have eaten most of it, so I get to try again...:rofl:
 

steve parberry

G Scale Trains
25 Oct 2009
8,665
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Nottingham
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll

Enough Said!!!!!!!
 

stockers

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24 Oct 2009
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Well, you can Steve - but not for very long!!!!!

I used a mixture of ideas to suit the location and what I had to hand.
Celcon (Thermalite) blocks are good.

19cc9450e45d4913b4df125d1c8a4fd1.jpg
 

3Valve

Railways; Air cooled VW's; Soul Music
24 Oct 2009
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steve parberry said:
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll
Don't Use Log Roll

Enough Said!!!!!!!

and whatever you do don't use Log Roll
 

railwayman198

Registered
24 Oct 2009
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East London
Just a couple of things that I have learnt the hard way - 1) do not use a rigid track base anywhere near the base of a tree, it will eventually move in all directions; use floating track instead 2) a single layer of weed membrane does not stop weeds for long - double it up or get super heavy duty stuff.
 

minimans

Trains, Planes, Automobiles & Shooting
24 Oct 2009
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If your confident about your layout and where it's going a concrete base is ideal you can walk on the track for access and it doesn't get overgrown with weeds just moss which looks good! otherwise free float in ballast works good for me. 15 years later its all still there and hasn't moved even through 2 or 3 good earthquakes!!
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Woderwick

Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club
24 Oct 2009
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Ia Drang Valley
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Actually, bulding regs will accept an "or to suit site conditions" submission. We only went down 2 ft at our old house because we were on chalk and the inspector was happy.
 

beavercreek

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24 Oct 2009
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Woderwick said:
Actually, bulding regs will accept an "or to suit site conditions" submission. We only went down 2 ft at our old house because we were on chalk and the inspector was happy.
2 ft eh....apparently we are on 25 ft piles!! (clay on sand..on the side of a hill.....not good) ...the railroad is on only 1 ft ones
 

Ralphmp

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6 Jan 2010
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There seems to be a lot of interest in using HDPE plastic to create ground level and raised track beds. The latest G Rail magazine has an article about this and this link [style="color: #3366ff;"]http://www.btcomm.com/trains/primer/roadbed/ladder1.htm < Link To http://www.btcomm.com/tra...er/roadbed/ladder1.htm [style="color: #000000;"]has an article on how to do it.

[style="color: #3366ff;"][style="color: #000000;"]If you go to the supplier website (www.filcris.co.uk) they have a section on garden railway products and, if I recall correctly, further links to other stories on how people have used the material.

I haven't used it so can't comment on the claims as to how easy it is to lay or how durable it is in service. However, it's on my list of options for my planned extension.
 

Cyclone

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10 May 2011
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Staffordshire UK
If you want a quick track bed then decking planks covered in roofing felt. Easy to nail flexi track to. Isnt gooing to last 10 years or more.
I doubt that I could keep the same track configuration for longer than the wood will survive.

I want to do the fun bits...laying track base isnt for me so I do it quickly.
 

Ralphmp

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Sorry - earlier post said G Rail magazine; I meant G Scale Journal
 

railwayman198

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24 Oct 2009
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Ralphmp said:
There seems to be a lot of interest in using HDPE plastic to create ground level and raised track beds. The latest G Rail magazine has an article about this and this link [style="color: #3366ff;"]http://www.btcomm.com/trains/primer/roadbed/ladder1.htm < Link To http://www.btcomm.com/tra...er/roadbed/ladder1.htm [style="color: #000000;"]has an article on how to do it.

[style="color: #3366ff;"][style="color: #000000;"]If you go to the supplier website (www.filcris.co.uk) they have a section on garden railway products and, if I recall correctly, further links to other stories on how people have used the material.

I haven't used it so can't comment on the claims as to how easy it is to lay or how durable it is in service. However, it's on my list of options for my planned extension.
Another interesting material that could be suitable is 'Millboard' that is used by landscape gardeners as a more durable and maintenance free alternative to decking. Similar in appearance to the Filcris stuff but of a different composition and requires less support to avoid sagging. Hellishly expensive though.
 

ge_rik

British narrow gauge (esp. Southwold and W&LLR)
24 Oct 2009
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I'm another breeze blocker - mainly because I had some left over after I'd built our lean-to.

Advantages
[*]quick and easy to lay[*]can be readily relaid if/when you change your mind[*]not majorly expensive[*]good for fixing down flexible track which likes to straighten itself out unless you use a rail-bender (which I have not got)[*]If the ballast becomes dislodged, the blocks look at bit ballast-like[*]won't rot Disadvantages
[*]Not as realistic / prototypical as floating ballast[*]No matter how well they are bedded down, some blocks will sink over time as the ground settles (probably be OK if they were laid on cement foundations)[*]Need to be drilled and rawl-plugged to fix rails
I've laid all mine on their side
IR114725024.jpg


Here you can see how easy it is to add a station beside already-laid track
IMG_1328.jpg


I shove wet cement in between the blocks after they are laid to discourage weed growth (I use hands clad in rubber gloves, missus!).

My concern about bricks would be the difficulty in keeping them level over time - unless they were bedded into a goodly cement foundation. I'm assuming you're opting for bricks as you have already have a load lying about. Otherwise, I'd reckon breeze blocks would work out cheaper in terms of cubic footage and the lesser need for a bed of cement (unless you're sure of your track plan).

Anyway - that's my two penn'orth. Highly doubtful you would find any two garden railwayers agreeing on this topic.

Rik
 

andyspencer

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30 Oct 2009
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I've just purchased a large quantity of the 8x4 plastic boards from Filcris to re-do our club track. The 'exterior ply' coated in roofing felt hasn't lasted 4 years... Using a suitable plastic frame, i'm hoping the plastic base will be maintenance free!