Train Mountain Track Building update

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Harold_V
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by Harold_V » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:38 pm

ccvstmr wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:27 am
And NEVER...tamp ballast under the ties between the rails. Tamp ballast under the tie ends.
Can you elaborate? (I'm eager to learn why!)

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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ccvstmr
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by ccvstmr » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:17 pm

Sure Harold...

Tamping is intended to properly support the tie and rail for load distribution. When persons tamp the ballast between the rails (only) for our scale tracks, they usually end up creating a hump under the center of the tie. The tie then acts like a teeter-totter and is likely to rock back and forth. Tamping the ballast under the ends of the ties, supports the tie from the ends.

Best way to illustrate tamping...consider what a real railroad tamper does. These machines force 4 paddles down, one in each corner where the rail crosses tie. The paddles vibrate to move the ballast under the tie to support the rail. In the process, the rail and tie are raised to maintain track line and level alignment (usually laser controlled).

Tamping those 4 corners is not easy in the 1.5" scale world (or smaller gauges). The alternative...make sure the ballast under the tie ends are well packed. Personally, I use the corner of a square end shovel to pack the ballast under the tie ends. Even better...when another member sights down the rail looking for high or low spots. A mirror at a 45 deg angle sitting on the rail heads is a great tool to see the results of tamping efforts. A bubble level works well for track cross level.

Make sense? 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!

Harold_V
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by Harold_V » Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:17 am

Yep, it sure does! I appreciate the education.
I was involved, briefly, with track laying at Train Mountain. This was many, many years ago, when there was only the beginning, with no track on the ground of any note. The days when Quentin provided a hot cooked lunch for the workers, as well as endless soft drinks for the working crews. Wish I could remember how we went about things, but that was more than 22 years ago. I can hardly remember what I had for breakfast today.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

rkcarguy
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:16 am

You guys can just go "prototypical" and model after these guys. Problem solved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X2A2f6E5DI

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ccvstmr
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by ccvstmr » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:32 pm

...shoot, don't have to model that at all! Depending on who's running the track program, the track ends up looking like that naturally!

Some things to note from the vid clip...
1) the replaceable steel loco pilot plate from run-ins with the rail head
2) flexibility of the trucks is a requirement to run on that track
3) instructions to the track foreman..."raise the rail and rebuild the road bed"!

Thanx...needed a good chuckle this afternoon! 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!

rkcarguy
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:51 pm

I caught that, the replaceable lower pilot plate. I'm surprised they don't have more derailments.
The description in the video states that some of the track sections date back to the Civil War era lol!

Pontiacguy1
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:41 pm

Don't think most steamers would make it over that section of track. Just not enough flexibility. Maybe an 0-4-0 or something like that...
And I thought the tracks near my house were in bad shape. They're like the autobahn compared to that!

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chiloquinruss
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by chiloquinruss » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:26 pm

Thanks to all for all of your comments added to Jeff's original doc. I would like to add some first hand knowledge of how it works at TM. These comments are not about any other track or system just my TM experience and perspective.

1. We don't have dirt at TM, you know the nice clay kind. What we have is volcanic ash or pummy dirt as we call it. It will never pack! Period!
2. The 'lumpy' look to the track with the telephoto lens is actual. It was nice and flat and level when installed but with pummy support it starts to show that lumpy look after a few years. The steel rail panels with solid heavy plastic ties have what has already been discussed, bridging. This forestalls a lot of the track movement.
3. We don't tamp per se. We put down a layer of plastic sheeting (underlayment) and place the track panels on top of that. Then when all the track is installed we ballast to the top of the ties (approx. 3 inches).
4. The track panels are 10 footers for ease of transport and handling. End of track could be several miles away from the track shop.

Image

Image

Image

The original track installed was on Port Orford cedar ties which have a good ground life of about 25 years or so. Our problem is we are 31 years old!

The plastic underlayment has two redeeming features, one is good drainage/weed abatement and it also makes it very easy to do in field track repairs.

As stated above the TM system is not for everyone or every track, it's just the way that TM has evolved over the past 31 years. As to the wearing out of locomotive wheels on steel rail, we run trains every single day, I have not seen worn out tires, I have seen worn axles where we didn't do proper maint, but never tires. Lastly the 385 trains we had here for the 2018 Triennial seemed to negotiate 'most' of the 31 miles of track pretty well and that includes the 95 steamers.

Most issues regarding track seemed to be caused by our ever wonderful pine cones that have an uncanny knack of finding switch points and frogs! :mrgreen: Russ

Pontiacguy1
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:44 am

Just to clarify: I was referring to the track in the video link that was posted.

cp4449
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by cp4449 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:19 pm

At LALS the 7 1/2 track is steel rail, and we reverse direction every 6 months so the rail wear , and i presume, the wheel wear is even. As to ties, we use plastic. Some of the wood ties on the 1 inch layout are over 60 years old.
Christopher P. Mahony
Los Angeles Live Steamers
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rkcarguy
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:00 pm

chiloquinruss wrote:
Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:26 pm
1. We don't have dirt at TM, you know the nice clay kind. What we have is volcanic ash or pummy dirt as we call it. It will never pack! Period!
Russ, years ago I rode the "China Hat" 100 mile Enduro about 45 minutes outside of Bend, OR. The "dirt" was like reddish brown rice crispies, and it FLOATED on water. The only way one could tell you were about to drop into a water filled rut was that the rice crispy rock was perfectly flat. By the time our minute came up, the course had been worked up into about 12" of loam which we could get on top of if we went fast enough. I almost died that day because I hit a big rock underneath the rice crispies in the top of 4th gear and did a superman over the bars, narrowly missing landing on a large rock. Thankfully a 5' round sagebrush broke my fall like an airbag and I only suffered minor injury and was able to limp on to finish the race with bent handle bars, kinked pipe, and a big dent in my front wheel. I finished just a couple minutes before the DNF time cutoff and was surprised with a Bronze (inside top 30%) simply because I didn't break down, get injured, or quit. It was a brutal event.

Anyway, if that stuff is the same, I can't imagine how TM is able to support track with it. You bring in a lot of dirt from else ware?

Rob Gardner
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Re: Train Mountain Track Building update

Post by Rob Gardner » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:53 am

Regarding tamping or surfacing of track, the prototype only tamps the four corners where each rail crosses the tie. We do not tamp the ends or the middle to avoid center binding the tie. The support is only needed directly under the rails.

In 1.5" scale, I have never tamped the centers or the ends either.

Rob Gardner

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