Ballast tipple design request

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JimJam
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Ballast tipple design request

Post by JimJam » Thu May 17, 2018 4:32 pm

Hi Guys -

I'm in the infancy of building my RR empire and I can see how handy a ballast tipple can be. However, I don't remember seeing any articles in magazines regarding the building of a tipple.

Tell me about the tipple features that you would recommend.... or, things that didn't work out.

Do you have tipple photos that you would share ?

Thanks.

- Jimi -
Harvard, MA

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu May 17, 2018 8:08 pm

I thought about building one for my backyard RR, but decided against it for two reasons. First I figured, what goes down, first must go up. You will need massive lift capability to move tens of thousands of pounds of gravel 8 or 10 feet in the air to load the ripple for all the ballast you will need on your ROW, including a small farm tractor of some sort with hydraulic bucket to load the gravel, or design/build some kind of conveyor, bucket system- a complicated engineering fest in itself. #2) the structure itself would need to be fairly massive to support the weight and volume of any significant amount of ballast, and end up being way out of scale for the live steam hobby size gauges. Plus, once your ballast needs are done, likely you will never use it again. Lot of work for short term use.

Or be committed to weeks of shoveling by hand, to load the material into the structure. Certainly quite a healthy conditioning exercise!

So I opted to dispense with anything but a kind of portable plywood loading funnel to direct load into a ballast car (that I still need to make), or stockpiling buckets of gravel directly along the ROW with a rental tractor, then raking smooth by hand.

Id still like to make a small elevated water tank for filling steam loco tenders, and a coal storage tipple. These you would use fairly regularly throughout the life of the RR, albeit within significantly less volume, but over a far longer time. So maybe more cost effective in terms of work required and the length of time you would use these things.

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

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ALCOSTEAM
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by ALCOSTEAM » Thu May 17, 2018 9:28 pm

Back when we were doing lots of fill and ballast hauling on Kenny's railroad I had my utility tractor on site to move fill as well as load cars. The cars were 4ft and the loader bucket is 5ft or so making clean loading an issue. One friday right after work I hit the local lumber yard and picked up a bit of wood and by saturday morning had built a simple tipple, or really just a big funnel. Loading the train of cars with fill only took a matter of minutes. Ballast was a problem as the rock went thru the funnel it bounced all around and some would always get by the sides of the car. Much of the time we either shoveled ballast into the cars or I used the backhoe bucket to load the cars.

I have been looking but have yet to find a picture of the tipple. It was just one of those utilitarian structures that didn't get pictures taken of it. I will keep looking though.

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makinsmoke
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by makinsmoke » Fri May 18, 2018 7:58 am

So, a couple of questions to help us answer.

1. Do you have a tractor with a loader?
2. How large is your railroad?

3. Regardless of 1 or 2 do you want a tipple anyway?

I mean, if you want one period, then you should
build one!

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dnevil
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by dnevil » Fri May 18, 2018 10:00 am

The big Texas railroads make good use of ballast tipples. There are tipples at these railroads:
  • Nick Edward's Wimberley Blanco & Southern RR
  • Houston Live Steamers
  • Comanche & Indian Gap RR
I took photos of the WBSRR tipple in May 2016.

http://ibls.org/mediawiki/index.php?tit ... ast_tipple

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Daris
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kcameron
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by kcameron » Fri May 18, 2018 12:33 pm

A lot of the design for a tipple will depend on the land around your track, if you have bucket loader, a conveyor, or what.

For example one layout south of Indianapolis has one built into the roof of a tunnel. The dump truck drops on top and a chute is on the side of the inside of the tunnel.

Bill Hays and his Michigan Central has a great one that took advantage of the landscape. It is built in the side of hill. He loads from the top using a bucket on a three point hitch. The chute is dressed up as one of the industries.

Marty has one using a belt loaded. Many options depending on what you can come up with. At our 1" layout (FLLS) the ballast bunker is slightly higher than the track. I cut a slot in the bottom of a large garbage can and put a frame on it. It sits on the edge of the car and edge of the bunker. I shovel it into the open end of the can much like firing a 1:1 streamer.

As for using it after the layout is built, ballast always needs some fixing up somewhere on any size layout. Letting machines and gravity do the bulk of the work makes it much more fun. And it means you use the railroad to work on the railroad. When you do that, many more people will want to help.
-ken cameron
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Pontiacguy1
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Fri May 18, 2018 3:09 pm

There is an old video on Youtube somewhere that has a few shots of the C&IG tipple being used to load ballast cars sometime during the early 1990s.

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makinsmoke
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by makinsmoke » Fri May 18, 2018 9:49 pm

Heh.

It’s used more often than that, and all the ballast is loaded into the hoppers using the tipple.

No recent videos, because only two folks load the cars. One to move the train and one to actuate the doors. No extra hands to take video.

The rest of the crew is back at the work site!!

JimJam
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by JimJam » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:48 am

Thanks to everyone for your input and photos. I now have a better idea for a tipple design.

- Jimi -

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johnpenn74
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by johnpenn74 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:05 pm

The practical welded design and the more prototypical design.. One thing I can add is make it have enough capacity for a weekend... The idea being you can load the tipple up for the meet and should the need arise to move several loads out without having to get the tractor.

JP
Attachments
caton tipple.jpg
ballast332500th.jpeg
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Glenn Brooks
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by Glenn Brooks » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:50 pm

Jimmi,

Here is one of the coal Tipple replica buildings at Train Mountain. Hard to tell whatnscale it is. First guessit might be 3/4” or 1” scale, but also,could be sized to correspond with 1.5” trains. The structure is 6’ off the ground to accommodate humans walking underneath. So height is a bit out of scale, as the sidings are used for train storage during meets. The actual upright beams supporting the structure are approxamerly 3” square wood stock. It is not used for coal storage, just for decorative purposes. One interesting feature, there is a rail cart ramp leading up into the structure from the rear. This would be used to load the structure with coal from ground level. A possibility if you decided to add such a structure to your RR empire. You could make a couple of coal carts to physically move the coal up into the structure, with 7 1/2” ga trucks.
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They have another structure also. It’s located across the track from the diesel filling pumps. Not sure if I took any photos. If so, will post, otherwise maybe be someone else has a picture or two.

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

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BudBudzien
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Re: Ballast tipple design request

Post by BudBudzien » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:06 am

Why not just get a gravity box like the farmers use to haul grain from the fields? They come in a variety of sizes and fit on standard farm running gear or could be set on a foundation next to the tracks and disguised as an industry. Or, if you put on a running gear, you could tow it to the gravel pit and let them load it for you. You would need a heavy truck or tractor to tow it with or the loaded wagon will push you thru a stop sign (experience). Nice thing about the gravity box is that it has a lever operated gate on the discharge chute.

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