Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

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dash9
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Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby dash9 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:46 pm

Being new to ride on trains, I got a Dash 9 that was built by MCC used. It came with 1500 ft of track and 5 cars all riding cars except the caboose, You can ride on that to so they say. Looked all over the internet on how to build switches (turnout's) and on you tube, could not find anything helpful. Tried to get the paint codes from MCC (now Titan trains) that went no where. The engine and cars have scratches on them all the cars are MCC too. If your going to lets say paint a Caboose should you use a airbrush type gun or I think a big car sprayer would be too big? Is there anything between them?
How do people bend the rail, I have all plastic ties from a company in Ohio they all came with it.
None of the track pieces have the left and right rails equal on the ties, one sticks out and one is short on both sides (if that makes any sense. Thanks.

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ccvstmr
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby ccvstmr » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:22 pm

Greetings Dash9...welcome to the world of large scale model railroading. While there's great satisfaction in building your own RR...you might first see if there are any clubs nearby that you can visit, observe, ask questions and gain information. Not sure if you're located in Eastern PA where 1.5"/1.6" scale railroads use 7.25" rail gauge...or elsewhere in the state where the gauge is 7.5". Won't get into this...there's plenty of info and posts regarding the rail gauge on Chaski.

Okay, I'll take a crack at your questions. Think I'll start at the bottom and work up.
1) rail end stagger. When I built/installed track, I aimed for a minimum 16" rail end stagger. This is done mostly to avoid track kinks. One rail helps align the other rail where the joint is located. Turnouts were designed to maintain this stagger at all three connection points.
2) bending rail...if you're going to have track radii less than, say, 65 feet...yes, you should consider rolling your rails. Here again, there should be info on Chaski, Youtube, internet, about rail rollers. The most critical element of rolling rails...is to TRY and roll the radius all the way to the end of the rail...or as close to the rail end as possible. At the heart of this operation, you're trying to "teach" the rail to hold a curve.
3) painting...car sprayers work fine. So do rattle/spray cans if you don't lay the spray down too thick and cause runs (can happen with large sprayers too). An air brush...will work, as long as you have LOTS of time. I'd say the spray mist from an air brush is too fine.
4) turnouts...wrote an e-article for my own club website several years ago that I approved posting on Discover Live Steam. The article was not so much HOW TO DESIGN a turnout...as it was the steps my club took to ASSEMBLE the turnout. Here again, if you can visit a club...that would be a good place to start. You can measure the rail lengths. But you first have to know the radius of the diverging route...and/or...what size switch frog you're looking for. Commercially available frogs are typically in the #6, #8 and #11 (depends on the supplier). After that, you'll have to decide what kind of switch points you want...there's easy-er ways to machine points...and more involved ways to machine the points.

One thing you should before getting into the track building business for yourself...it's a love of labor. When completed...if you designed the track structure right...you'll have a nice, smooth RR to enjoy. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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makinsmoke
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby makinsmoke » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:37 pm

Railroad Supply Corporation published and sold a book that answers lots
of your questions.

I do not know if they still sell it or if someone else is, but I'd try to find a copy.

By all means visit a club no matter how far the drive. The education factor will
more than pay for any transportation costs.

There is no need to learn much of what you are asking. Decades of experience
is out there for the asking.

Paint. With proper prep and taping and masking techniques spray can painting
is perfectly acceptable. Find the colors you want and practice a lot before painting
what counts.

Take care,
Brian

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby BigDumbDinosaur » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:17 am

ccvstmr wrote:Greetings Dash9...3) painting...car sprayers work fine. So do rattle/spray cans if you don't lay the spray down too thick and cause runs (can happen with large sprayers too).

Speaking of painting with spray cans, this gadget can be quite handy. I have one that is always attached to a can of primer.
Science makes it known. Engineering makes it work.

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Gary Armitstead
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby Gary Armitstead » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:27 am

Dash9,

I have a very short point to point 7.5 inch gauge track set-up at my home. I use it mainly for testing rolling stock and engines I build. I also used the Acutie plastic ties (Enterprise Plastics in Ohio) and code 1000 West Coast aluminum rail. I bend my rail using a rail bender made by Eaton Custom Engineering in Washington. I have some track that I bent down to a 25 ft. radius.....very easy to do with this bender. Costs about $230....well worth the money.

https://sites.google.com/site/eatoncust ... rack-tools

I have been using "rattle can" spray paint for my rolling stock and engines for the past forty years.
Gary Armitstead
Burbank, CA
Member LALS since 1980
Member Goleta Valley Railroad Club 1980-1993

dash9
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby dash9 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:59 am

Thanks for all the information. As for track radius. I called the titan train company again and the guy said min 35' radius.
I do have a lot of land to put the track on 30 acres. Probably 15 acres of it is super flat and you would never have any grade. What is the maximum grade a train can pull. I did order from discover Live steam .com
1/8 scale drawings for Live Steam/ Diesel Model Makers vol 1-2-3 that came in and not really the information I was expecting.
I ordered a book from Laurence Johnson Build a 7-1/2" Gauge Railroad in your Backyard, it is all steel groovy track.
I sent an e-mail to Eaton Custom Engineering in Washington this morning to see if he had any of the benders in stock.

I went down to the PA live steamers club south of Reading , Pa a few years back, the guy there pretty much said if your not a member hit the pike. so after about 3 minutes I left. Measuring that track i have it is west coast rail. Can you mix the rail?
say with west coast and I see a code 141 rail that looks like real rail. Thank again it going to be a learning curve.

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ccvstmr
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby ccvstmr » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:44 am

Hello again Dash9...

With regards to that live steam club visit...go back and find someone else to talk to. Shame on that person for the cold shoulder. What a great way to get people interested in the hobby...NOT! Surely there's someone out there that is willing to spend time with you. In short...don't take NO for an answer! Hopefully, that kind of reception is the exception instead of the norm.

Mixing rail...not a problem. Would be better if the rail sizes were close. Worst case, might have to make some "transition rail joiners" to maintain alignment on the head and gauge side of the rail. Better yet, if you have a TIG welder or know someone that TIG welds...make up your own welded transition rail sections. After welding, will probably have to do some hand filing on the rail head and gauge side of the rails. Try to minimize the number of times you have to do this. I'll add...try to avoid a welded transition joint in a curve.

Curvature...bigger is better...but bigger radius takes more rail, ties, track and land. Sounds like you've got plenty of space. But that Dash 9 loco will look and probably "track" better on larger radius curves. Turnouts in particular. Here again, if you can find a receptive club, take your loco and see how it performs on their track. What is their minimum radius curve? If you don't have a loco lifter...something to help get that beast back on the rails...get one or make one. They're not difficult to build. Can get most of what you need a good hardware store.

Think the best you can do now is...get out and see other tracks. Public, private or otherwise. Information is power! Get as much info as you can BEFORE you start clearing ground for your right of way and putting track down. You'll find there's a certain level of thinking that goes into EVERY facet of track design, fabrication and installation. And when you're done, you'll have something to be proud of.

Keep us posted of your progress. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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NP317
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby NP317 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:04 am

Welcome to an extraordinary hobby, Dash9.

I second CarlB's comments about your "cold reception" during the visit to the club. That person is the exception, and gave you the worst reception possible. SHAME on them, indeed.
Go visit again and find anyone else.
And find the original person and tell them they lost a $10K donation because he was an a$$...

Keep smiling and persevere. The rewards are worth the effort.
RN

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Builder01
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby Builder01 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:08 am

So sorry to hear you weren't treated right at the PA live steamers. I am a proponent of clubs, and what happened to you is wrong. This is usually not the case for most guys at most clubs including the PA live steamers. But, there are, well, frankly "old farts" that are tired, of what they think are just "time wasters". These guys have talked to a million folks that are just tire kickers. Clearly, you are not. The guys that are truly excited about live steam, or, just miniature trains in general, can not stop talking about it and they will talk to you! These are the guys you need to find. You will have to sort out and just ignore the old farts until you find the guys that are still excited to talk about miniature railroads. These clubs need potential new members. They need to tell you the benefit of being a member, and not just an address where you can send your dues money!

David

rrnut-2
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby rrnut-2 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:16 pm

Railroad Supply Corporation published and sold a book that answers lots
of your questions.

I do not know if they still sell it or if someone else is, but I'd try to find a copy.


Yes, Mike still sells it. Call him after 6pm in the evening. That book has a lot of usefull information.
Phone number is on their website.

Jim B

rkcarguy
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby rkcarguy » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:09 pm

That's a lot of track and a nice loco/rolling stock package, looking forward to seeing some pictures.

dash9
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Re: Lots of questions on 7 1/2" gauge railroad

Postby dash9 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:15 pm

Spoke to Mike at Railroad Supply this evening, Will get his book.
I took off the Engine cover and what a surprise. Most of the bolts on the main engine chassis were either loose or all together stripped out. Then I put the engine cover on a stand and looked inside. Not good to say the least. The welds were way worse that chewing gum welds. I did not want to tig weld it at this time, then I would have to totally repaint it. so did a quick fix with PC7. The weld across the whole top of the cab is broken. Should be better than nothing. This is going to be a real learning curve to really look at things before you buy them.
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