Removing winter debris

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chiloquinruss
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Removing winter debris

Post by chiloquinruss » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:27 am

For the Train Mountain regulars we all know all about trying to clear 37 miles of track from our accumulation of winter debris. Our railroad winds through 2,200 acres of pine trees. This of course means pine needles, pine cones, etc. We have struggled with many ideas for getting the park open for the season. In the latest scheme we are experimenting with a new device. A Peco TL-10 vacuum system. Russ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bx5Ps1vh8g

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:42 am

I bought a lawn sweeper recently. It will do a number on pine cones, much faster than the device in the video. You drag it behind a mower or tractor. They run around $275.

The only video I could find was a push model. Not sure how you get a woman to propel it.

Last edited by SteveHGraham on Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mikeehlert
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by mikeehlert » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:51 am

wow, way better that a rake and pitch fork.

jeffsmith
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by jeffsmith » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:22 am

Sounds like it sucks up more ballast than pine cones.

rkcarguy
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:52 am

I think you guys would be a custom vacuum "scoop" away from having something you could mount on the front of that rolling stock and run it slowly along. Then the hose could be disconnected to vacuum up the odd area's between the tracks, etc. What you got there is great, but for 37 miles of track looks like it's going to take a long time.

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:35 pm

chiloquinruss wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:27 am
For the Train Mountain regulars we all know all about trying to clear 37 miles of track from our accumulation of winter debris. Our railroad winds through 2,200 acres of pine trees. This of course means pine needles, pine cones, etc. We have struggled with many ideas for getting the park open for the season. In the latest scheme we are experimenting with a new device. A Peco TL-10 vacuum system. Russ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bx5Ps1vh8g
That thing really...er...sucks! :D Much better than raking and piling. Does it try to suck up the ballast along with the pine cones and needles?
Science makes it known. Engineering makes it work.

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chiloquinruss
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by chiloquinruss » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:15 pm

The noise is NOT ballast it's the pine cones being pulverized! The sweepers work great on our lawn areas, we have several of those, but not on the railroad. This is just the very first test of this machine, we will make it more and more railroad friendly as we find out what it can and cannot do! It is compressing the debris at a rate of about 6 to 1, so what used to be 6 pine needle cars full is now in 1. This does not eliminate all of the raking. We have a sweeper that clears the rails to just past the end of the ties. We still need to rake the ditches up onto the ballast. Then the machine can clean the wind rows at just about walking speed. In the demo video there had been no raking so that was the reason for the sweeping action. In another week or two I should have another video to post. Thanks for the comments and the interest. I know those of you that take care of your own clubs would be interested. Russ

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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by jcbrock » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:12 pm

I was able to spend several days this week with the big sucker. Several have asked about ballast, and I would say that was the thing that most surprised me. You have to really try if you want to suck up the ballast - it'll do it if you ground the vacuum into the rock, but that is easy to avoid. I was surprised at its ability to get the pine debris without picking up rock. The key is it has a large volume airflow at low velocity - think woodworking dust collector. Russ has made some hose management improvements that really worked well too, hopefully he'll post pictures.
John Brock

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chiloquinruss
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by chiloquinruss » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:47 pm

I think Tom is working up another video that shows some of the experimentation we've done so far. It's working but we are still in the early days of using it so it's a learning curve. The cool part is the compaction of the debris. Works out to be about 6 to 1. What use to take 6 pine needles cars using rake and pitchfork now compacts into a single pine needle box. Russ

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ccvstmr
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by ccvstmr » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:56 am

chiloquinruss wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:27 am
For the Train Mountain regulars we all know all about trying to clear 37 miles of track from our accumulation of winter debris. Our railroad winds through 2,200 acres of pine trees. This of course means pine needles, pine cones, etc. Russ
37 miles of RR? Think you're going to need bigger or need more of those pine cone/needle waste hoppers.

Even with a 6 to 1 compaction of the waste, there's a lot of ground to cover. The fact that the blower impeller is chopping the waste reduces dead space in your waste hoppers. Noticed there was a screen cover on top of the hopper to let the air out. The "goes out" needs to be equal or exceed the "goes in". Compaction will be important whether you're dealing with pine tree waste or even leaves.

Am surprised someone (or a gang) of people will have to walk the 37 miles of track to clean the right of way by hand. Ever think of having someone build pick up nozzles? Something that might be swung side to side? Will still take multiple passes to clear an entire right of way. Suction nozzles? Need to be sure the cross sectional area of the nozzle is about equal to the hose. Too large, and the air velocity drops and might not pick up the waste. Too small, and the nozzle might clog.

Looks like you've got a good start there. Now, to try and eliminate the manual labor needed that does the leg work. Carl B.
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chiloquinruss
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by chiloquinruss » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:55 am

Ever think of having someone build pick up nozzles?
Looks like you've got a good start there


This is certainly a work in progress. We are excited about where this is headed but it still is a learning curve. We may end up getting an additional unit and mount to one of our Gators for yard work and road work. As stated in a previous post we have made some design 'additions' so as soon as the pix show up I'll post them. The neat part we have enjoyed so far is when you finish clearing an area it is done and looks great. Thanks for all the comments and interest, we really appreciate it. Russ

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chiloquinruss
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Re: Removing winter debris

Post by chiloquinruss » Thu May 03, 2018 7:11 pm

Versions 3.1 and 3.2 of 'da' beast! 3.2 added a swing arm and support for the middle of the hose. The beast can do both sides of the double track portions of the railroad. Russ
Attachments
TL-10 v 3.1.JPG
TL-10 v 3.1.JPG (36.22 KiB) Viewed 973 times
TL-10 v 3.2.JPG

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