12" working railroad

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.
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senorgilamonster
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Location: Puget Sound, WA

Re: 12" working railroad

Post by senorgilamonster » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:43 pm

what are you going to do here:
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rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:20 pm

I'm debating welding that up or using JB weld and Bondo, I haven't decided yet. There is layers of aluminum riveted in there, so I have a decent foundation for either method.

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:44 pm

Not too much to report, my schedule 80 pipe nipples came in, so I can weld them into the locomotives bulkheads for the air brake line fittings.
I also got 4' of friction material so I can start working on my air brake "cartridges" for my riding and freight cars.
I want to talk brakes a bit more....
I'm leaning towards the brakes having air applied to release them, so essentially the system would be sprung to have the brakes engaged, and air pressure would be applied to pull the shoes/pads away. The locomotive, riding car, and my own weight will be pretty constant, so I should be able to play with the spring pressures on the loco and riding car to get the stopping power I want. The problem then comes with adding the additional rolling stock and their weight empty and full. If I simply use the locomotive and riding car brakes only with empty rolling stock, my braking will be hindered by the empty weights of the cars. If I use the full train brakes, the rolling stock is either going to lock up the wheels when empty or not have enough braking power when loaded. If I reverse things and pressurize the brake system on the rolling stock only, then I can adjust the pressure and braking power loaded vs. empty, but could have a run-away as when there is no air pressure the cars will roll free.

I'm dealing with a potential gross weight of around 2 tons for my rolling stock, loaded, and about a 3.5% grade, so I need to think this over very carefully and would appreciate your input.
My locomotive is winding up to be more like in the 900# range, the riding car about 280#'s, and I'm a solid 260#'s myself. The frames for the 2 bulkhead flats are going to be aluminum I-beam, angle, and plywood deck, so I'm thinking they will be fairly light maybe 200#'s each.
The locomotive is going to be using spring over-hydraulic disc brakes utilizing automotive calipers on solid 6" discs, with air cylinders to release the brakes.

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:37 pm

I am planning on punching some holes in the main cross-member that will support the "fuel tank" today, and then I'll be laying out everything for weld up.
The calculations on the bolster to bolster centers based on the real S12 vs. the Athearn model are within 1/16" when I scale them both up/down, so I think I'm there. Being the frame is going to get very large, heavy, and hard to handle, I'm going to weld the ladder portion of it first, do all the work to it and the bulkheads, and then weld the bulkheads to the ladder frame last.

Most importantly, I suspect that the frame warp BDD mentioned he'd seen in other angle frame locomotives is due to the way they are welded. When the cross-members are welded into an angle, the fillet welds will pull the open side of the angle "smaller". As multiple cross-members are welded in, it will warp the frame and make it high on top in the middle. To combat this, I've coped most of the flanges away at a 45* angle and notched the web where the ends of the cross member will weld to the vertical leg of the angle. This will minimize and balance the amount of weld, and hopefully by jumping around with the welder and keeping heat minimal I can keep things straight.

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:44 pm

I got the center cross member finished today. It's a piece of 12" channel 14.3# per foot.
A little grinding and one more trip through the roto-blaster for the cross members that support the trucks, and I'll be ready to weld things up.
xmember.jpg

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:06 pm

Made some more progress today. I welded in the pipe nipples for the air brakes with the TIG.
It's been a few years since I picked up the TIG torch, so I'm glad I haven't lost my touch.
Also had a big find, work had a pressure washer that had been modified to test some high pressure piping, that idled but no longer revs up unless the choke is on, probably a dirty carb. No wand no hose. The shipping and receiving manager said take it if I wanted it.
Under all the yuck I find a Honda GX390, the older one with the mechanical *adjustable* governor! Just what I need to keep the hydraulic pump from over-rev. It starts and idles pretty nice and quiet, but doesn't rev well. With the choke on it revs up but then starts to load up at idle. It'll need some work, but I have a power plant now, and the un-governed ex race kart engine can go back on the shelf for something else.
airfitting.jpg
airfitting2.jpg
GX390.jpg

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:12 pm

Furthermore, the pressure washer pumps engine mounting bracket should be usable for the hydraulic pump, so I've got that covered as well.
The big plug welds on the ends of the steps seen there were done with .060" dual shield. I'll be grinding those smooth so I wasn't concerned with looks, just wanted good penetration so things are solid.

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:30 pm

I'm in a holding pattern for more metal shop time, so I grabbed some more pallet wood and scraps, and made a tie set for my first turnout.
I cut the grooves for the straight portion of the turnout in my regular tie fixture, and then I'll need to temporarily fit one of the rails to assure the ties are all aligned, attach a fence to guide the router for the diverging route, and then I can tap all the fixed rails into their grooves and work on the frog and points to suit.
tiefixture.jpg
turnoutties.jpg
That's my simple tie router fixture. Gets me a 12.090" gage between the rails, and for my router the wood guide in the middle ended up needing to be 6.460" thick. I run the router down both sides and voila, grooved tie ready to go.

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:55 am

Well I had a bit of a setback of sorts. My property ended up having wetlands found on one part, yet another part I didn't think I could use, I can use.
This is good, and bad. The part I can use is a little more "ready", meaning the grade is closer to finish grade on most of the route....most being the key word there. I'll need to excavate through some rolls in the terrain and will have some extra soil to dump else ware but on average it's an easier route. About 300' from the north end, there is a drop-off about 10' down to the retention pond which was built by cutting somewhat into the hill. The only way I can deal with that is about a 90* bend to the east, following the side of the hill far enough above the pond to avoid a "washout", to where a bit of a "peninsula" juts out southward where the retention pond "cut" ends. I will then turn the ROW south and run down the peninsula which will take the fill dirt to bring it up to a reasonable grade. The next part gets very interesting. Beyond the pond the property starts sloping perpetually steeper to the southeast, so there is only one way to do this...
A 270 degree loop with a 40' radius(around the retention pond), and 40' of straight track on each side of the loop at a 3% down grade gets me 8' of elevation difference when I loop back under the track. Using up to 8" steel members for my bridge, that will still leave me plenty of clearance. Yes, I'll be having my own little Tehachapi loop!
From here, I can run back uphill towards the house but it will be a dead end, and also run a spur across a small ravine to another part of the property where I might be able to fit in a reversing loop. It doesn't look like I'll be able to setup for continuous running at this point unless I run the north end across the driveway twice to complete a 2nd reversing loop.
I'm nervous, quite an engineering feat awaits, but I'm confident I can make this happen. I think the worst part is going to be coming down the hill with a bobcat to deposit the fill dirt, I'm nervous about that. I may have to cut myself an easier route for it, then fill it back in later.

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steamin10
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by steamin10 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:14 pm

I will make a suggestion from experience on your situation, taking into account I can only see this in my minds eye.
Power: any of these small engines benefit from a flywheel added to the drive. Particularly small engines are noted for hiccups and stalls during sustained idle, and cough or die when the throttle is opened. I have added a disc of cast iron barbell weight to the shaft and that slows the action of rev and calms the idle for a really slow rpm and smooth acceleration. Any hiccups at that point are smoothed over by the heavy action of the flywheel effect carrying motion on to the next cycle. on my 3.5 and 5 HP Briggs engines I remove the goveernor flap and just use the load to regulate the speed against the throttle. My throttle is spring loaded to idle, sort of a dead man. A bicycle derailer set of arms are the brake and throttle side by side, There is no set and forget. But after fussing with engines that balk and load at idle and get hard to start when hot, I find that the flywheel makes starting and running a much simpler deal.

As far as track layout loops and scoops are fine, but costs will soar, as will threats to the line over time. Aside from construction, do you want to build a roller coaster, or run trains? The more time spent on maintenance the less time for enjoying the click of the track. Building can be fun, fixxin stuff because you have to is not. So consider the kiss rule. Keep it simple. Dont make a big job a career, this is supposed to be fun.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:41 pm

Steamin,

I hear you, it's difficult out here with the cost of property and far over-reaching government regulations. Every muddy spot is a wetland and every low ravine that flows water when it rains hard is considered a stream. It's absolutely amazing to me that I started with 5 acres and I'll barely have enough room for a house, place to park everything, and my railroad....only because it can be built in the 30' setback along one side of the property. People are pouring in here like lemmings and driving our housing prices to Aspen levels. If it wasn't for family I honestly wouldn't stay here.
The RR will have to run the route it must because that's all I've got. Without a loop, I'd be dropping the train off a cliff or have a massive trestle which would still have to do a big U-turn back up the hill. My last construction project went so quickly with the dirt work, that I'd rent a machine(bobcat, mini-excavator) for the weekend and be done in 2 hours. So I'm simply going to be using that extra machine time to work my grade every time I rent one for the foundation excavation, driveway work, and backfill.
I also work for a large structural steel shop and I can have my pick from lots of remnants(we only get $20-$40 a ton for our scrap), so a bolt together "plate girder" bridge kit is something I can fab up easily from some large leftover channels or beams. We have an engineer that is doing a bunch of work on our shop for upgrading our overhead cranes and foundation work for new equipment, I may try to have him sneak in my bridge and calc/stamp it in case I get flak about it later.

I figure I'll be able to complete the run from the top of the property though the loop and east to the ravine, about 600' of track, in "phase 1". This will get the firewood and the garbage where they need to go. Phase 2 will go back up towards the east side of the home. Phase 3 across the stream is going to be long and hard fought, as I can't have any heavy equipment in the stream area and this work will have to be by hand.

rkcarguy
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Re: 12" working railroad

Post by rkcarguy » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:35 pm

I'll post up a sketch soon so it makes more sense.

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