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    • January 29, 2019 8:06 PM EST
    • Gary, that rolling hills front yard is nothing an excavator and dump truck couldn't make short work of

    • January 29, 2019 4:02 PM EST
    • lorna dane said:

      Always wished I could have an outdoor ride on.  Just do not think it is the stars.  I think I have the room (40acres) but looking at the cost of the equipment - ouch! 

      Intrigued by the 2.5" scale stuff since I like narrow gauge.  RMI makes a lot of stuff and some of the Accucraft ride on (Passenger car, plymouth and announced #6 goose) appears to be 2.5" scale.

      Anyway, just love reading about these kind of adventures.

       

       

      You definitely have the land for ride-on with 40 acres.....RMI stuff has always been "pricey" even for the ride-on hobby. I know a few folks who have RMI equipment (rolling stock and locomotives) and the guys with the electric stuff are not real happy with the quality. There is a lady at Los Angeles Live Steamers that bought a 3-3/4 inch scale "Sweet Creek" electrified "steam engine" from RMI and had all kinds of issues with it. She is a retired private secretary for Disney Company and pretty feisty. She loaded up the tender with dozens of lemons for one major meet a few years ago and put it on display. Finally she got RMI's attention and they are still working on the electrical issues. The actual RMI steam engines (Sweet Creek's) are great engines....big and hefty and great pullers. The club owns two of these and pull the public on Sundays. Rumor has it that Jay Leno has one of these. He runs now and then at the club in L.A.

      The Accucraft 2-1/2 inch scale stuff is pretty nice. Their J&S D&RGW coaches are very nice and at $2995, a very fair price. The Goose #6 at $4200 is a great price. Thinking about getting one for the house. I have a Berlyn Goose #6 in 1/20.3. Great brass model. Somebody on LSC has the Accucraft Plymouth engine and runs it in his yard in the S.F. Bay area. 

      Eaton Custom Engineering in Castle Rock, WA used to make the little critter Super Husky. I'm building one now. Only 36 inches long and around 150 pounds. All aluminum frame and body. Easily transported. Battery powered and full sound. He sold this engine in kit form for under $3000. 

      If you do your own machining and build this stuff yourself (easy to do), the cost of this ride-on hobby can be cheaper to do than 1/29th. A lot more fun riding it than watching from afar going around a loop. If I can help you to "get started" in this scale, I can point you to resources and vendors that can make this hobby just as affordable as large scale 1/29th. Let me know. There are many members on MyLargeScale and here on Large Scale Central that have recently "graduated" to the ride-on hobby.

    • January 29, 2019 3:25 PM EST
    • Ken Brunt said:

      What you need, Gary, is a smaller house and a bigger yard................

       

       

      I hear you Ken......my home is already too small at 1600 square feet. AND only two bedroom. I could sell right now for 1M bucks (home is "free and clear"-all equity), but where would I go in So. Cal. to get  the land? and a home as large as I have now? Real estate is WAY over-priced in California :)!

    • January 29, 2019 3:19 PM EST
    • Sean McGillicuddy said:

      I was thinking ^^^^ the "Y" going here @ the driveway ..with a switch were the track meets the grass ..the second up were the sidewalks meets the "Y" ... how small of a radius do you need ?

       

      Hi Sean,

      From my drawing, it DOES look like I could put a "wye" where you are suggesting. But in actuality the minimum radius the layout uses now is 28 feet. AND the grass is not flat. When I did the landscaping about 25 years ago, we did a "rolling foothills" style. Very common here in So. Cal. for grass lawns. Adds more character, but definitely NOT good for RR ROW! My house is setback from the curb about fifty feet the code standard for our street "setback". IF I had another fifty feet, I could do a "Y" using the pathways in the front yard. My city lot is only 70 feet wide. A few homes on our street actually occupy 2 lots side-by-side. Those lots were rare to find even in the early 1950's in Burbank. Acreage is very rare in So. Cal. Most lots in our neighborhood are under 7000-8000 sq. ft. Our lot is 11000. Just a little over 1/4 acre. STILL not big enough for ride-on. :)

       

       

    • January 29, 2019 10:21 AM EST
    • Always wished I could have an outdoor ride on.  Just do not think it is the stars.  I think I have the room (40acres) but looking at the cost of the equipment - ouch! 

      Intrigued by the 2.5" scale stuff since I like narrow gauge.  RMI makes a lot of stuff and some of the Accucraft ride on (Passenger car, plymouth and announced #6 goose) appears to be 2.5" scale.

      Anyway, just love reading about these kind of adventures.

    • January 29, 2019 6:49 AM EST
    • What you need, Gary, is a smaller house and a bigger yard................

    • January 29, 2019 6:33 AM EST
    • I was thinking ^^^^ the "Y" going here @ the driveway ..with a switch were the track meets the grass ..the second up were the sidewalks meets the "Y" ... how small of a radius do you need ?

    • January 28, 2019 4:34 PM EST
    • Sean McGillicuddy said:

      OK Gary ... is there a turntable next ?

      Hmmm ..looking a little closer I can see a "Y" with just two more switches ...

      Dam that looks like a blast ...

       

      Sean,

      Funny you should mention a "turntable"........just last week I was thinking more and more about how to do an "easy turn" of rolling stock and engines AND do it quickly. I real turntable is out of the question (just not enough property here to do that permanently. So I started to make a 6 foot length of track panel and fasten 4 swivel casters under it. Lightweight and easy to tun. Not very tall (less than eight inches). A couple of wheel stops and just turn the engine or car. I will use rubber tired casters about 4 inches in diameter. That's in the build stage right now. No photos yert until I order more aluminum rail from my distributor.

       

      If I had the room, I would make a "wye" using two switches and what's called a "window shield wiper" turntable. The turntable ONLY pivots on one end and moves half the arc. There is a club in Southern California that has one at the end of one section of point to point operation. It's pretty clever and doesn't take a lot of real estate to turn a train. The train stays on the siding and only the engine is turned. The passengers just turn around in their seats to face in the direction of the movement of the train.

       

      I did a little "surveying" this morning to see if it was actually feasible to make a complete loop in our yard. It IS possible with a long 135 foot trestle about 34 inches tall on a 20-22 foot radius. Also I would have to install a lift out section for access to the solar water storage tank. Total loop would be a little over 400 feet. There would also have to be a second lift out section for the walkway to the pool. Too many caveats :). Here is the drawing for the complete loop.

      In the drawing above. you can see the outline of my 6 foot steel gondola (where it says Start of trestle". The solar storage tak is a tight squeeze between a fench and the house. Then the line goes into the backyard and around the small 20-22 ft. radius, across the brick path leading to the pool and deck and then eventually connects to the existing track where it says End of trestle. Derailments of the 350 pound electric locomotives any part of the trestle won't be an issue with the heavy duty re-railing tools I have. A one person operation.

       

      Well.....I can dream.....

    • January 28, 2019 7:39 AM EST
    • Great drawing, Gary.  Gives a good percepective.  Thanks for sharing

    • January 28, 2019 7:14 AM EST
    • OK Gary ... is there a turntable next ?

      Hmmm ..looking a little closer I can see a "Y" with just two more switches ...

      Dam that looks like a blast ...

    • January 27, 2019 8:54 AM EST
    • Looks like a good way to take the trash out, too. Load the cans on a car and haul'em out to the curb........

    • January 27, 2019 2:38 AM EST
    • Just to finish this building thread for the turnout, I finally found an old program on my computer to convert my MasterCam drawings into a photo :). These two drawings below show the present layout of the little "Shortline" using one switch (the one that is completed). This particular mainline is about 185 feet long. Just uses one turnout to load/unload trains onto the track from the storage racks. The second drawing shows the siding and station area served by the new turnout kit that was just ordered. With this siding, the ROW should be about 225 feet long with the ability to run two trains bi-directional.

       

    • January 21, 2019 6:16 AM EST
    • Isn't It is a nice feeling when everything works like it's suppose to.. 

      Looks real nice and will last a long time..

    • January 18, 2019 10:31 PM EST
    • today was a big day here at the shortline. I finally put the new turnout on the ground and ran the first piece of 1/8th scale rollimg stock through the spring points and #5 frog.

      First thing I had to do was move the completed turnout from the locomotive rack it has been stored on and get it on the ground. I wasn't real sure how awkward this switch would be to lift and set in place. Actually it was pretty easy to put part of the turnout on my locomotive/rolling stock lift rack, get it balanced and then just lower it down. A lot easier than I thought.......at the end of the day, I was just lifting and carrying by hand to move into place. This switch is very sturdy and there is no flexing or bending anywhere.

       

      Next step was to pull a piece of rolling stock out of storage and place on the track and turnout. This method worked great with the aluminum loading ramp I purchased a couple of years ago from the Big Boots & Western RR in Florida. Made of 1/8th thick aircraft 6061 T5 aluminum plate. This ramp/rerailer is capable of holding locomotives up to 800 pounds. Very strong, but lightweight. My caboose is the lightest car I own at 125-130 pounds. The caboose rolled right off the lift rack and right onto the switch tail track rails.....no derailments. The tapered "rails" worked just as advertised by quiding the trucks right in the proper position. I had been skeptical, but it worked great.

       

      Another view of the operation.

       

      First time on the rails!

       

      First test of the spring switch points! Because this is the lightest car, I wasn't sure if I had the springs adjust correctly on the switch throw. But as you can see in this photo, the wheels are moving the points and no derailments. Very smooth going through these points.

       

      First test of the caboose trucks through the cast aluminum #5 frog. Smooth as glass.

       

      The new turnout is approved and ready to be installed on the shorftline. I can't wait to get delivery of my second #5 turnout "kit" to be installed about 150 feet up the driveway for the "station" and siding for multi train/bi-directional running.

      The rain stayed away today to get this testing finished. This finally completes the #5 turnout "build". Thanks for looking :).

       

    • January 14, 2019 6:11 PM EST
    • Thanks, Gary. I guess I should have paid more attention to how the track was put together when I was up at the Finger Lakes Live Steamers. Too busy havin fun.......

    • January 14, 2019 1:43 PM EST
    • John Caughey said:

      You must have a really big pair of pliers to tighten those joiners!

      10 inch Vise grips John :). Actually they slip together easier than the small scale joiners. Already in place of one track panel. Then just "slide" the adjoining panel on. Note the photo above with the large furniture clamps (Sean's post).

    • January 14, 2019 1:21 PM EST
    • You must have a really big pair of pliers to tighten those joiners!

    • January 14, 2019 1:16 PM EST
    • Hey guys,

      Both of you (Sean and Ken) are correct about the rail joiners. They are no more than "giant" LGB rail joiners :). The ones I use are called "Train Mountain" joiners, used to connect track panels at the world renown 7.5 inch gauge layout in Oregon. L.A. Live Steamers still uses "fishplates" like the prototype. But for a home layout that is semi-portable (temporary set-up), these TM joiners seem to work great. Each track panel weighs about 25 pounds (with the "tie configuration" I use), so using these "slide-on" joiners makes it much easier to put the layout together in a "one-person" operation. I'll try to find some photos of these and add to this post.

      EDIT: I found a couple of photos of the Train Mountain rail joiners I use on these track panels.

      As you can see in this photo, there are two "notches" and one hole in each joiner (these are 4 inches long and a little over 1 inch wide). The single hole is used if you want to permanently mount the joiner to the end of the Code 1000 aluminum rail. The two notches are used as "temporary" holding to keep the panels from sliding apart in train use. So far, I have found I didn't need to do this. The panels are heavy enough that this slippage doesn't occur.

       

      These are the SS screws used to fasten rail to the ties. #10 X 1-1/8 inches long. These screws also fit the single hole in the joiners and the notches.

    • January 14, 2019 10:48 AM EST
    • Ken it looks like a larger version of our rail joiners .. hard to see if they used screws ..   

    • January 14, 2019 9:22 AM EST
    • Gary Armitstead said:
       

       

      How are those track panels tied together? With rail joiners like the smaller gauges or bolted together like the full size RR's?

      If it weren't for the wall and the other stuff to give it some scale, it looks just like aluminum sectional track from LLagos Creek or Sunset Valley........