Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => Large => Topic started by: mrrailroad on March 04, 2013, 02:22:34 PM



Title: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad 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 :)




Also how do you like my website?
http://gardentrains.webs.com/


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Loco Bill Canelos 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!!



Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad 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/


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Nathan 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


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Chuck N 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.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Kevin Strong 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 (http://www.kalmbachstore.com/12468.html)

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

Later,

K


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Chuck N 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


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Nathan 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.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: pethia 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.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: armorsmith 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.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad 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/


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: armorsmith 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.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Chuck N on March 05, 2013, 10:09:22 PM
Bob:  Very good answers.  It is nice to see facts show up when needed.  Chuck


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 05, 2013, 11:32:13 PM
is the track that comes in bachmann train sets steel or nickel silver?


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Kevin Strong 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


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Chuck N on March 06, 2013, 12:04:54 AM
No one is putting nickel silver track in a starter set.  The Bachmann track is steel, not stainless steel.  It works very well indoors, but outdoors it will end up as a pile of red dust.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 06, 2013, 12:20:12 AM
Thanks everone  what's everyones opinion on a raised railroad or on the ground?




check out my website!
http://gardentrains.webs.com/


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Kevin Strong on March 06, 2013, 12:36:54 AM
Both have their merits. On the ground layouts are easier on the bank account to construct since you're not needing to build retaining walls, etc., or ordering truckloads of dirt to fill in the space behind said retaining walls (and waiting for the dirt to settle before construction so your railroad doesn't sink, etc...)

On the flip side, "on the ground" means under foot, and can (and will) get walked on, knocked into, tripped over, etc. It also means you're going to spend a lot of time bending over, kneeling, or contorting yourself to do maintenance. If you're not as flexible as you used to be, it's something to consider.

Also you have to consider what works better with your landscape. Often, a raised railraod isn't practical given the constraints of the yard. In otther cases such as steeply sloped hillsides, it's often the only way you can go.

Later,

K


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 06, 2013, 01:18:48 AM
How steep can you put the track before its straining the train motor



check out my website!
http://gardentrains.webs.com/


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Nathan on March 06, 2013, 09:35:25 AM
I am not talking about a 50 degree change over a year, I am talking about a 50 degree change in 24 hours.

While the theory of expansion is one thing, the real world is what I am talking about.  Several people have used Nickle Silver rail and had problems with their layouts when one rail on a track was in the sun and the other rail because of a building or trees was not.  The rail in the sun ripped out of the tie strip.

Yes, stainless is harder to cut.  I went to my local home center and they had some hack saw blades for stainless.  Yes, it took time.  After cutting I then filed the rail end smooth.

Stainless does not conduct as well as the others.  Yes we added additional feed points.  No we did not solder the rail, we used rail clamps.  When we went from brass to stainless we used 8 foot lengths of rail.  We started with the outer rail of a loop and went counter clockwise replacing the existing rail.  Then we went clockwise on the inner rail.  This made it so the joints did not line up except at the turnouts.  This helped in reducing derailments due to expansion and contraction.

Tie strips have been a problem.  Some have had to be replaced in as little as 5 years.  Others have lasted over 20 years.

Track cleaning for the club layout was easier with the stainless compared to the brass.  The club has a track cleaning car that has a block that you wrap dry wall sanding plastic around.  They also have a stick type dry wall sanding pad and one they have warped a piece of towel around.  The track cleaning car is run.  Where the bad spots are you use the dry wall sanding stick and where the sap from the trees is you use isopropyl alcohol on the towel.  The club runs three to four days each weekend.  With the brass track it normally took an hour to clean the track.  With the stainless it normally takes 1/2 hour.

The only other problem has been where the deer run through the layout area, the club is in a park and can not put up a fence, the deer have caught their hooves's on the tack and ripped some of it up.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: armorsmith on March 06, 2013, 07:16:05 PM
Nathan,

I am not talking about a 50 degree change over a year, I am talking about a 50 degree change in 24 hours.


Time has no bearing on thermal expansion.  The expansion will be the same regardless of whether it is 24 hours or 24 years, expansion is a function of material, length and temperature rise.

While the theory of expansion is one thing, the real world is what I am talking about.

I will address this in the real world.  I have seen 1/4" steel plate with 6" channel stiffeners wleded to the plate where the welds have been broken apart and the plate with rips in it from thermal expansion.  I have seen compaines spend thousands of dollars in extra piping to allow for thermal expansion in steam pipes to keep them from stress carcking, they call them "expansions loops".  Look them up if lyou would like.  Real world is the world of Physics, and the laws of Physics don't change just because we are in model railroading.

Several people have used Nickle Silver rail and had problems with their layouts when one rail on a track was in the sun and the other rail because of a building or trees was not.  The rail in the sun ripped out of the tie strip.

What I am reading between the lines in your statement above is that you (meaning the people you refer to, your club, yourself or whomever) have your track anchored far too tightly.  Let me explain my feelings. IF you have the differential expansion you allege in your statement above you have far greater issues than just expansion.  By your statement I gather that 1) all the screws are still in place anchoring the tie strips to the rail, 2) all the tie strips are securely anchored to a sub roadbed that is permanent with little or no give, 3) you are using some form of rigid joining system such as "Hillman" or "Split Jaw", and 5) you have quite long runs between switches with no allowance for expansion.  Based on that statement I would think you will have a devil of a time trying to keep alignment.  I have no doubt that the rail that had the most expansio 'ripped out of the tie strip'.

When we went from brass to stainless we used 8 foot lengths of rail.  We started with the outer rail of a loop and went counter clockwise replacing the existing rail.  Then we went clockwise on the inner rail.  This made it so the joints did not line up except at the turnouts.  This helped in reducing derailments due to expansion and contraction.

Making certain that the joiners do not line up will aid in eliminating derailments in any rail material just for the reason that the tie strip will hold the gauge at the joint using the continuous rail through rail for stability.  Stainless steel has not bearing here, nor does the expansion and contraction.

Now let me make a couple of suggestions.  First, if you wish to maintain the rigid nature of your track and joining system, then I recommend that you allow your track to free float on the road bed.  Remove any anchorage between the tie strips and the road bed (except at the switches, they need to be fixed).  This is exactly what the prototype does.  And in case you haven't heard, they also have issues with alignment from thermal expansion even with a floating system.  The floating system allows the track as a whole to absorb the expansion by pushing and pulling a little here and a little there on curves, maybe makine one slightly larger radius and one slightly smaller.  My club layout has several 270 degree 20 diameter curves and in the heat of the summer we have seen the center of the curve move as much as 1.5 to 1.75 inches with the expansion.

If you wish to maintain the ties anchored to the road bed, maybe for clearance or other reasons, then I suggest removing the screws from the ties to the rails and allowing the rail to slide in the tie strip.  You will also need to either install "Hillman" style expansion joints or gap the ends of the rails every other length by about a quarter thickness or so to allow the rial someplace to expand.  Allowing the rail to move will eliminate it ripping itself out of the tie strips.

I will describe my personal method for track laying.  I will be using a ladder system of PVC pipe posts and pressure treated lattice strips for the runners with pressure treated blocking for track anchoring.  I will be joining two sections of track with rigid joiners.  The tie strips on either side of the joiners will be left secured to the rail.  ALL other screws will be removed.  Standard slip joiners will be used on the ends of the track in the normal as supplied fashion.  This will produce a 10 foot section of track.  This section will be located and all tie strips secured to the ladder system.  NOTE - except at the center, the rail is free to slide in the tie strips.  The next 10 foot section will be located and secured in a similar manner, except there will be a 3/32 inch gap between the ends of the rail sections, the joiners will be used for alighment only.  Sections will be electrically joined with soldered wire jumpers from 10 soot section to section.  This will allow for the expansion of the rail, and the differential expansion of the track and the ladder system.  It sounds like a lot of up front work, and it will be.  However, I have learned from experience that expansion must be dealt with, and will not be denied or contained.

Critter problems are the bane of others.

Bob C.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 06, 2013, 07:18:47 PM
thanks anybody have ideas of companies that make dcc controllers(wireless) for g scale?

another thing I'm working on a website does anyone like it? It's still in construction though

http://gardentrains.webs.com/


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Nathan on March 06, 2013, 10:22:52 PM
At least 3 companies make DCC compatible wireless items that use battery power:

CVP  http://cvpusa.com/
NCE  http://ncedcc.com/
QSI   http://www.qsisolutions.com/

Tony's has several pages of information about them:  http://tonystrains.com/index.html

If you are just looking for wireless cabs and track power all the major DCC manufactures can so that.

Nathan 


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: smcgill on March 07, 2013, 09:35:09 AM
mrrailroad
Were are you located?
This info helps to answer questions!
You never know we may be neighbors??
Welcome aboard!
You can find a lot of info @ this location :http://www.largescalecentral.com/members/home
Good luck !
P.S. Every one loves Pics!!


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 07, 2013, 05:46:21 PM
kansas




check out my website!
http://gardentrains.webs.com/


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Kevin Strong on March 08, 2013, 12:41:49 AM
Kansas is a big state, but there are active groups in KC and Wichita. Don't know about western Kansas. If you're within a few hours' drive of any of those groups, I'd strongly recommend getting in touch with them (assuming you haven't yet.) I think they do summer tours and/or a regional show every year, but don't quote me.

Later,

K


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 08, 2013, 12:45:08 AM
There are two garden railroad clubs near me But haven't had the chance to go to one I mean I'm only 11


check out my website!
http://gardentrains.webs.com/


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: veetwelve on March 08, 2013, 01:38:50 AM
Eleven?!  THAT explains why your website looks so great!

Keep at it... we need a younger perspective in this hobby!

All the best,
Jay


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 08, 2013, 06:20:49 PM
thank you Jay. I've worked on it for a while.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 08, 2013, 06:34:03 PM
another Question whats a good starter set I have one but I bought it used and I'm going to sell it to buy a new one any suggestions?


check out my website!
http://gardentrains.webs.com/



Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: veetwelve on March 09, 2013, 01:43:08 AM
Just my opinion, but if I were looking for a starter set, I would only be interested in the ones that included the Bachmann 4-6-0 Anniversary loco, or "Annie" as it is referred to.  Check out the fourth post in this thread for a list of the starter sets that included the Annie, with thanks to Loco Bill:
http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,8674.0.html

Good luck!
Jay

p.s.  I'm also partial to the locos that sported the Walschaerts valve gear for the cool factor.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Loco Bill Canelos on March 09, 2013, 05:45:51 PM
Hi All, The valve motion of the Walschaerts valve gear is in my mind just great to watch, especially at slow speeds.  Set 90059 is a great buy and I strongly recommend it!!

Bill


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 10, 2013, 05:09:06 PM
what about laying track


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Kevin Strong on March 11, 2013, 01:39:42 AM
what about laying track

More than what can be written in a forum like this. I definitely suggest you pick up one of the books or magazines mentioned on the first page of this thread. Obviously I'm a bit biased towards my book due out in April, but there are downloadable resources as well.

Kalmbach has some "how to" .pdf construction articles here:

http://www.kalmbachstore.com/modeltrains-railroading-garden-railroading-digital-downloads-downloadable-articles-project-railroads.html (http://www.kalmbachstore.com/modeltrains-railroading-garden-railroading-digital-downloads-downloadable-articles-project-railroads.html)

or if you've got a Kindle, search Amazon for Allen Miller's "Getting Started in Garden Railroading." It's available as an e-book now. Some of the info (especially relative to electronics) may be a bit dated 12 years after it was originally published, but the construction techniques are pretty timeless.

Later,

K

(Disclaimer: While I wrote a few of the "how to" articles Kalmbach is selling, I get nothing from the sales of those files. I do get royalties on the sales of my book. If I had to choose between the .pdf files versus the book, I'd opt for the book. It's a much better value for the money--most of what's in the pdfs is in the book in one form or another, plus a whole lot of other stuff. I personally don't care which route you go. I want you to be informed, and any of these resources will go a long way towards getting you there.)


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 13, 2013, 05:44:23 PM
I would but my parents wont let me


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: armorsmith on March 13, 2013, 10:26:28 PM
I would but my parents wont let me

Mrrailroad,

I believe I have a duplicate of one of the books Kevin mentioned above.  If you feel confident enough and your parents don't mind, I will send you what duplicates I have (when I find it), at no cost to you.  I will pay for the postage, all I need from you will be an address.  You can message me off list at armorsmith at yahoo dot com.

i looked through your web site and it is a fine web site indeed.  You are quite a programmer for your age, congratulations.  I developed my club's web site (www.ecgrc.com) just using a simple text editor.  Keep up the good work.

Bob C.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Kevin Strong on March 13, 2013, 11:09:10 PM
Would it be presumptuous to say your parents are providing financial support for your hobby? You might suggest to them that a proper "how to" book would at the very minimum go great lengths to protecting their investment if that's the case. It's certainly not my place to tell your parents how to raise their kids, but I grew up in this hobby, and at 11 was very much as you are right now. (My dad and I started our outdoor railroad when I was 9.) From your web site, it's very clear you're passionate about this. Invite them to look at this forum, and feel free to show them my own web site. (Click the banner below for my out-of-date web site, and the "Tuscarora RR Blog" text for my current blog.) They're also welcome to e-mail me with any questions they may have.

Later,

K


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 14, 2013, 05:11:12 PM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D armor smith I might just take up that offer. If I end up asking you for that book thank you times a million!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By the way I have been working on that website for a while. if you want to you could become a member. That would be the first member besides my friend and I.
Also your website looks great! So does your blog Kevin Strong. I might just be able to convince them (not likely Though)

 ???P.S. what book is it all around, track laying ect...


Bobby


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 14, 2013, 05:24:11 PM
armor smith I still don't have permission but if I do I will give you my address through personal messaging on this forum

-Bobby


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: armorsmith on March 14, 2013, 11:19:22 PM
Bobby,

I have a couple of he beginner books I have acquired over the last 5 or so years since I returned to model railroading.  I used to model in On3 until my family (4 children) got real good at disposing of my disposable income.  Now that they are grown and have families of their own, I have returned to my favorite hobby, but my sight is not as good as it used to be, so I chose Large Scale.  That is my back story.

I don't remember specifically which one it is, but I am relatively sure it will cover many of the different aspects of Garden Railroading.  As Kevin mentioned, some information might be a bit dated as most of the books are older in nature, but most of the information is still relevant.  I will dig it out this weekend and let you know which book(s) I have.

I am looking forward to Kevin's book being released and will purchase one as soon as possible.  I always look forward to any articles Kevin puts out in Garden Railways magazine because he writes in a manner that, from my point of view, tries to be informative and unbiased.  He will usually mention as many of the variations as he is knowledgeable in without prejudice.

I browse this and other forums regularly so I will not miss your message.  As a parent and grandparent I understand your parents hesitation, they really have your safety and best interest in mind.  I am providing a link to Garden Trains.org  http://www.gardentrains.org/ where you might be able to locate a club near you.  Clubs are a great way to learn and get help from some great people.

Bob C.





Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 15, 2013, 10:22:24 AM
Thank you I ended up Finding two garden train clubs near me on that website. hopefully I can go to one soon.

-Bobby


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: tac on March 15, 2013, 12:35:21 PM
Nickel Silver will work just fine outdoors. Good luck finding it, especially in sectional track. K

Peco [NOT PIKO] make sectional 45mm gauge track in 300mm/1 foot lengths.  Just to let you know.

tac
Ottawa Valley GRS


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 15, 2013, 05:53:35 PM
Hmm I'll look in to that


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 18, 2013, 01:43:14 PM
what companies make g scale flex track


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: on30gn15 on March 18, 2013, 07:08:18 PM
Let's see what Google can find for g scale flex track; that thought hadn't happened in my brain, just assumed the huge brass rails were too stiff for practical flex track.

Be aware that the price tag of any G outdoor track is going to be somewhere over five bucks per foot of track.

Okay, first hit on g scale flex track http://www.llagastrack.com/ (http://www.llagastrack.com/)
Quote
Llagas Creek flex track is designed to look like US prototype trackage. All tie strips are complete with cast in place tie plates, cast spike heads, and very realistic wood grain. Our track is unique in that we offer realistically sized code 250 or 215 rail. In actual use for 12 years, we have found that this "scale sized" rail is just as reliable on garden railways as the larger rail of other manufacturers. Code 250 rail is only 0.082 (82 thousandths of an inch) smaller than code 332. Careful design has ensured that all of our tie strips provide plenty of flange clearance for reliable operation with all currently manufactured Gauge 1 trains; Aristo Craft, Aster, Bachmann, LGB, etc. Our tie strips are molded in modern UV resistant plastic that is weatherproof in blazing Florida sun or freezing Alaska cold!

The following chart shows the relation of code 215 and code 250 to prototype rail. The "code" of model rail is the height in thousands of an inch. Code 250 = 0.250 or 1/4 inch. Note of interest: the size of prototype rail is measured in pounds per yard.
  

And one other important thing, it don't bend by hand like HO track does.
Quote
IS A RAIL BENDER REALLY NECESSARY?

While our flex track is flexible to a certain degree, all rail materials do have a bit of spring to them, and as such, should be pre-curved to hold a given radius. This is especially true if you are planning to use the "floating" track method as opposed to fastening the track down to wood battens, masonry or concrete. It is possible to curve all of our rail using one's hands, however, we recommend our improved Lindsay Rail Bender to quickly produce smooth, consistent bends with ease. Use our rail bender to build your own sectional track with any radius you require. Imagine the possibilities! Our rail bender can curve to less than a 3 inch radius for turntable pit rails. Have a lot of rail to bend? Use our power adapter with an electric drill to help the job to go quickly.


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 19, 2013, 07:49:39 PM
which works better to hold down track ballast,cock,nails or whatever choices there are


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: JLyans on March 20, 2013, 03:15:35 AM
I have had nickel silver track in my backyard since 1993 it is still in great shape.  My oldest track is Micro Engineering NS, code 250, http://microengineering.com/products_rail.htm (http://microengineering.com/products_rail.htm). I also have some Llagas Creek NS, code 250 that is about 6 years newer. http://www.llagastrack.com/#railmaterials (http://www.llagastrack.com/#railmaterials). They both work great. I still run some track powered trains but I find myself increasingly preferring R/C battery operation. When I do want to run track power I just brush the dirt and leaves off the track and find that I don't have to scrub the rail until it's shiny to get it to conduct the current.

My track just floats and I use decomposed granite for ballast. (For a backwoods, narrow gauge look).

Good luck in planning and building your railroad.

John Lyans


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 20, 2013, 10:44:12 AM
yeah I was planning to use track power. but how do you convert track power to battery power


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: JLyans on March 21, 2013, 02:01:09 AM
You use rechargeable batteries in the engine to power the motor and control the voltage with a radio receiver and transmitter. I would advise sticking with track power to begin. If you go to a club meet someone will probably be using radio control and they can show you how their system works.



Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 21, 2013, 10:24:02 AM
thank you if I was to do it on my own would i connect wires to the wheels or directly to the motor


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Kevin Strong on March 21, 2013, 03:33:25 PM
Nowhere near that simple. With battery power, you need some kind of on-board throttle to control the speed and direction. (i.e., Airwire, Aristo-Craft Revolution, etc.) Those systems will run you anywhere from $100 - $300 per loco depending on the features it has and if it has sound), and that does not including the cost of the transmitter, battery or charger. In most cases, you'll have to do some level of modification to the locomotive itself to install it. It's definitely not anything I would remotely recommend an 11-year-old take on.

Later,

K


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 21, 2013, 04:33:08 PM
Darnet. I've seen kits but I'm guessing those are still really hard to use?


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: Chuck N on March 21, 2013, 11:32:06 PM
My recommendation is to stick with track power, until you grasp the basics of outdoor model railroading.   There is enough to learn when you are getting your track down and running your first train.

There are a lot of other options out there for other types of power: battery, battery/radio control, DCC, live Steam.  Within each of those are other choices.  Don't jump into the other options until you have talked to people who use them.  There are advantages and disadvantages to all these power sources, including track power.  You need to discover what is best for you, so you don't spend money on something that you will later wish you hadn't.

I have converted three of my engines to battery/RC.  I did it so that I can run as a guest on other layouts that do not have track power.  My present layout (my second) has been down since 1994 and I don't need battery/RC for it.  My first one was in Denver (1985-1993).  For the trains that I have run on my layouts, I have never thought that I needed more that track power.  I run one train at a time, with up to two made up trains on passing sidings.  If I double or triple head, I run similar engines so that the motors and gearing match.  Such as a USAtrains F3 ABA diesel set, or two identical LGB engines.

There is plenty of time to change your power requirements.   At the start, KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Chuck


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: tlnibert on March 28, 2013, 09:48:51 AM
If you decide to lay your track on the ground, don't use PEA Gravel. The round smooth gravel doesn't work well.
Tom


Title: Re: garden railroad
Post by: mrrailroad on March 28, 2013, 05:24:19 PM
Yah I've heard about that