Best track base?

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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I'm going with brick / slabs etc when i start building this spring. My late father-in-law used wood covered with felt on his garden layout. Mainraiance and replacement was ok when he was younger, but as he got older it became impossible which impacted his enjoyment.

I have a 20yr plan for my railroad which involves allot if work now which will hopefully payoff in my "later" years.
Sounds like a good solid plan, just hope the 20yr plan does not relate to the build time!
 

melph1

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30 Jan 2021
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Very funny, hadn't thought of it that way :)

That said, i guess most of you will say that a layout is never finished.....there is always something else to add or improve on.

If we see an improvement in covid and lock downs, i hope to build the station area and associated fencing / re-roofing shed / track bed and electrics this year. Year 2 will be line extension. Year 3 will be station 2. Year 3.....mug of coffee!!
 

justme igor

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I have a 20yr plan for my railroad which involves allot if work now which will hopefully payoff in my "later" years.
Yup...
 

Fishplate

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5 Mar 2021
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(Draws in breath).... ok here goes - I am laying track on decking boards covered in shed roofing felt for straight sections and using ready made filcris curves. With weed fabric and gravel underneath, and 18” stakes at intervals hammered in to ground level and fixed to the decking boards.
I appreciate ( having read past comments) that rotting may occur in time but as this is my first attempt I felt that if/when I need to renew I could always improve next time!
I didn’t want to raise the line up above ground level as I felt this would interfere with the garden ( and risk the wrath of the boss).
Grateful for any thoughts?
 

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
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(Draws in breath).... ok here goes - I am laying track on decking boards covered in shed roofing felt for straight sections and using ready made filcris curves. With weed fabric and gravel underneath, and 18” stakes at intervals hammered in to ground level and fixed to the decking boards.
I appreciate ( having read past comments) that rotting may occur in time but as this is my first attempt I felt that if/when I need to renew I could always improve next time!
I didn’t want to raise the line up above ground level as I felt this would interfere with the garden ( and risk the wrath of the boss).
Grateful for any thoughts?
If you're laying track at ground level, why use boards? Excavate to a firm bottom - likely not very deep at all - and either lay on lightweight blocks to bring back up to level or of the trench is shallow, on 6mm stones, and you're on the way.

You can use a filcris stake at intervals to fix and locate the track, but that's all you need.

Keep it simple >:)>:)>:)
 

Paul M

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25 Oct 2016
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and using ready made filcris curves.
Filcris curves are extremely expensive. I've used short sections of straight round the bends with a small expansion gap between them.
 
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justme igor

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For ground level what i am intend to do is use or pvc foam board 6mm or the green fencing wood.
I intend to level the ground and put pvc pipes flat on the ground on top of that the green fencing wood, Cheap see thru plastic (50 cent a m2) over it and put some dirt on the sides.
It will stay dry underneath it, and super level.
There will also be pieces layed on bricks and on concrete slabs/concrete lintt or limestone/sandstone for gardening.
Ideal for when you want to change in the course of years.
Better than bricks in my option(35+ construction work)

20210313_080251.jpg
This is a example picture not the end product! just to give an idea.
Needles to say instead screwing on the wood it will be screwed into the pvc tube that will be cut to size.

20210313_080009.jpg
Legenda:
1 ground level
2 pvc pipe 50mm/2inch diamenter.
3 greenish fencing wood/could be bankirai(dont say the price to the misses!)
4 cheap see thru construction plastic
5 your tracks.
? ???

Instead 2 3 and 4 concrete slabs or lime stone or concrete lint(1 to 4.5 euro a m1).
Instead 3 you can use pvc foam board, reinforce this board with wood in the length because it is a pretty weak material.
Skip or dont skip the pvc tubes, it depend how good you are at handling the hoe.


To fix your track you can use some putty on every connection.
When you want to alter just use a Stanley knives to cut between the sleeper and the material you where fixating it on.
Saves drilling or use normal screws.

The ballasting i use is vermiculite stuff (chimney stuff) mixed with plain cement 30 euro's of stuff is good for ????200-300???meters.
In the picture you see wood (azobe) sleepers for now, but it will be all abs.
The azobe sleepers will last for (estemend)15 years in this setup in our weather.

My two cents i hope this will give you some food for thought.
My way is not mandatory but one of the many ways that leads to Rome.

With best regards Igor
 
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dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
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(Draws in breath).... ok here goes - I am laying track on decking boards covered in shed roofing felt for straight sections and using ready made filcris curves. With weed fabric and gravel underneath, and 18” stakes at intervals hammered in to ground level and fixed to the decking boards.
I appreciate ( having read past comments) that rotting may occur in time but as this is my first attempt I felt that if/when I need to renew I could always improve next time!
I didn’t want to raise the line up above ground level as I felt this would interfere with the garden ( and risk the wrath of the boss).
Grateful for any thoughts?
I can understand wish to not upset SWMBO. However a raised line can be made to look well. Have a look at this picture of Pecorama.
FFC2D42C-8C98-4505-ADFA-D504F6BD7C1B.jpeg
Do not dwell on the Brickwork and Wood fronts too much, look at the planting in front particularly at the rear. Lonicera Ntilda and Honysuckle can both make a nice front to a raised Garden Railway loosing that ability of wood rotting when at ground level.

Having said that you have made some good progress, for extensions if you continue using your current methods I would suggest with Decking, Black Builders Plastic beneath the boards and a thin layer of Gravel to assist drainage would both keep weeds and dampness at bay.

Be worth while to spray water on the plastic to see where it puddles then pierce it with a knife so that it will drain naturally before putting on the gravel. That way front and rear planting should be able to grow pretty well right up to the track base without worries.

Oh and also make sure that the roofing felt is just a tad lower than the decking so that water drips off below rather than creeping under the felt by capillary action.

Good luck with your build and can we have some pictures please?
 

Fishplate

Registered
5 Mar 2021
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York uk
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I can understand wish to not upset SWMBO. However a raised line can be made to look well. Have a look at this picture of Pecorama.
View attachment 282181
Do not dwell on the Brickwork and Wood fronts too much, look at the planting in front particularly at the rear. Lonicera Ntilda and Honysuckle can both make a nice front to a raised Garden Railway loosing that ability of wood rotting when at ground level.

Having said that you have made some good progress, for extensions if you continue using your current methods I would suggest with Decking, Black Builders Plastic beneath the boards and a thin layer of Gravel to assist drainage would both keep weeds and dampness at bay.

Be worth while to spray water on the plastic to see where it puddles then pierce it with a knife so that it will drain naturally before putting on the gravel. That way front and rear planting should be able to grow pretty well right up to the track base without worries.

Oh and also make sure that the roofing felt is just a tad lower than the decking so that water drips off below rather than creeping under the felt by capillary action.

Good luck with your build and can we have some pictures please?
Wow. That’s impressive....puts my simple circuit of track to shame. Something to think about for version 2...