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  • Topic: Code 250 outdoors in New England?

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    • February 9, 2018 7:44 PM EST
      • Kittery, ME
         
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      Code 250 outdoors in New England?

      I have laid about 150 feet of SVRR track in my basement, and am really happy with the look of it. After getting used to it, the code 332 sectional track layouts in Springfield a couple of weeks ago looked ridiculous.   However, I have started ballasting, and have found it to be an extremely fussy affair. I am able to glue it down, of course, indoors, but it has started me thinking about what it’s going to be like to use it outdoors in the spring.  

       

      Temperatures here range from -10° to 100° over the course of the year, and we got a lot of precipitation and freeze/thaw. I had planned to float the track to let it expand and contract, but hadn’t given much thought to the ballast between the ties. The SVRR tie strips have that center strip that needs to be concealed, so the track can’t just sit on top of the ballast.

       

      I wonder if the people who are using SVRR track in similar climates could share experiences and strategies for ballasting. 

    • February 9, 2018 8:23 PM EST
      • Defending the State of Exile! ,
         
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      I have had 332 aristo brass track outside in PA climate for over 10yrs.  I float my track and use various roadbed methods. I find "That in my Area" limestone crusher fines work very well as a ballast as they contain their own natural glue to lock and float like the 1:1 does.

      I'm not telling you what to do only answering "What I do"" and adding MY answer to some of your questions hoping it may help?

      This post was edited by " Rooster " at February 15, 2018 7:59 AM EST
    • February 9, 2018 8:47 PM EST
      • Phippsburg, Maine
         
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      I also float 332 track here in midcoast Maine.   I use crusher fines as well, here crushed granite is what is available to me.  It looks great but weather does move it around a bit.  Just have to replenish it annually, and clean up the places it goes.

      Keeping that center spine covered without covering the ties too, might be tricky.

      This post was edited by Eric Schade at February 9, 2018 10:47 PM EST
    • February 9, 2018 10:52 PM EST

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      I used Llagas Creek track with code 250 aluminum when I lived in upstate NY. I just floated it in the ballast. No issues at all. A fresh layer of ballast every spring seemed to do a good job of keeping things in place. 

       

      Later,

       

      K

      ____________________________________
    • February 9, 2018 11:04 PM EST
      • Gig Harbor, WA
         
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      Eric,

      If you don't like the SVRR tie strip the SVRR rail will also fit Accucraft code 250 tie strip.

      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • February 9, 2018 11:20 PM EST
      • Kittery, ME
         
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      Paul Burch said:

      Eric,

      If you don't like the SVRR tie strip the SVRR rail will also fit Accucraft code 250 tie strip.

      Interesting.  Is there any reason to use that combination, as opposed to just buying everything from Accucraft?

    • February 10, 2018 12:51 AM EST
      • Southern Oregon
         
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      In my opinion, the only downside to Accucraft brass rail is that it is an extremely brittle brass mixture.  I have seen it snap in cold conditions. But I still use it very successfully in a climate that ranges from 20 to 110.

      I know we are discussing the tie strips and will say I have used Accucraft tie strips and rails for about 15 years.  The early tie strips did not, for me, hold up to ultra-violet light worth a damn, YMMV.  The later strips seemed to be much better.  I have always, and still, coat all tie strips with Krylon or Rust-Oleum paint to protect them.  

       

      The biggest difference is what you are modeling.  In my opinion the SVRR tie strips are way to small for my 1:20 scale narrow gauge but the Accucraft strips are perfect in size.  A lot just depends on your preference.

      Rail and Tie selection is a big issue and should be considered carefully, the cost is a major issue but the longevity far outweighs the cost, but again that is just my opinion.

      Good luck on your quest.

      Rick

    • February 10, 2018 3:48 AM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      I'll chime in here and say I agree with Rick.

      I use the Accucraft Narrow gauge tie strip and Switchcrafters "weathered" code 250 aluminum rail. It looks to be a black powder coat, and I like the look.  I've had the same problem in the past as Rick with their brass rail. However, I chose to raise my layout off the ground and fasten the track to a PVC ladder roadbed. I was having to many problems directly on the ground with frost Heave. And I wasn't getting any younger.............  

      This post was edited by Ken Brunt at February 10, 2018 3:50 AM EST
      ____________________________________

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

    • February 10, 2018 7:31 AM EST
      • Kittery, ME
         
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      Thanks for the input. I should’ve specified that I am using standard gauge ties. I do plan to weather them. In the basement, I spray-painted the completed track with camo brown, and then painted the rails and tie plates a rust color. I won’t go to that trouble outdoors, but I will spray paint the tie strips. 

    • February 10, 2018 9:14 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      So of all the posts, no one uses SVRR track? Looks like some people used their tie strips. It was not clearly stated, but it appears Paul has experience with it.

       

       

      ____________________________________

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


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    • February 10, 2018 9:21 PM EST
      • Your Host in Littleton, MA
         
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      I'm converting over to SVRR track here.   So far no issues with it.   I'm free-floating most of it, with some attached at various intervals to some benchwork.   

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      Bob, your Site Host and Benevolent Dictator.

    • February 10, 2018 11:37 PM EST
      • Kittery, ME
         
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      Are you able to keep ballast between the ties and conceal the center spine?

    • February 11, 2018 12:37 AM EST
      • Gig Harbor, WA
         
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      Greg,

      Most of my track is SVRR with SVRR ties.   Anything I do new or repair is with the Accucraft tie strip.   I have not had any problems with either but do like the looks of the Accucraft tie strip better than the SVRR with the center spline.,

      Eric,

      Maybe I missed it, but what type of rail are you going to use?   SVRR has aluminum, brass, nickel silver and Stainless. 

       

       

       

       

       

      This post was edited by Paul Burch at February 11, 2018 1:23 AM EST
      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • February 11, 2018 1:19 AM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      I always thought that center spline was weird looking and too close to the tie top to hide with ballast easily. I use a pretty coarse ballast, not scale but works very well for me, and I could not cover that spline.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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


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    • February 11, 2018 7:58 AM EST
      • Kittery, ME
         
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      Paul: I'm using brass.  

      This is a test section that I weathered and ballasted indoors, but obviously this isn't practical outdoors.

       

       

    • February 11, 2018 1:42 PM EST
      • Gig Harbor, WA
         
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      Eric,

      You can still spray paint the rail for outdoors.  Very easy to do.  I usually do about eight at a time, stacked on a flat board and weaved between four long nails.  

      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • February 11, 2018 2:14 PM EST
      • Branchport, NY
         
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      Eric

      Does the center spine serve a purpose after the track is installed?

      Cut it just be cut out?

      Tom

       

       

      This post was edited by Tom Stephens at February 11, 2018 2:19 PM EST
    • February 11, 2018 3:35 PM EST
      • Gig Harbor, WA
         
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      Tom,

      If the center spline were cut out there would be nothing to keep the ties separated.   I think the talk about the center spline might be getting overblown.  I have lots of SVRR track and if the proper size ballast is used it is not really a problem.  I tried to post some photos but can't get it to work.  What used to work for me doesn't want to anymore. Well, got it to kind of work.  The front track in the first  photo is SVRR rail in Accucraft tie strip.  The second track is SVRR.  The last two photos are pure SVRR including turnouts.

       

       

      This post was edited by Paul Burch at February 11, 2018 4:19 PM EST
      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • February 11, 2018 3:45 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Hah, Paul is able to use more scale-appearing ballast, so Eric, you need his secrets!

       

      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

    • February 12, 2018 12:31 PM EST
      • Newton, KN
         
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      I've had SVRR track/ties for over 20 years and like it a lot. Center spline does not bother me. I use grit from the feed store for ballast, good for a year or so.   I've used both tie strips and tend to prefer the SVRR.

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