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Yesterday I finally got down to start laying track on my baseboards, Omagh North is now alive. I thought I would begin a new thread to showcase the progress and hopefully established members can guide me along this path of discovery. At the moment almost everything is laid on the baseboards with fishplates in place but not fixed. Can I ask what is the sequence of events that follow - i.e. fixing, wiring, testing, ballasting etc and in what order?

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Looking forward to watching your layout develop.

 

Perhaps seal the baseboard so subsequent ballasting and scenic work takes to it better, then you could dry position the track with temporary pins while you do 'first fix' electrical work, and then drill the board for point motors, wiring, etc. Ballasting sequence depends on the method you are going to use (i.e. foam, cork, direct to board, etc). Enjoy and good luck. IMHO, don't rush the track work, its really worth getting the joins perfect and avoiding kinks at joins maintaining nice looking curves where applicable.

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I would agree with Noel, do not rush your track work, I would pin it temporary, wire the track and points and run trains on it for a month to test it for smooth running, electrical connectivity and good working points before contemplating painting and ballasting the tracks.

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Posted (edited)

IMG_0078.jpgNoel and Kirley, thanks for the advice. Just a few points.....

 

1. Do my rail joints need to be absolutely tight - end to end

2. I was thinking of putting cork underlay under the track bed and simple running a stanley blade along the outside of the sleepers at an angle to give it a raised bed effect. Is this common practice.

3. Since points are being controlled manually, should I do this like the prototype and mount it on TOP or hide all movements under the board.

 

The pictures show the entire layout.

 

Tony

IMG_0076.jpg

Edited by TonyMcGartland

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Tony

 

Looking good!

 

In terms of raised running bed, yes that is a good idea. For absolutely maximum accuracy, you might like to study photos to see where the high and low bits were. The GNR (and GSR) often had a central "drainage trench" between the rails.

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Posted (edited)

Looks good. If you wanted you could just barley bend the rails in the short straight piece of flexitrack between the inner and outer curved points, but just the finest smidgen so that it doesn't look dead straight and gives the impression of the curve continuing through the two points.

 

Mini Tip: I used to cut the chairs off the last sleeper in each section of flexitrack, and a slight indentation in the the top of the sleeper plastic (i.e. under the rail), so that it could slide under the fish plates, doing away with the need to fill sleeper gaps with one or two off-cut sleepers. The end sleeper on each section of track would still be joined by one piece of plastic to the rest of the sleepers. This helped make track joins less obvious.

Edited by Noel

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1. Do my rail joints need to be absolutely tight - end to end

 

3. Since points are being controlled manually, should I do this like the prototype and mount it on TOP or hide all movements under the board.

 

1, If the layout is in a 'steady environment', then you can probably have the joints tight - you may need a bit of leeway if the temperature/humidity can vary a lot, or if the layout is very large. Some people do like a bit of a gap at the joins for the clickety-clack sounds...

 

3, Under the board is probably better and easier in the long run - it only needs a small hole for the actuating pin to come up through.

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Posted (edited)
Looks good. If you wanted you could just barley bend the rails in the short straight piece of flexitrack between the inner and outer curved points, but just the finest smidgen so that it doesn't look dead straight and gives the impression of the curve continuing through the two points.

 

Mini Tip: I used to cut the chairs off the last sleeper in each section of flexitrack, and a slight indentation in the the top of the sleeper plastic (i.e. under the rail), so that it could slide under the fish plates, doing away with the need to fill sleeper gaps with one or two off-cut sleepers. The end sleeper on each section of track would still be joined by one piece of plastic to the rest of the sleepers. This helped make track joins less obvious.

 

Noel, point taken. That piece of straight will actually be curved when I'm ready to start 'tacking' it in position. I cannot bend that short flexi piece to the desired curve because everything is just sitting on the board. I will also be replacing missing sleepers during the fixing process.

Edited by TonyMcGartland

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Posted (edited)
1. Do my rail joints need to be absolutely tight - end to end

2. I was thinking of putting cork underlay under the track bed and simple running a stanley blade along the outside of the sleepers at an angle to give it a raised bed effect. Is this common practice.

The tighter the join the less rock and roll on short stock and less rail noise from metal wheeled stock. Electrical continuity won't matter if you have droppers on all tracks.

I'd take Dave's advice and use PU or closed cell foam under the entire track section taking it well wide of the track ballast area to try to reduce recreating a drum when you ballast the track with PVA glue which allows sound to be transmitted back to the baseboard. We discussed this on a thread maybe 18-24 months ago. I'll try to post a thread reference when I get back later. I do like the trackwork

Edited by DiveController

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Posted (edited)

DiveController, I've just placed a cork roll underlay under the entire baseboard and I like both the look and cushion feel. Does the cork need to be glued down, surely the track fixing will hold it in place. I'd appreciate the tread you mentioned.....

Edited by TonyMcGartland

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If you've already gone and corked it, I'm going to let it up to you (well, I'm going to do that anyway). If you're going to be shunting mainly at low speed and short distances, maybe it won't make that much difference to you. Anyway, it's late and I haven't had time to review the thread but this is what I was thinking of

http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/5048-Track-Ballasting-Which-method?highlight=baseboard+closed+foam+pva

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attachment.php?attachmentid=26481&stc=1

LQG109 shunting at Omagh North 1954 Photo N W Spinks

 

No obvious ballast shoulder in the area in the area between the signal cabin and platforms where staff were likely to be walikg plus all important cinder path from cabin to platforms.

 

It looks almost like the goods shed was re-roofed and the high gable wall with the 3 arched windows cut down at some stage after the 1954 photo

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Posted (edited)

DiveController, the cork it simply sitting there. I looked at your method and as you have said in your response "going to be shunting mainly at low speed and short distances" the cork may be fine. As for ballasting Mayner is quite correct, very little as the photo suggests.I used to walk along these tracks quite a lot shortly after closure and the ballast edge was well tramped into the blackened ground by staff.

 

GNR174.jpg

Edited by TonyMcGartland

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Another great photo of Omagh Tony and thanks for posting it. The striking thing is how well the track is maintained, not a weed in sight. I suppose the mixture of creosote, hot oil, steam and hot ash helped keep the weeds at bay. Probably not very environmentally friendly but seems to have done the trick!

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Another great photo of Omagh Tony and thanks for posting it. The striking thing is how well the track is maintained, not a weed in sight. I suppose the mixture of creosote, hot oil, steam and hot ash helped keep the weeds at bay. Probably not very environmentally friendly but seems to have done the trick!

 

That smell will live with me forever. If you were awaiting a train on a platform on a hot sunny day, and the creosote and tar was leaking out of newly laid sleepers, the smell was very noticeable. Concrete sleepers nowadays and the stale stench inside entirely sealed up railcars is neither the same, nor remotely pleasant.

 

Incidentally, that's an excellent photograph, Tony. Lots of interest in it.

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Another great photo of Omagh Tony and thanks for posting it. The striking thing is how well the track is maintained, not a weed in sight. I suppose the mixture of creosote, hot oil, steam and hot ash helped keep the weeds at bay. Probably not very environmentally friendly but seems to have done the trick!

 

more to do with teh number of maintenace and platelayers that were around, and doing maintenance ane teh greater level and traffic that existed. We forgot how many men were employed at ledger stations, Claremorris at one time had , 12 porters, multiple drivers, good yards operatives, shunters , etc etc in excess of 30 people were directly employed , today there is two !

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Posted (edited)

I did some tests before christmas in prep for my own track laying. I personally dont see the advantage of cork, other then to create a ballast shoulder , and that isn't relevant inside a station area. I tried a small area of 4mm approx UV stabilised close cell PU foam, rather like stuff used in camping carry mats. while it seemed better , my only concern was it " dented " easy and didnt quite return when the pressure was removed, Im not sure about any conclusions, my tests was hasty and over about 5 feet of code 75 DCC concepts track . I dont know if a rigid stable surface, the plywood track top , is better then some " cushion" or worse

 

The cork does nothing if its ballasted with PVA as the whole thing looses any cushion effect . I know this from the previous layout i built many years ago . Apart from creating a ballast shoulder that is .

 

dave

Edited by Junctionmad

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The cork does nothing if its ballasted with PVA as the whole thing looses any cushion effect . I know this from the previous layout i built many years ago . Apart from creating a ballast shoulder that is .

 

dave

 

Dave, this small shunting layout measures 2metres x 500mm and will only serve to move 0-6-0 class engines and wagons around the sidings and mainline from end to end. One line on a shuttle, the other for shunting. There will be little or no noise, I imagine. However, if anyone out there thinks that I'm totally wrong in doing this please let me know because I plan on starting to lay track soon. Thanks.

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This evening the first engine and wagons left Omagh North with several wagons on board. I ran my first test on the cork and to be honest there was more noise from my heart beat, excited by this first time to control a loco in over 30years!

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This evening the first engine and wagons left Omagh North with several wagons on board.

 

You have to put up a picture Tony.

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Kirley, there nothing to see really as its just a track arrangement with loco and wagons on a baseboard of cork.

 

I took delivery of a nice boxed/unopened Bachmann Red Brick signal box which is quite similar to Omagh. The North Cabin at Omagh had a raised platform and handrail to the front facing the line which I will have to add to this kit.

Edited by TonyMcGartland

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I'm hoping to start fixing some track this weekend and from the many things I have read and digested I think I'm happy to go along with this......

 

1. Laying the track directly onto the birch plywood baseboard (cork has minimal influence on sound/noise)

2. Baseboard joint will employ Noels method of a short piece of track bridging the joint with fishplates either side

3. I will bore a hole for each point so that point control (underneath) can be an option later if I change my mind.

4. I hope to explore road and crank changing on the surface

5. I will wire the layout and run it for some time before final fixing and ballasting

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I'm hoping to start fixing some track this weekend and from the many things I have read and digested I think I'm happy to go along with this......

 

1. Laying the track directly onto the birch plywood baseboard (cork has minimal influence on sound/noise)

2. Baseboard joint will employ Noels method of a short piece of track bridging the joint with fishplates either side

3. I will bore a hole for each point so that point control (underneath) can be an option later if I change my mind.

4. I hope to explore road and crank changing on the surface

5. I will wire the layout and run it for some time before final fixing and ballasting

 

VERY good planning. No. (5) in particular is one that I wish I had observed with a past (long defunct) layout.

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