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2996 Victor

Early 20th Century Branch Line Rail

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Dear All,

In planning my MGWR 4mm scale/21mm gauge branch line project, I would like to know what weight of rail was most likely used on branch lines around 1900-1905, and what "code" or model rail would be most appropriate to replicate it.

I'm presuming flat-bottomed rail would have been the norm on branch lines.

Thanks for any advice!

Best regards,

Mark 

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Posted (edited)

The Loughrea and Ballinrobe lines had 79lb rails originally on half-round sleepers. FB rail was used AFAIK. In 7mm we tend to use code 100 - am guessing you could get off with code 70 which I have seen recommended in 4mm.

Edited by Galteemore
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Posted (edited)

Hi 2996 Victor,

I've just got to appendix 3 in The Baronial Lines of the MGWR

It states that 79lb rail was used from new spiked to half round sleepers at 1,940 to the mile for straight track. 

I would guess the sleeper spacing equates to 3ft centres with a slight narrowing at track joints.

In the past I have compared LNWR 85lb and 95lb rail to code 124 in 7mms scale. The code 124 fell almost exactly in between so equivalent on 90lb rail

This equates to about code 60 in 4mm for 79lb rail.

I think code 60 flat bottomed rail is available from the 3mm scale association but you have to be a member.

Code 55 flat bottomed is widely available as it used by U.S. N scale modellers

 

The lines were not relaid until the 1920s with 23 and 26ft lengths of 80lb rail. My guess is the original rail length would be similar.

 

Edited by Angus
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Hi Mark,

If you have code 55 in stock I would use that. It is more widely available.

The difference between code 55 and 60 is negligible ( 5 thou) so 1/8th (0.125) of millimetre in height, we are getting near the limits of perception here!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Galteemore said:

The Loughrea and Ballinrobe lines had 79lb rails originally on half-round sleepers. FB rail was used AFAIK. In 7mm we tend to use code 100 - am guessing you could get off with code 70 which I have seen recommended in 4mm.

 

4 hours ago, Angus said:

Hi 2996 Victor,

I've just got to appendix 3 in The Baronial Lines of the MGWR

It states that 79lb rail was used from new spiked to half round sleepers at 1,940 to the mile for straight track. 

I would guess the sleeper spacing equates to 3ft centres with a slight narrowing at track joints.

In the past I have compared LNWR 85lb and 95lb rail to code 124 in 7mms scale. The code 124 fell almost exactly in between so equivalent on 90lb rail

This equates to about code 60 in 4mm for 79lb rail.

I think code 60 flat bottomed rail is available from the 3mm scale association but you have to be a member.

Code 55 flat bottomed is widely available as it used by U.S. N scale modellers

 

The lines were not relaid until the 1920s with 23 and 26ft lengths of 80lb rail. My guess is the original rail length would be similar.

 

Thank you @Galteemore and @Angus, that's brilliant info! I'm ashamed to say I haven't properly read my copy of "Baronial Lines".....slapped wrist.....so the equation of rail weight/section to model "code" is great, thank you.

I bought some Micro Engineering code 55 N/S rail a couple of years ago for an 009 inglenook project (yet another project that remains unfulfilled!) and I was very impressed with the quality and finish. ME is an American company, of course, but their rail is available in the UK from a few outlets. I got mine from NGTrains with whom I have no connection other than as a satisfied customer. Code 55 rail sounds like it would be about right for an MGWR branch line, if perhaps just a smidgeon on the light side, but I wonder if code 70 would be more practical.....

Thanks again and kind regards,

Mark

Edited by 2996 Victor
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31 minutes ago, Angus said:

Hi Mark,

If you have code 55 in stock I would use that. It is more widely available.

The difference between code 55 and 60 is negligible ( 5 thou) so 1/8th (0.125) of millimetre in height, we are getting near the limits of perception here!

 

11 minutes ago, Galteemore said:

Isn’t that what finescale is all about? 😆

Thanks, again, chaps - that sounds like a plan! The code 55 rail does look nice, and I think it'll contribute nicely to the overall look of the thing (when it gets built!).

That 5thou is well beyond my limits of perception - the reason I don't have an HD TV is that I don't have HD eyes!

Kind regards,

Mark

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Posted (edited)

Just seeing this now - yes, spiked flat-bottom on half-round sleepers to start with.

During 1900-05, extensive relaying took place and the half-round sleepers were only to be found in sidings afterwards. Also, rails directly spiked to sleepers were gradually soleplated by degrees from now on, except on lightly used sidings.

I can remember seeing spiked FB rail on remoter sidings well into the 1970s,

Edited by jhb171achill

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