Passenger train help!

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Re: Passenger train help!

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Jan 14, 2022 6:55 pm

RET wrote:
Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:03 pm

Since you say you have a couple of 7.5" gauge locomotives, does it make any sense to run with 3 rails; 7.5" gauge for the locomotives and 12" gauge for the passenger cars? This would give a lot more stability for the people carrying cars.

I've been to the Burnaby track (back in 1988) and they had an impressive operation. For passengers, stability is important, because there is always going to be someone who wants to lean out to get a better picture or a better view and doesn't realize (or doesn't care) what a balancing act riding on two rails so close together can be. We know, but the average member of the public doesn't.

Lots of fun.

Richard Trounce.

My thought as well for the OP, almost. Go dual gage so they can run their existing 7.5" trains, but build an entire 12" gage train for the public to ride on. I'd utilize a larger oil pressurized gas or diesel engine, maybe a Kubota mini-excavator motor, something designed for 1,000's of hours of service. Think about it, if your train is running 1/4th the time you are open on an 8 hour day, and you are open only half the year, you'll still log 364 hours a year. Steel wheels, ball bearings, and serviceable brakes with readily available parts are a must (brakes on all wheels will likely be required by insurance). I agree with others that the 7.5" gage stuff is going to wear quickly with that much use and any heavy hauling. I've read some blog posts from people who visited train mountain with their own 7.5" equipment and wore out the brakes on their whole consist in a single weekend.
Hopefully you have steel rail, not aluminum? FWIW I wouldn't be scared to run 12" gage on 1" tall rails. In 1/8th scale, its nearly code 100, the largest stuff they make. It does become more "yard and siding" sized rail in larger scales but it works. I've load tested my 3/8x1 flat bar rail (aka "groovy track") across 2x4 ties with a 2-1/2" gap between ties and it shows no deflection with 300#'s per wheel loading.

James Powell
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Re: Passenger train help!

Post by James Powell » Wed Mar 02, 2022 11:49 pm

It certainly COULD be done on 7.x gauge, if you look up historically, the Hilton Valley Railway in the UK ran for ~30 years on 7.25" gauge, but in a vastly different timeframe than "now". (50's-79). If weight isn't really an issue (on a fairly flat railway, with big Diesel's...) then I'd go for something like a 1"x10" steel slab as the base of the passenger stock, with whatever body style you want on top of that. Or, if one had access to large quantities of free lead, a poured slab inside a frame that is approximately track gauge...something to well and truely ballast the passenger stock very low. If grades are going to happen, then...ah, well...

The rough rule of thumb is that stock should be not wider than 3x the gauge- so 21-23" wide at most.

I have a fair amount of time spent as a conductor at Vancouver Island Model Engineers on the 7.5" gauge, and the T cars there replaced gondolas because they work much better for passenger use. Track length was about 3/4 of a mile post extension. Remember that up here, at least we don't have to worry about breaking an arm from a health care insurance prospective. I have heard that one of the few cases involving ride on railways that went anywhere up here was due to the US passenger's insurance company suing the railway operators insurance company over the cost of the hospital visit.

I would agree with the others who are suggesting 12" gauge or 15" gauge. It reduces the problems substantially when carloads of muggles are to be expected.

James Powell

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Location: Surrey, UK

Re: Passenger train help!

Post by k36no4862002 » Thu Mar 17, 2022 3:39 pm

Not sure if this thread is still relevant, but incase it is.
We run 7.25 inch gauge trains in the UK and our larger setup is a 2.5" scale k36 pulling 7 sit astride cars capable of move 50 plus passenger in 1 go.

The key to this is q low c of g as discussed. Coaches are about 20" wide and same high. They are 10 feet long and share a common truck, so that each end of the coach is shared on 1 truck, meaning that the chance of tipping 1 coach is harder to do.
In addition the coaches run very low ro the rail so that if they do derail the chance of tipping is also less.
The coaches are heavy we could but have not needed so far add paving slabs into the base to assist with stability but after 20 years we have never had 1 go over.
They are the bench variety which I know is less favoured in the US but you could make the sides look like a proper carriage qnd make the roof a passed seat.
Paul Edmonds,
Surrey, United Kingdom.
2.5" Scale D&RGW K36, 1.6" Scale CHallenger 4-6-6-4 (still ongoing)

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