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    • June 16, 2020 5:14 PM EDT
    • knife switches... that's what i call keeping it simple.

    • June 15, 2020 4:41 PM EDT
    • Finally an update, I have been working on this...alot actually. I just have very limited access to upload pics to here, so here are the updated pics.

      Track is down, wired and fully operational, although I do have to regrade the far corner to bring the grade down a little, not a biggie.

      Control is optional, a single LGB pack directly wired to the track and a second unit with an Aristo Basic Train Engineer for walkaround control. block control is via simple knife switches, on or off, under the little shed looking thingies.

      First pic is before finish wiring was in place. Second is after all the wiring was complete and buttoned up, last is the portable control unit, bot simply nest on top of a 4x4 post.

       

       

       

       

      I've also since finished paving inside the pit area, It's coming together.

    • June 13, 2020 8:11 AM EDT
    • One day I found course pea stone and used that as the granite places no longer let the public enter the yards due to  insurance regulations.  Unfortunately the place I got this stone from is now closed.  Good thing I had extra and now at my age I will not be expanding, just run with what I have, too many trains and not enough track.

    • June 12, 2020 12:57 PM EDT
    • Tractor supply has chicken grit as well, in reasonable size bags. I have gotten a red color here locally that I like but you need to be carful as the color of stone you get can vary from white to red to dark grey, best to source all you will need at one time and check color. the next batch may be something different.

       

      AL P.

    • June 12, 2020 12:22 PM EDT
    • Don Howard said:

      Here in northern Vermont the feed stores always have chicken grit.

      STOP!

      A LOT of the grit they sell is oyster shell.

      Maybe OK for the chicks and other birds, but not a look I'd want on my layout.

      Yep.  I got sold a bag of crushed oyster shell when I was decorating my first indoor loop around the Christmas tree. In my head I justified the white color as a winter scene around the Christmas tree!

       

      Besides the white ballast that GP-9 sure looks silly on R1 curves!

    • June 12, 2020 11:31 AM EDT
    • Here in Ft. Worth, Texas a cubic yard of crushed granite is around $50.00, if you don't have a way to carry that much weight delivery fee is around $65.00, $15.00 for a big plastic bag to keep it in.  You don't have a color choice, most of the time it's a gray reddish color, looks great for G scale ballast. Holds the track in place very well and if you need to do track work something like an ice pick works well to loosen it up. Also works well for walkway in the garden, I have it between the stones on a patio down by the lake, does not wash out.

       

      trainman

    • June 12, 2020 12:19 PM EDT
    • I know this is an older post, but this is a great way to control switches, powered, or manual operation. My HOn3 layout were I had switches in places where I could not get the Tortoise switch machine were it was accessible for service if needed, they are in remote locations on the layout for obvious reasons. This setup is heavy duty compared to what I used on the HOn3 layout for obvious reasons, but it's a great system to use for remote locations, either powered, or manual operation. 

       

      trainman

    • June 11, 2020 4:42 PM EDT
    • John Le Forestier said:

      A few years back I devised a single, simple manual control for all the points of a double slip switch.  This considerably simplifies life with one of these trackwork monstrosities.

      In May of 2016 I wrote it all up for our club newsletter, which you can download from our archives at: 

      http://www.backyardrailroaders.com/images/pdf/byrr_may16.pdf

      And since you asked, a Connie can indeed 'slip' through an LGB double slip switch.  I'm not sure of the diameter of the switch - I've heard it's five feet.  It's not a pretty sight, but she'll go.

      I hope you double-slip guys enjoy my article.  Cheers!

      Connie will actually go through LGB R1 points.

      I connected two curve exits together directly and it got through there going forward, going backward was just not possible because the loco footplate and the tender front just caught and bound causing a derailment.

      Putting a straight of 400mm in length between the point exits solved the problem.

      While it worked Connie did not look all that good going through.

       

      As pointed out on posts both here and another forum if I use a double slip I am creating a single point where the risk of collisions becomes far greater.

    • June 11, 2020 4:18 PM EDT
    • A few years back I devised a single, simple manual control for all the points of a double slip switch.  This considerably simplifies life with one of these trackwork monstrosities.

      In May of 2016 I wrote it all up for our club newsletter, which you can download from our archives at: 

      http://www.backyardrailroaders.com/images/pdf/byrr_may16.pdf

      And since you asked, a Connie can indeed 'slip' through an LGB double slip switch.  I'm not sure of the diameter of the switch - I've heard it's five feet.  It's not a pretty sight, but she'll go.

      I hope you double-slip guys enjoy my article.  Cheers!

    • June 11, 2020 1:24 PM EDT
    • Double slips usually are more for yard use but it depends on your space. 

      LGB lists its double switch as R2.

      If you need a wider double switch (if you go that direction) though a bit more expensive is Thiel tracks of Germany.  Completely compatible with LGB track.

      They have three listed ranging from 120, 200 and 300 cm radius.  That comes out to about 4, 6.5, and 10 ft radius.  Basically the first is R3, the second is a bit short of R5 as LGB lists its track.

    • June 11, 2020 11:54 AM EDT
    • I want to install something to allow trains to pass from one loop to the other and vice versa.

      Let me suggest that you could do something prototypical, and just install a "trailing" crossing using a pair of switches/turnouts. The real railroads preferred to have the switches/turnouts entered from the frog end, instead of the point blade end (a "facing" switch.) Safer that way.

       

      With a single link between loops, you would have to do what the prototype does - stop trains on both loops, back one over the crossover, and then start off again.

       

    • June 10, 2020 5:17 PM EDT
    • Pete Thornton said:

      First option would be a diamond Crossing which would involve the purchase of 4 sets of turnouts and a crossing.
      Second option would be to use a double slip which in the purchasing stakes is a far cheaper option plus there is the requirement for less space.

      The first option allows two trains to operate without hitting each other. A double slip would provide a single point of contact where they could meet.

       

      That scenario has just dawned on me after I gave the it a bit more thought.

      I was only thinking of the cost and space saving and not how the thing operated, will have to look at the situation more closely.

    • June 10, 2020 1:06 PM EDT
    • First option would be a diamond Crossing which would involve the purchase of 4 sets of turnouts and a crossing.
      Second option would be to use a double slip which in the purchasing stakes is a far cheaper option plus there is the requirement for less space.

      The first option allows two trains to operate without hitting each other. A double slip would provide a single point of contact where they could meet.

       

    • June 9, 2020 7:04 AM EDT
    • I did the 90 degree crossover and 4 of LGB's R3 switches over 15 years ago and it still works for me.  Makes my minimum curves on the 2 loops at 8 foot diameter, however one straight through loop is 10 foot diameter on a large loop using 2  of the LGB 18000 switches.

    • June 9, 2020 6:32 AM EDT
    • I am at the stage where I want to install something to allow trains to pass from one loop to the other and vice versa.
      First option would be a diamond Crossing which would involve the purchase of 4 sets of turnouts and a crossing.
      Second option would be to use a double slip which in the purchasing stakes is a far cheaper option plus there is the requirement for less space.
      The majority of my locos are short wheelbase with the exception of an LGB 0-6-0 diesel, a Bachman "Connie" and a Bachmann 3 truck shay.
      I know that the Shay and the diesel will squeeze around the LGB R1 curves of some of my points but I am not sure about the "Connie" although it does have flangeless wheels for the inner 2 drivers.
      Has anybody used a double slip and if so what success did you have?
      What is the radius of the LGB double slip I have seen quoted as R2?
      Wiring polarity etc. is not an issue as I run Battery R/C locos.
      I am just exploring options at the moment and the LGB one seem reasonably priced but the TrainLi one would require a second mortgage.
      Does anybody else make double slips?

      I must add that I am in Australia and postage/freight is an expensive consideration.

    • June 8, 2020 9:41 AM EDT
    • longlived?

       

      LGB track and switches, electric switchmotors and trafos/controlers:

      since 1970 (or was it '69?) first out in the north german wet climate, then in the tropical sun, and now under roof (with teperature differences of 50°C/85°F yearly and about 30°C/55°F daily)

      all still near mint - with exception of sections trampled by horses or cattle. After 50 years!

       

      for me a no brainer! LGB made in germany or hungary is the best!

       

      (only parts i have to replace every now and then are the reed contacts.)

    • June 7, 2020 7:52 PM EDT
    • For those who come across this problem in future - Pete from Sunset Valley confirmed SV ties are a direct replacement for the failing AML ones, and has supplied many for this reason.

       

      I'll be getting a bunch soon.  Wooden ties are cheaper but I'm not up to hand spiking the track - way too lazy.. 

       

      Cheers

      Neil

    • June 3, 2020 2:53 AM EDT
    • Rick Marty said:

      Neil,

      I got about 500 feet of replacement ties from AMS ( for code 250 narrow gauge) in 2014 because the originals from 2005 had all gone to crap.  We moved in 2015 and I started the new RR in 2016 and put the new ties on the rail and started installation. The ties were all painted before install but the ones out in full sun areas are starting to show signs of UV stress. 

       

      Don't know if this will help answer your question but it sure has me changed over to Llagas Creek and Sunset Valley.

       

      I too have some AMS code 250 track and the ties have all disintegrated due to UV exposure.  They were only in the garden for about 4 years before they started falling apart, the garden was in Southern Australia with a climate of cold winters and hot summers. 

      The ties in the shadier parts of the garden lasted longer but those out in the sun just crumbled.

      In comparison I have some other no name ties that have discolored through exposure to the garden environment but are still serviceable/usable (in fact I m using them again on my new railway).

      I am on the lookout for some code 250 ties but being in Aust any thing I buy comes with a cost of postage that usually exceeds the cost of the item so will probably have resort to making some timber ones unless I sell the rail in the mean time.

      I have a very low opinion of AMS products based on the quality of their ties, my advice would be to avoid them like COVID-19

    • June 3, 2020 2:00 AM EDT
    • Thanks Rick,

       

      Hmmm, sounds like the ties I have will be suspect as well then.  Ah well.. 

       

      I guess the same Q remains - do Llagas or Sunset (or ..?) ties fit AMS code 250 rail.  I'm going to end up with quite a bit of rail even after making a bunch of switches up.

       

      Cheers

      Neil

    • June 2, 2020 10:27 AM EDT
    • Neil,

      I got about 500 feet of replacement ties from AMS ( for code 250 narrow gauge) in 2014 because the originals from 2005 had all gone to crap.  We moved in 2015 and I started the new RR in 2016 and put the new ties on the rail and started installation. The ties were all painted before install but the ones out in full sun areas are starting to show signs of UV stress. 

       

      Don't know if this will help answer your question but it sure has me changed over to Llagas Creek and Sunset Valley.