just purchased i believe a 15 guage rehabed mtc

Discuss park gauge trains and large scale miniature railways having track gauges from 8" to 24" gauge and designed at scales of 2" to the foot or greater - whether modeled for personal use, or purpose built for amusement park operation or private railroading.

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Topics may include: antique park gauge train restoration, preservation, and history; building new grand scale equipment from scratch; large scale miniature railway construction, maintenance, and safe operation; fallen flags; track, gauge, and equipment standards; grand scale vendor offerings; and, compiling an on-line motive power roster.
STRR
Posts: 323
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 9:01 pm
Location: Westminster, CO

Re: just purchased i believe a 15 guage rehabed mtc

Post by STRR » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:51 pm

Stuart,

I'm not sure what you mean by; how many yards. There are not many hard and fast "rules" when it comes to track plan. While there are some very nice ideas, such as "S" curves, they may be harder to do than they're worth. It takes more horsepower to pull a train through a curve than on a straight. When you compound the curves, as in an "S" curve, you can really bog down a locomotive. Generally, you should have at least one full straight section between curves. In your case, 10' might be fine but it may be a little short. If you plan on a large sweeping loop, you can put a couple of straight sections between two curves. Obstacles, such as trees, fences, ticket stands, etc., need to be included in your track plan so you can keep the largest radii curves yet not exclude the features from your railroad.

Almost all landscape supply companies have crushed rock. Some with "mixes" such as 3/4 minus. If you can't get crushed washed, get the straight, screened, crushed. It's better to have straight crushed than have all the smaller (minus) "dirt" in the mix. This is specifically related to the best materials for the ties.

When you lay your track, many people will recommend using landscape fabric on the ground under the gravel. I believe, it's your choice. I have witnessed more dirt contamination of the ballast from the sky than I have from underneath. This is specifically Grand Scale not full size railroads.

Grand Scale is small enough to eliminate the "pumping" of the track. Full size railroad are very heavy and flex the track under the train. The ties are forced up and down or "pumped". Add a little moisture and you will get mud very quickly. Grand Scale rolling stock are too light to get any serious pumping if the track is laid on a decent bed of ballast and then infilled with more ballast to finish. Thus, I see some but not a whole lot of need for landscape fabric. Yes, it's a nice little extra but at how much expense.

Excavate your right of way to several inches below the surface. Make sure to remove all living materials like roots, sod, weeds, etc. Make sure to slope this sub grade away from your track bed. Fill with crushed gravel/rock and level. Lay your track on this. Then infill with more gravel between the ties. Now you can level the track side to side and grade it lengthwise. When done, the track should be a few to several inches above the original ground. This makes the water run down on to the original ground away from your track.

Ties. I sure understand the expense of buying new pressure treated 4 x 4s. I might suggest you keep an eye on Craig's list for your area. Specifically the FREE ads. Look for the free "large" pallets. These are often up to 8' long and the main supports are usually 4 x 4s. Break down the pallet for the 4 x 4s and the rest is firewood. If you don't burn, put an ad on Craig's list to get rid of it. You can sell it cheap or give it away for free. Pretty soon, you'll get the reputation for the large pallets and you will get calls to come and pick them up. Construction sites are also good sources of lumber. Be sure to establish a good rapport with the superintendent so he'll let you in. Make sure to get his permission to take what ever you want. Many sites have "Wood Only" dumpsters. Be VERY careful diving these as there are all sorts of hazards but usually worth it for the free lumber. Many times, the short stuff you're looking for is the stuff they throw away because it's too short for them to use economically. While all of this is NOT pressure treated, the price is right. You may or may not have a treatment plant in your area. I'm lucky to have a creosoting plant near by. I was planning on sending lumber to them for treatment after I cut it into tie length pieces.

Make sure to ask questions about things you do not understand. Also, please remember my post are JUST my advice. They are NOT the ONLY way and may not be the BEST way but they have worked for me and many of the Grand Scale railroaders I know. I have one requirement pertaining to the use of my advice: Take what you like and sounds good, Throw the rest away. I understand completely and will NOT be offended in any way. Not being there with you , Not know you, Not knowing your train and track, Not knowing your site, all make for circumstances where my advice may absolutely NOT work for you. One thing it will do: Broaden your horizons. You will know more than when you bought your train.

Good Luck,

STRR
Posts: 323
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 9:01 pm
Location: Westminster, CO

Re: just purchased i believe a 15 guage rehabed mtc

Post by STRR » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:00 pm

Stuart,

After rereading your post, for the fifth time (I'm a little slow sometimes), I figured out what your "yards" question was. Yards of gravel..

No there are no hard and fast rules about how much ballast is needed. In good hard, dry, ground, in moderate weather, the amount of gravel needed is much less than if you're building in wet grounds, shallow water table, lots of rain. Then you'll need much more. I would make an order for what you think you'll need to get started. Lay some track and see how far your order went. Then you'll have a good idea of how much you're using and will need to finish. If you don't use it all, that's OK. Next year, you need to level and align the track again. That will use up some more gravel. Not a lot but some. Keeping the ballast (gravel) level with the tops of the ties is important, it makes it easier to walk on and over. You don't want anyone twisting an ankle or knee on your track.

stuartpoage
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:02 pm

Re: just purchased i believe a 15 guage rehabed mtc

Post by stuartpoage » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:14 pm

I was grading thge site for a few hours today and decided to take a break and take 2 tracks and lay out without any ties to see how the trucks respond to a mild curve they bdid not like it at all the two peices were equally bent and am thinking that this is not how track would be layed would the inside be tighter than the outside mind you this is 15 inch trucks i did not have a tape measure with me however I let the truck spread thge rail . Once it came to the bend it quickly jumped off.maybe a spacing issue oR maybe tooi tight of a bend any thoughts?

stuartpoage
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:02 pm

Re: just purchased i believe a 15 guage rehabed mtc

Post by stuartpoage » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:19 pm

Also some of the wheels have some small chips on them I know at one point Glen talked about pressing new wheels on is this instead of turning new wheels because this would be cheeper.? seems like I have seen wheels on some sight that were not too expensive. I know my son could turn new wheels however im sure there is more to this than meets the eye again any thoughts

Glenn Brooks
Posts: 1070
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Woodinville, Washington

Re: just purchased i believe a 15 guage rehabed mtc

Post by Glenn Brooks » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:51 pm

A 30’ radius turn will have deflection of several inches all along the whole rail. So likely the bend in the rail is to sharp, or abrupt. Best thing would be to post a photo of the set up. Then we could say more.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

STRR
Posts: 323
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 9:01 pm
Location: Westminster, CO

Re: just purchased i believe a 15 guage rehabed mtc

Post by STRR » Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:01 pm

Stuart,

When you did your "test" run, I believe you said the rails were NOT on ties. The trucks will quickly push the rails over sideways when they come to a curve. They want to go straight and the rails want to push them in a different direction. Without a solid and secure base to anchor the rails, the wheels will push them out of the way.

Wheels: Always a problem for Grand Scales. New wheels seem to be expensive while making your own seems a dauntless task. First, I have to say I am NOT familiar with Tom Thumb wheels/axles so these comments are very generalized. MTC has tapered end axles. The wheels have a mating taper inside the center and the wheel is pressed onto the axle, the mating tapers holding strong. Some wheels are a "shrink" fit. The wheel is machined to very close tolerance, heated so it expands and then pressed on the straight axle. When the wheel cools, it shrinks and is secure on the axle. Some MTC wheels are threaded in the center to mate with threads on the axles. A large jam nut, inside the wheel, secures the wheel to what ever gauge you set it to. Other wheels are keyed to the axle and held by a nut squeezing the wheel between a shoulder on the axle.

An extremely important fact is; if the wheels are on a solid axle, the wheels MUST be the same diameter and properly tapered on the wheel tread. You can Google railroad wheel profile and find a multitude of information. Your son can well turn a wheel on a lathe. Better if he can CNC it and then they will all be identical, which is what you want. You'll have to figure out how the wheel is secured to the axle first.

There is another possibility; retreads. Your son could machine the profile off of the existing wheels. He would then turn a profile tread to replace the machined off material. The treads are normally shrunk fit to the wheel. If he could CNC the treads, all the better.

Replacement wheels. This will, most likely, be the one you would like the most but darn near impossible to accomplish. Who makes Tom Thumb wheels today? What are the charging? Where are they located relating to shipping? Wheels for my train have long been OUT of production. Thus, my options are limited mostly to items listed above. I could always have new castings made from what I have. Then find a machine shop with a CNC to guarantee the wheels would all be identical. Then I would have to take out a second mortgage to pay for them.

Last comments: Chunks missing from wheel flanges are extremely dangerous when it comes to derailments. The damaged flanges will not be able to do their jobs of keeping the train on the track and derailments will prevail. You want deeper, smoother, flanges to keep the wheels on the track. Too deep of flanges will cause problems with track bolts, switch frogs, and other rail hardware.

Cheers,

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