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  • Topic: GARDENING ON ELEVATED RAILWAY

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    • February 9, 2018 2:21 PM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Last weekend in April is when this one is scheduled. After that, it's up for grabs. But your welcome anytime. 

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • February 9, 2018 8:42 PM EST
      • Bomaderry, NSW Australia
         
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      John Caughey said:

      Graeme, Don't bother tying your track down. Let it float as a whole, it won't go anywhere, if the ends are secure to each other. My temperatures vary by 80degrees F. The rails grow and shrink with the seasons. Being free to float on at least 1/2" of ballast, works best here, no kinks. I have seen lateral movements up to an inch total where two long tangents forced a curve to bulge. Trains handled it as if it was planned!

      Thanks for the tip John, another one for the memory bank and its filling up fast.

       

      This post was edited by Graeme Price at February 9, 2018 8:43 PM EST
    • February 10, 2018 1:42 PM EST
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      My only problem with floating track is where I've connected Aristo stainless to brass or aluminum, and used Hillman's.  My first run each spring has to be slow, so I can find the track separations.  Electrolysis does not seem to be a factor.

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • February 10, 2018 4:55 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      That's why I like those darn tiny screws in Aristo. I torque 'em in and while it can move some, they don't come apart.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • February 11, 2018 8:19 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yeah, I had REAL trouble with rail separation at the joiners with floating track too:

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • February 11, 2018 11:47 PM EST
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Ive had some success using zip ties to hold track together, in those spots where I try to join stainless and brass/aluminum.  I just have to remember to give the zip ties a squirt of black paint from a rattle can.  They dont like sunshine, at all.

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • February 12, 2018 9:46 AM EST
      • Forest Hill, Maryland
         
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      Just put your Spring Fling on my calendar for April 28 / 29.  Looking forward to it.  I'll private message for your address before hand.

      Thanks-

    • February 12, 2018 9:57 AM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      Okie dokie.........

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      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • February 28, 2018 5:45 PM EST
      • Kokomo, Indiana
         
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      If you use LGB track, they had little tie bars the lock the sections together.  But I also screw down my track on my raised line.  On my old ground level line it was semi floated.  I had some long landscape nails thru the ties into the dirt to help keep it in place.  I love those planter boxes and path lights.  Exactly what I am thinking on my new raised line planned for this year so I can run gauge 1 live steam that needs larger curves than my little LGB railway.   Mike the Aspie

    • June 22, 2018 2:53 PM EDT
      • Cumming, GA
         
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      Well I hope to get stated on my raise RR soon so lots of good ideas here.  Thanks all.  Later RJD

    • June 22, 2018 10:07 PM EDT
      • Streamwood, IL
         
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      Mike Toney said:

      If you use LGB track, they had little tie bars the lock the sections together.  But I also screw down my track on my raised line.  On my old ground level line it was semi floated.  I had some long landscape nails thru the ties into the dirt to help keep it in place.  I love those planter boxes and path lights.  Exactly what I am thinking on my new raised line planned for this year so I can run gauge 1 live steam that needs larger curves than my little LGB railway.   Mike the Aspie

       

       

      Hey Mike, I have a question for you. On my raised track, when it floated, (before I screwed the track down), in the springtime, before running any trains I do the usual track check, and I would usually find 2 or 3 places where the rails would open up maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Loosen the Aristo rail joiners, push the rails back together, and re-tighten. So last year, I figured I'd screw the tracks to the benchwork to eliminate that part of the annual spring track maintenance. This year I found 2 sections of rail that split apart an inch. One was near the house loop and the other was on the other end of the layout near the shed loop on the opposite rail. Doesn't make sense. Cold contracts, and heat expands, and it wasn't long after our last cold spell at the beginning of April that I went out to check the track, maybe 50 degrees out, so it shouldn't have heated the rail up that much.

       

      On a side note, the track is screwed down every 3 ft, any ideas? Do I need to remove more screws so it becomes semi-floating?

    • June 23, 2018 12:02 AM EDT
      • Southern Oregon
         
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      I don't know how you screwed your track down and I am in a different climate from you but what works for me is using a large fender washer and screwing down between the ties.  This allows the track, rails and ties, to slide around a little with climate expansion/contraction  but keeps them mostly in place.  don't cinch the screws down too tight the ties need to be able to slip a little.

      Just what works for me

      Rick

    • June 23, 2018 12:59 PM EDT
      • Streamwood, IL
         
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      Rick Marty said:

      I don't know how you screwed your track down and I am in a different climate from you but what works for me is using a large fender washer and screwing down between the ties.  This allows the track, rails and ties, to slide around a little with climate expansion/contraction  but keeps them mostly in place.  don't cinch the screws down too tight the ties need to be able to slip a little.

      Just what works for me

      Rick

       

       

      I used drywall screws through the ties, and I tightened them down too much, some to the point of crushing the tie. The rail was able to slide, but the ties were too tight. Thanks for the insight Rick.

    • June 23, 2018 11:47 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Hey Mike, I have a question for you. On my raised track, when it floated, (before I screwed the track down), in the springtime, before running any trains I do the usual track check, and I would usually find 2 or 3 places where the rails would open up maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart. Loosen the Aristo rail joiners, push the rails back together, and re-tighten. So last year, I figured I'd screw the tracks to the benchwork to eliminate that part of the annual spring track maintenance. This year I found 2 sections of rail that split apart an inch. One was near the house loop and the other was on the other end of the layout near the shed loop on the opposite rail. Doesn't make sense. Cold contracts, and heat expands, and it wasn't long after our last cold spell at the beginning of April that I went out to check the track, maybe 50 degrees out, so it shouldn't have heated the rail up that much.

       

      On a side note, the track is screwed down every 3 ft, any ideas? Do I need to remove more screws so it becomes semi-floating?

      Not Mike, but if you try to control your track so it cannot move, it will anyway. Metal will expand with temperature.

      Why big gaps in a few places? Because the track grows with heat... and usually closes all the joints.

       

      But when it cools, there are always differences in friction, in the joiners, where the tracks sit, etc, so the contraction is NOT even and tends to "collect" in fewer locations, so the fewer locations have more gap.

       

      Very few people are able to secure track so firmly that this does not happen. So there are success stories for people locking down their track. A few. Far more people follow an evolution..

      1. put the track down and use stock joiners..

      2. track moves and they put down screws.

      3. track keeps moving and put in more screws

      4. track still moves and now use clamps

      5. track still moves and if track like Aristo, remove the screws between the ties and the rails.

      6. track still moves and person gives up or allows track to move, secure lightly less often or free float in ballast.

       

      After reading all people's experiences for several years before laying track I went from step 1 directly to step 6.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • June 24, 2018 5:57 AM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Yes, many of the Aristo joiners that I originally used have been replaced with clamps. Clamps, like Split Jaw, are more secure then those Aristo joiners.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • June 24, 2018 9:24 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      David Maynard said:

      Yes, many of the Aristo joiners that I originally used have been replaced with clamps. Clamps, like Split Jaw, are more secure then those Aristo joiners.

      That may be true for brass rail, but in Stainless, I like the joiners best. I bought longer Allen wenches so I can really torque the screws in tight.  I let my track float as a whole on my elevated benches.

      I only use clamps where I've cut the rail or encountered bad threads.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • June 24, 2018 10:42 AM EDT
      • Kokomo, Indiana
         
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      Or if your going small, build the whole table like a planter box, this what I did with the main area of my small railway.  The extended loop I am added will have the long planter boxes like posted above.  I really like that idea to bring some "garden"  up to the platform style set up.  Keep in mind they will need watering often during dry weather.   As to how I mounted my track, since I use sectional LGB track, every piece has a single screw thru one of the factory holes in the ties, I tighten them down by hand till I start to see the tie deform, then back it off so there is a smidge of wiggle room.  I am not using drywall screws as they are designed to be countersunk. I use stainless philips head screws from Lowes home centers.  After I got them all screwed down, I went back with a small brush and some flat black paint and darkened them all to lessen them being seen.  No issues with rails coming apart from year to year.   I also use the LGB plastic clips that clip from tie to tie between the track sections.   

       

      This post was edited by Mike Toney at June 24, 2018 10:51 AM EDT
    • June 24, 2018 11:55 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      John Caughey said:
      David Maynard said:

      Yes, many of the Aristo joiners that I originally used have been replaced with clamps. Clamps, like Split Jaw, are more secure then those Aristo joiners.

      That may be true for brass rail, but in Stainless, I like the joiners best. I bought longer Allen wenches so I can really torque the screws in tight.  I let my track float as a whole on my elevated benches.

      I only use clamps where I've cut the rail or encountered bad threads.

      PS; I only get gaps when I left the screws loose, otherwise it inhales and exhales just fine.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • June 24, 2018 2:41 PM EDT
      • Pinon Hills, California
         
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         Most of you don't get the heat I get but I always floated my track outside. The temperature hit 119 one day and my track floated about two feet off one of the end curves. It never derailed any engines but that track sure made wider corners! 

         Now that the track is indoors I am still going to let it float. 

    • June 24, 2018 6:58 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      John Caughey said:
      John Caughey said:
      David Maynard said:

      Yes, many of the Aristo joiners that I originally used have been replaced with clamps. Clamps, like Split Jaw, are more secure then those Aristo joiners.

      That may be true for brass rail, but in Stainless, I like the joiners best. I bought longer Allen wenches so I can really torque the screws in tight.  I let my track float as a whole on my elevated benches.

      I only use clamps where I've cut the rail or encountered bad threads.

      PS; I only get gaps when I left the screws loose, otherwise it inhales and exhales just fine.

      John, I guess you don't remember, but I only have Aristo Stainless. Even with the screws torqued down on the Aristo joiners, by your own admission, they inhale and exhale, something that does not happen with the split jaws. I started replacing the Aristo joiners years ago when they started failing. After a few freeze thaw cycles a few of them got loose, and one even split. So I started replacing them with Hillmans. Then the Hillmans started to break, so I went with Split Jaws. Truth be told, I am surprised at how many Aristo joiners are still in service on my railroad. My guess is that around half of them, maybe a bit more then half, did not fail.

       

      This spring I replaced 4 of the Aristo joiners. They were still solid, but 2 were at the end of the bridge track, and Split Jaws work better for rail that gets removed periodically. And 2 were on the first section of the lower reverse loop. Trains have been slowing down on that section for years, so one or the other joiner was not making a good electrical contact. Now that they have been replaced, the trains no longer slow down on the section.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

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