Mold casting your own track? with concrete?

-bbbb

-bbbb

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21 Dec 2017
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Idaho
#1
Has anybody tried mold casting their own track? I'm wondering how well some sort of cement or concrete track would work (in the world of battery powered trains of course). I imagine the roughness of concrete would be lessened with primer, paint, and sealant. Think pavers with track protrusions on top. Other castable materials are also of interest, the cheaper the better.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
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#2
I would have thought it quite possible, but a few issues having had a section of 3 yards of one of my lines rails buried in Concrete Tramway Line Style. After having moved from that House some 18 years ago I suspect that that bit of Track is still on site and usable with a clean of the grooves!

- The ride is somewhat rough.
- Dust will be an issue, though possibly not too much so with Battery.
- Possibility of broken outside bits (the running surface rail equivalent if you wish) may make the wheels somewhat bouncy.
- Crud getting into the groove.
- Points will be tricky.
- You would certainly need very fine Sand for the running surface which could negate any cost savings somewhat.

Still be interesting to see how you get on.
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

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#3
Surely you aren't casting the rails as well?

Just the track bed....
 
-bbbb

-bbbb

Registered
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#4
Surely you aren't casting the rails as well?
Just the track bed....
I'm not casting anything, just throwing the idea out there to see if I should even consider it. One option is to make the sleepers to take some sort of rail, but I'm also wondering about the feasibility of doing a one piece slab with rails and all. If the rails chip I imagine it would be easy to repair.
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

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#5
I'm not casting anything, just throwing the idea out there to see if I should even consider it. One option is to make the sleepers to take some sort of rail, but I'm also wondering about the feasibility of doing a one piece slab with rails and all. If the rails chip I imagine it would be easy to repair.
I've not seen it done in the real world if you are using steel wheels on a concrete rail, but there are systems that use rubber wheeled vehicles and concrete guide ways.

Paris Metro, and closer to me, the Cambridge (mis) Guided Busway....

cambridge guided busway - Bing images
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
#6
I'm not casting anything, just throwing the idea out there to see if I should even consider it. One option is to make the sleepers to take some sort of rail, but I'm also wondering about the feasibility of doing a one piece slab with rails and all. If the rails chip I imagine it would be easy to repair.
Hm I think that moulded Rail would need some reinforcement to be worthwhile, then on tha basis of smallness of section differences if materials would caous break-up if say Brass Wire were used or Concrete Cancer should Steel be used. Mad idea doomed to failure I believe.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

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27 Oct 2009
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#7
Hm I think that moulded Rail would need some reinforcement to be worthwhile, then on tha basis of smallness of section differences if materials would caous break-up if say Brass Wire were used or Concrete Cancer should Steel be used. Mad idea doomed to failure I believe.
If you're casting exposed metal into concrete then it will need to be non-ferrous :nod::nod:

It would also need some sort of lip / edge / tang to stop it sliding out. Stainless is an option, aluminium has been shown to have reasonable wear properties, so an unequal angle would do the trick, or good ole' brass rail.

The difficulty even with code 332 rail is that you are entirely reliant on the sand / cement laitence within the concrete mix for gripping the rail section - therefore you've got to make sure that the mix is well tamped around the metal section although you could insert a brass screw into the foot of he rail every so often :think:.

The drawback that I see is that once you have your concrete sections, you've got to lay them on something, and concrete is unforgiving, so the joints will be under greater stress.

Many of us rely on the inherent flexibility of plastic sleepered track to take out the minor undulations in the sub-base ;););)

'twould be an interesting experiment, but you need to have a pretty good idea of the civil engineering support to it before you start ....................... I think :nerd::nerd::nerd::nerd:
 
P

Paul M

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#8
If you successfully made them as paving blocks or slabs, it could also boon to small garden owners. Havingood your track as part of the path has got to be a winner.
 
a98087

a98087

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#9
It could be doable, but the rails would need to be a few cams wide to survive outdoor life.
They wouldn’t be scale width, or would need to be either square or rectangle cross section

Dan
 
ebay mike

ebay mike

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#10
Shame you live so far away - I've got a load of Tenmille track you could have cheap to save you the trouble of mixing concrete.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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#11
The hardness of the concrete would chip, and getting a smooth enough casting not to destroy wheels would take very expensive cement, and even then flex it and it would crack, so you would have to cast something as big as a paver.

If you want to cast something, resin would make sense since you talk about cost.

The cheapest track that I have seen that is worth it is scrap wood, with slots in it, and cheap aluminum strap like 1/8" by 1/2"...

Greg