Track making/making tracks: the good, the bad and the ugly, advice and thoughts wanted, explanation is giving(incl mistakes)

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Paradise

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dunnyrail

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Check out this detailed thread at LSC forum of what Staver Locomotive have done making their own track and turnouts with flat steel in wooden ties/sleepers.
A part of their huge live steam layout is outside. They treated the outside rails with something. It is mentioned in the thread. Some amazing work.

Large Scale Central - Advanced Forum Detail Topic - Big changes at Staver Locomotive for Spring Steamup

StaverLocomotive.com


That is one serious layout and the track is superb. Just shows that with even largish section metal good track laying to large curves will always look good. Would like to see some views of the outside section.
 
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That is one serious layout and the track is superb. Just shows that with even largish section metal good track laying to large curves will always look good. Would like to see some views of the outside section.
Dunnyrail. Try this link. There are several videos from different people with outside shots.
staver locomotive - YouTube
 
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Greg Elmassian

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The coating on the rails is an oil-based anti-rust spray coating. They used steel for the rails for the rusted look, and apparently were concerned about wear and loco weight on aluminum.

(In reality, aluminum work hardens just fine, but it also will oxidize and corrode, so for their location in the San Francisco bay area, the steel was a better choice).

They also welded their switches (no track power possible) so it was easier with steel than aluminum (aluminum takes more technique)

Greg
 
justme igor

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That is not a railway....that is art! Thank you for sharing.
This is exactly what i have in mind, want, trying to build and was looking for, yes tissue was needed :cool:
Really: i take my hat off for this kind off work.

The wooden sleepers are soaked into regular wood stain for a couple of hours, just what i wanted to do, but i will skip the vacuum part.
For out of site track i will stick with foam pvc.
How nice and good the steel strips are looking, i will stick to aluminium, it is 4 times cheaper.
Sadly i can not drive that much as they do, so i am not really afraid for wear, plus alu work hardens.
My thoughts on how to make the frogs production wise: i stick to casting, i already ordered aluminium to make some molds.
2 mm cutting-width saw blade has arrived yesterday. that one will get a special place.(i know myself)
For connecting the tracks in between(perfect idea! love it!) i will dig out my tig/mag machine and order some alu soldering rods to give it a try.

Pre bend the curves, that is also a very good idea, a jig with rollers and some bearing is easy to make.
I am going to search for more of them, let see what more tricks they want to reveal and hope to find some close ups on details on there turn outs.

Yes, the weight of a live steamer, never give that a thought.....I need to experiment on this, my thoughts:
Create a circle 3 meter/3.3 yard radius and put a loco plus a wagon with 10 kilo/20 pound of lead on it, on 4 wheels?

Thanks to you all: for your answers, ideas, thoughts and comments, keep on bringing them, please.
Probably i will have some trackwork in the garden before end of this year!
 
Greg Elmassian

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The steel needs a serious bender, your aluminum can be hand bent, just curving the ends of the strips will be needed.

Design your "rail clamps", then bolt 2 strips together, and then bend "through" the joint will be better.

Greg
 
tac foley

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The coating on the rails is an oil-based anti-rust spray coating. They used steel for the rails for the rusted look, and apparently were concerned about wear and loco weight on aluminum.

(In reality, aluminum work hardens just fine, but it also will oxidize and corrode, so for their location in the San Francisco bay area, the steel was a better choice).

They also welded their switches (no track power possible) so it was easier with steel than aluminum (aluminum takes more technique)

Greg
Last time I went to Staver in was located in a former factory building in North West Portland, Oregon. Admittedly it get more than its share of damp there, the PNW being a sub-tropical rain forest, but it ain't no SFBA.
 
Greg Elmassian

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Sorry, mixed it up TAC thanks for the correction. The reasoning for steel was ease of fabrication, strength, and apparently they like the prototypical rusted look.

I was surprised, since it's clear that the rail is not of prototype cross section, but I think in the long run they have accomplished what they wanted to do, and it's more about running trains not prototypical appearance.

I'll try to find the chemical they spread on the rails.

Greg
 
tac foley

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Bonjela- Greg - here is the answer for you. My dear old pal Mr K Brunt of PA and Jason V dug up the original post off largescalecentral for me...and for anybody else who would like to see what goes into making what is probably the largest permanent G1 layout on the planet - Large Scale Central - Advanced Forum Detail Topic - Big changes at Staver Locomotive for Spring Steamup

Hi Greg:
As Dan wrote, you are mostly correct.

The rails do rust,and there is some added friction for long trains. As of now we usually do a light sanding of the rails before each event and the friction is decreased significantly.

When we build the extended outdoor division, it will be impractical to sand the entire track footage, and of course turnouts could be a problem with corrosion. We are experimenting
with a biodegradable product called "Fluid Film", this product is used extensively in the marine industry to protect chains, cables, and hardware.
So far I have sprayed some on a
turnout located on a short run we built outdoors and the results have been excellent. One treatment 2 months ago and the weather has only created a little surface rust. So our thought
would be to run a sprayer equipped train once a month or so outdoors.


Hope this clears it up for you!

...and whinemeal, for those of you who don't get over to NW Oregon that often, here is what you are missing out on...................................in the Winter last year,


and in the Spring, with outdoor shots......


Besp

tac

PS - No wonder there were no GN boxcars over here when I wanted them - that guy has fifty-five of them himself................... :( And BTW, the Great Northern Mallet locomotive hauling all those cars was a scratchbuilt conversion on an Aster Challenger - a very brave and expensive way of getting what you want.
 
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justme igor

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Small update on what i was doing.
With the inspiration of Stavers, i made some turn outs, with the help of templot2, marveles program! there is a big learning curve, but i will get the hang of it.
The frog casting was a moderate success, however one mold would be for one turn out model.
The alloy i used was off my bhn scale: bigger than 50 bhn, with no water drop or heat treatment, after air cure i think a end bhn of 65-70!
Harder than alu.
20200510_115440.jpg

Melting alloy

20200510_115433.jpg

20200510_122041.jpg

20200511_095107.jpg


So....Casting worked, but not for the whole idea.
With templot i printed a turnout and start to make a mold for the turn out:
The first one was not a success, i used the parts for the second one, no need to be educated: it was no success either.
Third one is in the mold, i spend some more time with the tongs, to make them shift track.

IMG-20200509-WA0003.jpeg

I tried first with aluminium strips 5x7mm, they broke, wood was very good
IMG-20200510-WA0000.jpeg

IMG-20200512-WA0006.jpeg


I did not make a lot of pictures, but i think the idea is clear.
I made several jigs to easy up the work on the sleepers/ties for the turnouts, crossings, strait, ect.

The third turnout has modification tongs:
20200514_113441.jpg

20200514_113412.jpg

20200514_113304.jpg

20200514_113051.jpg

I think i will go with that one. The tongs need to be a little higher, that will come with the mechanics involved.

20200513_073957.jpg

Scrambled up all the pictures...above pic is the second turnout, with the materials from the first turnout.
I am no camara hero, just took the pictures with my phone.

So that was i was up to the last couple of days, in a hasty pase, work is demanding a lot of time in the moment, sorry for the chaotic mess and a not clear line in the story.

Things need to be changed and improved: sharp new fresh sawblades at 2.0mm for the tablesaw and the cutter saw for this purpose.
Work with the putty above 15C!
I think i figured out the clearance between the rail and the safety rail(frog included) 4mm.
Wood (fresh oak was used, fir i only got that in trees's for firewood, i dont like the grain but i will try)needs a protective layer: woodstain.

Any thought idea hint tip or trick is as always welcome.
 

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justme igor

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Is there a possibility to change the name of this topic from wooden tracks to: track/railway making?
 
tac foley

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Sure, YOU change it. It's YOUR thread. :)
 
tac foley

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Some English-speakers here are not 'just' English-speakers.

Just sayin'.
 
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PhilP

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tac foley

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Bien certainement! Ek vra om verskoning, ek praat geen Nederlands nie, maar ek praat baie Afrikaans. :(
 
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P

Paradise

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I'm not sure what Stavers do when using flat rail but it might help matters to make a very small pocket in the stock rail for the point tips to tuck into.
Closely study some brand name 45mm gauge points/switches with conventional rail profile to see how they are ground to tuck under the rail head sometimes with a slight pocket for the rail head tip of the points.
I would at least experiment with that so there is less chance of the flange butting into the point if it is not perfectly flush against the stock rail.

 
Greg Elmassian

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Normally, the undercut is to offset the varying "thickness" of the rail at the rail head, web and foot.

Since you are using flat rail, those problems do not occur.

Making a pocket means making a notch effectively in the rail head. I don't recommend that...

Greg
 
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Paradise

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Normally, the undercut is to offset the varying "thickness" of the rail at the rail head, web and foot.
Since you are using flat rail, those problems do not occur.
Making a pocket means making a notch effectively in the rail head. I don't recommend that...
Greg
I tend to agree with you Greg. Some makers do it though so worth considering/experimenting at least while the OP is at it.
In a perfect world it would not be considered. A pocket interrupts the smooth running stock rail but it would only be very slight with edge smoothly shaped unlike the point sticking proud if not perfectly sharp and seated.
Another observation is that flat rail is rolled so there is a slight chamfer/fillet to the rail which will cause the top of the point to taper down as on conventional rail which has nothing to do with the above but if a pocket was made it perhaps should be no more than that.
 
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