Cable trays and trackbed support

Alec K

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
95
The Vale of the Avon
I'm planning ahead for the day when the CLR breaks out of the back of the garage to make a loop for continuous running in the garden. I was kindly given a length of perforated metal cable tray with which to construct a removable bridge across the doorway inside the garage and I seem to recall that I have seen this used on GSC/GSM as a means of creating a raised trackbed outside as well.

The advantages seem to me at least that the cable tray I have is galvanised, and would not retain rainwater and is obviously not going to rot. The disadvantage is that it looks murderous to cut. Has anyone here ever used this material in this way, and what advice could they offer from their own practical experience, please?
My first assumption is that it is supported by wooden T pieces fixed to 4X4 fence posts - but any photographs of an actual installation would be appreciated.
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
32,566
291
Cambridgeshire
www.gscalecentral.net
It's possible to cut it with a hacksaw, but I would use an angle grinder myself....
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
25,375
603
North West Norfolk
I'm planning ahead for the day when the CLR breaks out of the back of the garage to make a loop for continuous running in the garden. I was kindly given a length of perforated metal cable tray with which to construct a removable bridge across the doorway inside the garage and I seem to recall that I have seen this used on GSC/GSM as a means of creating a raised trackbed outside as well.

The advantages seem to me at least that the cable tray I have is galvanised, and would not retain rainwater and is obviously not going to rot. The disadvantage is that it looks murderous to cut. Has anyone here ever used this material in this way, and what advice could they offer from their own practical experience, please?
My first assumption is that it is supported by wooden T pieces fixed to 4X4 fence posts - but any photographs of an actual installation would be appreciated.
While it is indeed galvanised, it is not intended for external use. It will, however, last a good few years.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
23,640
536
Tamworth, Staffs.
'Paint' any cut ends.. - 'Aluminium' spray is not a bad match.
Large hacksaw..
Angle grinder..
Chop-saw (with suitable blade!

If using power-tools, Do wear goggles.. File any burrs off cut-ends.
 
Alec K

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
95
The Vale of the Avon
While it is indeed galvanised, it is not intended for external use. It will, however, last a good few years.
Thank you - that's a fair summary of my present state and the cable tray and I will be well matched.
(Edit - except, of course, that I am not yet galvanised).
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,274
266
56
Royston
You can get tray that is suitable for outside use, in fact I think most of it is. If you use a hacksaw to cut it, get a fine toothed blade, it won't snag so much or put the blade in backwards
 
Tanker man

Tanker man

G scale and 5 inch ride on
10 Jun 2015
290
49
Oxford
I have used this tray quite a lot, you may have seen my suspension bridge, David1226 has put several photos on here, of my bridges.
You can get galvanised spray, which can be sprayed on to the cut ends, I usually use a jig saw with a metal blade, makes a lot of noise but works well, it paints well, I have left mine 'open' at the bottom but you could use garden membrane and then ballast the track, the water will just drain through.
If you need a hinged section for access, use a 'ladder hinge' I re use old pasting table hinges, rather than cutting the track straight at the hinge, I have the cut 'point' is in the direction of travel, this keeps the track in line and avoids derailing problems.
I can try and take pictures and post them in the next few days, if this would help.
Dave
 
Alec K

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
95
The Vale of the Avon
I have used this tray quite a lot, you may have seen my suspension bridge, David1226 has put several photos on here, of my bridges.
You can get galvanised spray, which can be sprayed on to the cut ends, I usually use a jig saw with a metal blade, makes a lot of noise but works well, it paints well, I have left mine 'open' at the bottom but you could use garden membrane and then ballast the track, the water will just drain through.
If you need a hinged section for access, use a 'ladder hinge' I re use old pasting table hinges, rather than cutting the track straight at the hinge, I have the cut 'point' is in the direction of travel, this keeps the track in line and avoids derailing problems.
I can try and take pictures and post them in the next few days, if this would help.
Dave
Dave and Paul, thank you - this is exactly the advice I need, especially in relation to the cutting of the tray. I have both a hacksaw and a jigsaw and the first attempt will be needed to cut a section for the removable bridge across the access door into the former garage. In fact, I've just come in from there having set out a trial curve.

Dave, a picture or two would be very helpful, thanks. I'm trying to decide whether to make the bridge inside entirely removable or hinged, so a working example like yours would be good.
 
GAP

GAP

G Scale trains, Lawn Bowls.
14 Jun 2011
2,469
25
65
Bundaberg Queensland, Australia
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,274
266
56
Royston
Out of interest, how are you going to form the bends? Getting pre-formed sections is possible, but extremely expensive
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,025
458
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
My take on this is that whilst it would be extremely durable, the Silver Colour would grate somewhat in a Garden Environment. I have in the past sprayed many things starting with Halfords Grey Undercoat and then a suitable colour. This may well work ok for this stuff with perhaps a finish in a suitable Grassy Green. What do you other experts think?
 
Tanker man

Tanker man

G scale and 5 inch ride on
10 Jun 2015
290
49
Oxford
The tray soon dulls down outside to a Matt grey, I painted Matt black under the track and the sides paint with gloss to look like a bridge, There are many bridges in the 'real world' that look like meccanno bridges.
I have used the tray to make curves, cut at an angle then pop riveted together, as I said, I will try to post pictures later
Dave
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
23,640
536
Tamworth, Staffs.
Cut a 'V' section out (leave a 'tab' for riveting / nut and bolt) and bend the remaining side. Works quite well. Liberally spray with 'cold galvanising / aluminium spray..

If you want to paint it, either wait for it to dull-down, or use an etch primer, else your paint will flake.

Oh, and forming curves can be quite time-consuming..


For support:
You can set threaded rods into concrete, or even into a wooden post. Then for a single track, 'penny-washers' with a nut either side (allows adjustment). - You need two rods, towards the outside of the 'tray, else the nuts foul the four-foot.
Or if you want a single rod (make it a thicker one) then use Unistrut at the top of the rod (still adjustable). with the correct fittings to secure the tray.
 
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
20,644
415
70
Co. Mayo
May I say this about new galvanised materials - a product called T Wash can be used to act as a mordant on the galv. I have used it to neutralise galvanised corrugated and, in another life as a purchasing officer, used to buy galvanised lamp columns T washed before delivery.

It is one way to make the paint stay on. Otherwise, allow two years weathering.
 
Alec K

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
95
The Vale of the Avon
Out of interest, how are you going to form the bends? Getting pre-formed sections is possible, but extremely expensive
I'm considering that very issue. I suspect the 50p piece approach may be the outcome.
 
Alec K

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
95
The Vale of the Avon
The tray soon dulls down outside to a Matt grey, I painted Matt black under the track and the sides paint with gloss to look like a bridge, There are many bridges in the 'real world' that look like meccanno bridges.
I have used the tray to make curves, cut at an angle then pop riveted together, as I said, I will try to post pictures later
Dave
Thank you, Dave, I wish I'd read your reply before systematically working down the list of comments. I thought someone must have addressed the issue! And not much wrong with Meccano bridges, either - the WW2 Bailey Bridge was designed from a Meccano heritage, as I understand it.
 
Alec K

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
95
The Vale of the Avon
Cut a 'V' section out (leave a 'tab' for riveting / nut and bolt) and bend the remaining side. Works quite well. Liberally spray with 'cold galvanising / aluminium spray..

If you want to paint it, either wait for it to dull-down, or use an etch primer, else your paint will flake.

Oh, and forming curves can be quite time-consuming..


For support:
You can set threaded rods into concrete, or even into a wooden post. Then for a single track, 'penny-washers' with a nut either side (allows adjustment). - You need two rods, towards the outside of the 'tray, else the nuts foul the four-foot.
Or if you want a single rod (make it a thicker one) then use Unistrut at the top of the rod (still adjustable). with the correct fittings to secure the tray.
Thanks, Phil, the wooden post option is the preferred one here. The CLR MkI used them to good effect.
 
Alec K

Alec K

Registered
25 Oct 2009
1,192
95
The Vale of the Avon
May I say this about new galvanised materials - a product called T Wash can be used to act as a mordant on the galv. I have used it to neutralise galvanised corrugated and, in another life as a purchasing officer, used to buy galvanised lamp columns T washed before delivery.

It is one way to make the paint stay on. Otherwise, allow two years weathering.
Very helpful, thank you!
 
  • Like
Reactions: trammayo