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Author Topic: The Great Wall  (Read 4847 times)
Royal Oak Railroad

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« on: October 18, 2010, 04:33:08 PM »

It looks like the best way to put the new Royal Oak Railroad in the back yard is to fix it to the block wall across the back.  I have a small yard, with just enough room for a "turning basin" at each end, and some exotic plantings in the middle.  I plan on one track, with a 4 or 5 foot diameter circle at each end.  The turns will be on top of posts/trestle like structures.  A dog bone. 

So.  It is a block wall with about 1/2 inch of mortar between each course of blocks.  The wall itself is about 6 feet, and shared from behind with another house.  I would like the rails about 2 feet above ground level.  I have seen many G scales in rooms near the ceiling, some hung, some using L braces. 

Does anyone have any recent/antique/direct experience with this type of installation?  Types of screws/bolts, braces, suspended road bed and so on.  And any real tricks!!!

Much appreciated, Dave
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NarrowMinded


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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2010, 09:14:58 PM »

I saw a similar set up to what you are discribing but the whole thing was built to look like a tressle and not attached to the wall at all

NM
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az2rail


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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2010, 09:34:30 PM »

Main question is, is your wall solid grouted, or do you have empty cells? If you have empty cells, you can drill a hole in the block and use a bolt with a butterfly nut to anchor the rackets to the block. This is easy. If your cells are grouted, you will need to use a red-head type anchor bolt. That is a bolt with an expanding sleeve that tightens in the hole. I would not put any anchors in the joints. You might cause the joint to crack. Be sure to use a masonry drill bit if you go this route.

Bruce
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If your parents never had children, chances are you won't either.
Sleeping Bear

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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 09:28:32 AM »

  az2 makes a good point, do not anchor to the joints, it WILL be a mess. Is the wall level? If not , do you want the track to be level [ witch will look off against the wall ]or do you want the track to look "right" against the wall. Will your neighbor have anything bad to say if you drill holes in said shared wall? Consider NM's idea and build a trestle in front of the wall and paint a back drop on it. You could get your straight part built and simply sink posts where they would keep the track against the wall, hide them with a shrub. If you are set on attaching to the wall.. most hardware stores will be able to point you in the direction of "Tap cons" They are blue in color and made for masonry, ask a pro about putting these in block, you may be better off putting a couple short posts in the ground as I have found hollow block has a tendency to deteriorate around a hole in what seems like an awful short time if left to the weather and not sealed. I wouldn't recommend using household shelving brackets [ L brackets ]same problem if the weather gets to them. Posts and wood [all pressure treated] will most likely give you the longest life with minimal maintenance [ on your road bed ] Hope this helps more than I think it did  S.B.
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"If at first you don't succeed....Get a bigger hammer"
Royal Oak Railroad

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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 04:41:53 PM »

Wow....

Your guys are brilliant.  The idea of a full trestle is very enticing.  I already have some ideas on how to do that and mix things up a little.  It is possible to put an anchor post in the ground every 6 feet or so, then run a road bed from post to post.  that way I can assure it is level, or, even with the mortar lines of the wall. 

Good call on not drilling into the joints.... real bad idea.  As for even drilling the block, "after further review".... even a worse idea. 

Having read your comments, perhaps a viaduct arrangement set out from the wall about 3-6 inches might work.  The road itself will actually be going "through" some vegetation.... bougainvillea, sage and so on.  (This is in the desert near Tucson.) 

Once again.  Thanks tons for the inputs and if you think of anything else, please let me know.
I'll take pictures as things progress.

Dave

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russm

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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 08:15:30 PM »

I couldn't anchor to my fence so my RR is free standing.  It is still under construction but here are some pictures of what I am doing:









The supports are 3" schedule 40 PVC with reducers down to 2" PVC.  The segments are made from 2 1/2" wide Tuff Board found at Home Depot.  I'm using composite decking as the rungs of the ladder, I now space the rungs 12" apart rather than the 6" in the photo.  While it sounds like you won't want to do this for your entire RR it might be good for a few segments.  I have some freestanding lengths that are 5' between supports, no bending at all.  The 3" supports are burried up to 2 feet deep into the ground for the tallest sections.

Right now I only have that straight segment with the loop on the one end.  Much more to do.  Total cost for all materials in the pictures (except the track and locos) was $250.  I hope to get much more done on the other end so I can run locos continuously soon.
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Sleeping Bear

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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2010, 11:08:52 PM »

 russm, really glad you posted, been thinking of using PVC my self as where I live at the moment could be more temporary than I'd like. You say you haven't had problems with movement??  What region of the country are you in and how long has this section been standing?  I have winter to contend with and my fear is freezing and breakage of pipes or weakening them with drain holes. I guess a foot or so of gravel in the bottom of the hole would take care of drain problems,.. but then so would simply capping the up rights I guess...... sorry....been think typing again Grin...S.B.
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"If at first you don't succeed....Get a bigger hammer"
russm

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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 09:16:58 PM »

No problem, I'll post more pics as I work on the other end's loop.  I haven't had it up long, only 2 weeks.  I'm in Florida where I need not worry about freezing.  There is no wobbling I can detect when the locomotives are running.  It is of course possible to move the posts by hand.  I may fill the long ones with Quickrete to reduce shake even more.  For the filled ones I will need to cap them to keep water from accumulating on top of the concrete.  I put the pipe into the ground using a 2x4 and a 2 pound hammer.  Lots of elbow grease.  That was the hardest part so far!

I don't know how well the PVC piping would hold up in winter but it is schedule 40 and fairly thick.  If it was extremely cold and one was hit with a hammer, it might shatter but I really don't know.  As to freezing a column of water in the pipe I would think it would need to be very full of water.  If just the bottom had water I don't think a freeze would damage it.

Our only concern in FL is mosquitoes nesting in the water that might breed in the pipe!  Smiley

good luck,

russ
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 09:18:34 PM by russm » Logged
NarrowMinded


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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 10:48:02 PM »

If your not capping the tubes and worried about the tubes filling with water just drill a small drain hole in the side at ground level

NM
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armorsmith


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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 10:55:59 PM »

...... or pour a bit of chlorine down each one now and again.

Bob C.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 03:23:49 PM »

Royal Oak-

You're lucky to live in Tucson; it means you won't have to worry about frost heave if you build a long trestle for your railroad and you won't have to worry about rusting brackets if you attach the line to your block wall.  Don't use the wall, however, unless you can do so with the agreement of your neighbor.  This isn't necessary if the wall is yours and on your property.  I think the wall installation might be better, especially since it will be much easier and cheaper.  Whatever you do, good luck with your project.

                                                                                                              -- D
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russm

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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2010, 08:35:14 PM »

Bought a post driver that works perfectly for 3" PVC which is actually about 3 1/2" outside diameter.  Here is a link.  It makes pounding them into the ground VERY easy!

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_988888_988888

Hope this helps anyone thinking of trying this.

russ
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Royal Oak Railroad

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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2010, 06:10:56 PM »

After much consideration, and the great words from you guys, I have decided to abandon any wall attachment and proceed with trestle/PVC combinations.  Living in the desert will be a plus... Even though my soil is a bit gravely, it is porous.  I've asked Russ to give me/us any caveats as he progresses in the construction.  Mine will not be nearly as high, averaging only 6 to 12 inches above the ground.

Brilliant ideas all.

Dave 
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russm

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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2010, 11:31:15 PM »

Dave,

I emailed you a few notes.  At lower height you can use 2" PVC.  Here are some pictures of the completed southern loop and a siding I added.

Note the 2" PVC supports for the very short risers:




A far view of the 2" PVC supports on the southern loop:


Good luck, looking forward to your pictures as you progress,

russ
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