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Author Topic: garden railroad  (Read 16285 times)
mrrailroad

garden trains!


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« on: March 04, 2013, 02:22:34 PM »

Hey. I want to make a garden railroad but I dont know how to do it. Can people give suggestions please Smiley




Also how do you like my website?
http://gardentrains.webs.com/
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 07:51:11 PM by mrrailroad » Logged

my website for all garden train fans
http://gardentrains.webs.com/

my website for all model trains
http://usamodeltrains.webs.com/
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 02:53:40 PM »

There are many great sources of information.  There is a lot to learn and it it is a lot of fun.  Start with buying a good magazine like Garden Railways magazine. Here is a link to back issues.
http://www.kalmbachstore.com/modeltrains-railroading-garden-railroading-magazines-garden-railways-magazine-back-issues-2000-prese.html

This is a great book for starters:

http://www.kalmbachstore.com/12415.html

You can start with a great Bachamnn Train Set, and set it up indoors to get the feel of things, if you go outdoors the set equipment except for the track will do fine outside.  Bachmann also make great outdoor track as well

this is a great hobby and we welcome you!!

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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
mrrailroad

garden trains!


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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 04:50:29 PM »

thanks. what about track I want to use nickel silver but I've heard I should use brass. would nickel silver work.





check out my website!
http://gardentrains.webs.com/
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 07:51:34 PM by mrrailroad » Logged

my website for all garden train fans
http://gardentrains.webs.com/

my website for all model trains
http://usamodeltrains.webs.com/
Nathan

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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2013, 05:30:40 PM »

For outdoor railroads do not use Nickel Silver.  It is best for indoor layouts.

The outdoor brass track and stainless steel are the better choices for outdoor use.

If you are planning on track power, DC or DCC, plan on more feeders then you are used to for the smaller scales indoors.

Nathan
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Chuck N

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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 05:32:23 PM »

Nickel silver is a good type of track.  Brass is also very good, it requires a little more cleaning.  I have been using brass track since 1980. Nickel silver is more expensive.  Chuck

PS I have never heard about Nickel silver not being used outside.  I know someone who has a RR with over 2000' of nickel silver rails.  The only large scale track that cannot be used outdoors is the Bachmann hollow rail track that comes with some starter sets.  If used outside, it will rust.

Truth in comment.  My friend now has disconnected the track power.  The layout is now for battery and live steam.  However, when it was set up for track power we never had any problems running.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 06:10:04 PM by Chuck N » Logged
Kevin Strong


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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 06:08:54 PM »

Nickel Silver will work just fine outdoors. Good luck finding it, especially in sectional track. Most is brass (which will work very well in its own right), or also stainless steel. LGB produced some nickel-plated rail for a while, but it's long been out of production, and there were issues with the plating wearing off, so you were running on brass at that point anyway. I think there may be another manufacturer doing nickel rail, but I don't remember. You can get nickel silver rail for flex track fairly easily, but as has been said, it's not cheap and offers no real advantage over brass which is typically more affordable. Both weather to a nice brown patina outdoors so you needn't paint the rails. Stainless, as has been said, is another popular choice of late. The disadvantage to stainless is that it is--well--stainless. If you want the rails to look rusty and weathered, you're gonna have to break out the paint.

In terms of resources for the beginner, I've got a new book coming out the end of April that covers a lot of the "basics."
http://www.kalmbachstore.com/12468.html

Track is one topic, also railroad design, maintenance, some basic electronics among other things.

Later,

K
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Chuck N

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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2013, 06:20:38 PM »

Nathan:

What negative experience have you or your friends had with nickel silver?  Your statement is the first negative comment I have heard regarding that metal for rails in our hobby.  A little clarification would be very helpful for all of us.

Chuck
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Nathan

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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2013, 09:19:02 AM »

The problem is the expansion and contraction of Nickle Silver is more then the others and has caused several problems with track alignment.  If you are in an area with very small changes in temperature it will work.

We can have a 50 degree difference in temperature here in 24 hours and even brass track can have problems.  That is why the local club and several home layouts went to Stainless Steel.
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pethia

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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2013, 10:06:41 AM »

I started Garden Railroading a couple of years ago.  I think the best part of the hobby is that my wife loves it!  She loves the trains running through flowers and the idea of a focal point to the backyard.  Although, we don't have any grandchildren yet, it attracts all of the little kids in the neighborhood.  I installed a small 5 x7 goldfish pond.  The kids show up everyday in the summer to run the trains and feed the fish!  Lots of  fun and entertainment.  The advantage of Garden Railroading is that the flora and fauna can support the railroad, rather than having to constantly build and add scenery and buildings as you do with an indoor layout.
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armorsmith


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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2013, 07:45:31 PM »

OK folks, here are the facts:

Here are a few coefficients of expansion for the various materials used in large scale model track (rail).  Coefficients of expansion are expressed in terms of unit of expansion per unit of length per degree of temperature rise.

Aluminum expands at an average rate of .0000123.
Brass is an average of .0000104.
Stainless steel averages about .0000096.
Nickel silver is about .0000093.

These numbers are averages, as there are numerous alloys that make up the generic material group we refer to. I beleive that most aluminum rail is alloy 6061, which is a good grade to use if you are looking for a tough high temper aluminum. The specific coefficient for 6061 is .000013.  An example for the calculation would be as follows:

Total temperature rise is 80 degrees.
The rail length is 240 inches (20 ft).
The material is aluminum.

The coefficient of expansion for the aluminum is .000013, the temperature rise is 80 degrees and the length is 240 inches.  The total expansion of the rail between the lowest temperature and the highest temperature is .2496 inches ~ 1/4".  This is fairly reasonable on the surface, but consider this - I live in the panhandle of Florida.  Yearly temperature can vary from in the teens to over 100 degrees.  Add the solar heating to that and actual rail temperatures can approach 160-170 degrees.  Lets look at the total variation using these worst case scenerios.  240 x (170-15) x .000013 = .4836 or nearly 1/2 inch.  I will tell you from personal and career experience, expansion will not be denied (contained).  IT WILL GO SOMEWHERE.

Nathan, I am not sure where you got your information, but stainless steel and nickel silver are almost identical in expansion characteristics.  Nickel silver (also known as German Silver), is easier to cut and form, solders well with standard soldering tools, and the oxides ARE conductive.  Stainless steel on the other hand is very hard to cut and fabricate, does NOT work well with standard soldering equipment, not to mention special fluxes are required to get good bonding, and lastly is the worst conductor of electricity.

The only draw back I see to Nickel silver is the cost and lower availability in the larger scale range.  The only place I am aware of that lists the larger rail was Old Pullman, and I believe they have gone out of business, although their web site is still available.  If you would like I can post the backup information on the conductivity and expansion on my web site if you would like to view it.

Bob C.
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mrrailroad

garden trains!


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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2013, 08:47:37 PM »

does nickel silver rust?





I am working on a website too can anyone give me tips on more pages I should do?
http://gardentrains.webs.com/
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my website for all garden train fans
http://gardentrains.webs.com/

my website for all model trains
http://usamodeltrains.webs.com/
armorsmith


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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2013, 09:13:27 PM »

Nickel silver does not rust.  Nickel silver is a copper nickel alloy that oxidizes quite slowly.  Rust as you refer to it is iron oxide.
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Chuck N

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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2013, 10:09:22 PM »

Bob:  Very good answers.  It is nice to see facts show up when needed.  Chuck
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mrrailroad

garden trains!


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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2013, 11:32:13 PM »

is the track that comes in bachmann train sets steel or nickel silver?
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my website for all garden train fans
http://gardentrains.webs.com/

my website for all model trains
http://usamodeltrains.webs.com/
Kevin Strong


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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2013, 11:42:22 PM »

I don't think they're shipping their new brass track in the sets, so if it's silver and kinda flimsy, it's steel. It's definitely not suited for outdoors.

Later,

K
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