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    • July 23, 2017 11:36 PM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      New member, layout progress...

      Hi all,

      My name is Casey. Together with my brother Cody, I model the Denver & Rio Grande Western, and the Rio Grande Southern. We have unofficially named our railroad the Denver & Rio Grande Southern. Our gauge is not G, but instead a true 1:24th scale 3 feet, or 1.5". I will try to post a few pics of our track work and how we do it. 

       

      The first picture is of our general "phase 1" track plan. At the bottom is the Chama yards at about 50 feet long. The top right corner is the town of Cumbres. Later plans are to come off the tail of the Cumbres wye, and possibly have Ridgway or some other RGS town.

       

      Picture two shows the sub roadbed. We use a 3/4" pvc conduit about 18" long with a cap at the bottom and a plug in the top. These are buried and leveled to the bottom of tie height. Two 1/2" pvc conduit stringers are bolted on using 3 1/4" long 1/4-20 stainless shoulder bolts. In the middle of this pic can be seen the Aluminum jig we made to hold the two stringers on the post, level, and it has a hole to drill for a screw in the center of the pipes. This about a 3" x 3" block with a red triangle two way level affixed to it, just below the drill.

       

      Pic 3 shows beginning of trackwork. Switches are laid out first, and regular track is added between them. All track is 215 aluminum atop 1/3" x 1/3" redwood ties. Switches are hand filed and assembled in a home built jig. Brass straps are brazed to the bottom of the switch rails, and then bolted in place. Then ties are added. 

       

      The last picture just shows all track work laid in Cumbres. 

      This post was edited by Casey Akin at July 24, 2017 12:38 AM EDT
    • July 23, 2017 11:46 PM EDT
      • Missouri
         
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      This is going to be interesting to see. Hello!

    • July 24, 2017 12:21 AM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      Next we have a little of the Chama yards.

       

      Pic one is installing the retaining wall to hold the layout. Our land drops approximately 30 inches from the beginning of the yards to the end. Some survey stakes can be seen marking the approximate location of the main line.

       

      Next picture shows my brother as part of the survey crew, as we are marking and installing pvc posts. For this yard, the posts under the switches were located, buried, and leveled. Then regular track posts were filled in the gaps. 

       

      The third picture shows burying some of the posts. These are on a series of 5 ladder tracks that have a curve. The posts in the foreground are set at the end of the curve, and the posts that have yet to be cut and leveled are at the start. All posts after being buried, get drilled with a 7/8" paddle bit, and a plug of the same size is glued in. The bolt that holds the two stringers to the post also runs through this plug and permanently secures it. Track ties are then drilled over these plugs and bolted to them using stainless 4-40 wood screws.

       

      Picture 4 is all five ladder tracks piped, and some of the track work has begun.

       

      The last pic shows the yards with all 25 switches bolted in, and about half of the track installed. Currently we have about 3/4 of this yard finished. Tracks from left to right are as follows: Ash pit clean-out, ash pit / service track, coal tower dump track, main line 2, yard 1, oil rack 1, and oil rack two. The pillow in the back is sitting where a two stall engine house will eventually be placed.

       

      Thats all for tonight...

      Casey Akin

       

      This post was edited by Casey Akin at July 24, 2017 12:41 AM EDT
    • July 24, 2017 12:50 AM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      I guess I should mention, most of all of our engines, rolling stock, structures and other models will have to be scratch built. Here I have attached a picture of our C-18 (scratch built) pulling a PSC tank car, a heavily modified bachmann box car, a couple scratch build mow cars and a scratch caboose.

       

      Casey

    • July 24, 2017 9:01 AM EDT
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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          Wow. Welcome aboard. You and your brother are off to a heck of a start....can you post some close-ups of that roadbed and how the track is attached? How does it lay on the ground? Also, some detailed pictures of your handlaid track and switches? Are you planning on ballast? That scratch-built locomotive is awesome....any pictures of the build process? The tanker behind it is weathered really well also.

       

       

       

      ____________________________________

    • July 24, 2017 2:21 PM EDT
      • Cypress, Texas
         
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      Awesome start.  I was wondering  how  large of an area does the cumbres area take up.  that is one of my favoriate areas on the C&T and have been trying to figured out  how  my area I would need to build it inside the house in 1:20.3 scale.  I see that you still have room to the right of  Cumbres to put in the 2 track yard that extendes past  highway 17.  Are you scratch building the Cumbres Station or  buying a kit?  Just curious as I spent 2 years scratch building the Cumbres Station in 1:24 scale and making molds to cast all the doors and windows and eve bracing as no ready made doors and windows were avilable.  The  roof  alone took several months as it has over 5000 individual hand cut ceader shingles and I could only add two rows of them a night.  Click on the link to see photos of the station exterior and interior,  was not  quite complete when these were taken.  Still needed ticket counter and sinage of the ends of the station.   . http://www.largescalecentral.com/albums/1-24-scale-cumbres-station/12555/set/86.7611781ttd3s2a16b2093318826511286810293592601686112597651375424826597652163252425976415166597641e1c2e58  Dan 

      This post was edited by Dan Stuettgen at July 24, 2017 2:54 PM EDT
    • July 24, 2017 3:07 PM EDT
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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           Not to interrupt the discussion here, but what have I missing been here, Dan? You must be kidding. Was there a build thread on this? It is simply fantastic! I had no idea! Very talented work indeed....

       

       

      p.s.....sorry, Casey, but it seems to me this is worth calling attention to given your skill level and the fact that you're working in 1:24.

       

       

      ____________________________________

    • July 24, 2017 9:19 PM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      Dan

      Our Cumbres yards are about 24 feet switch to switch, if you drew a straight line between them. Its about 30 feet by rail. The tail of the wye sticks out about 18 feet straight back from this virtual line. We will not be adding the siding extension, as we are only about 30 feet from Chama on that end. This area will be more mountain like with a bridge or two. 

       

      All of our structures will be scratch built, although probably not as well as your Cumbres station. That is an impressive model for sure. My brother and I were at the 2015 NNGC when you had that entered, but I don't remember seeing the interior. I have the section house about 3/4 done, but am fighting the shingles also. I am only about a year and a half into it!!! 

      This post was edited by Casey Akin at July 24, 2017 9:34 PM EDT
    • July 24, 2017 9:25 PM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      John

      Here are a couple shots that may help:

       

      Pic one is a close up of how the sub road bed is attached. Again, its a 3/4" post with a cap on the bottom, and a pvc plug in the top. The stringers are 1/2" and bolted with a 1/4-20 stainless bolt. The plug in the end of the post is where track gets bolted to, and these are set at a rough 12" on centers.

       

      Pic two shows a switch. The light brown straps are brass that has been brazed to the rail, and painted the same "rust" color as the switch rails. They are also bolted on the rails with 00-90 screws through the base of the rail. We have found that over time, brazing two different metals and setting them in the elements, the braze can fail. Ties are pre-drilled with a laser, and stained with a dark brown stain. Then they are added with at least two spikes per rail intersection. If you look closely, about 6" from the left and 3" from the right are two #4 wood screws that go through the brass straps to secure the switch to the pipes. Switches were designed to be bolted through the metal so there is less chance of them walking. Regular track is just bolted through the ties. 

       

      Our oldest section of track has been outside for about 5 years. We have found a couple things. Pre-drilling the ties with a laser kind of seals the wood where the spikes go. That with a drop of super glue, and we don't really have any spikes pull up. The other thing, when we bolt the track down, we over drill the hole for the screw by almost double. This gives the track just a little wiggle room for expansion/contraction. So far, we have only had one section of track move enough to separate a rail joiner, and this was solved by just pushing the rails back together...

       

      Casey

      This post was edited by Casey Akin at July 24, 2017 9:32 PM EDT
    • July 25, 2017 11:08 PM EDT
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      Interesting roadbed design. How do you get the PVC posts into the ground? 

    • July 30, 2017 1:03 PM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      We bought a 1 inch auger bit 24 inches long. We use this in a heavy duty drill to get down about 16 inches. We pvc glue a pipe cap on the bottom end of the pipe, and hit it down with a plastic dead blow hammer. Once it stops, we cut the pipe about 1/2" above the grade level, and drill out the top end to fit a 7/8" pvc plug. This is pvc glued in place and then the pipe is hammered down to match the grade level. 

       

      Gravel is placed under the ladder track after it is all bolted and leveled. Dirt is then backfilled to the top of all the pipes. After the track is laid, balast is poured over the top and held inplace with a white glue / water mix. 

       

      Casey

    • July 30, 2017 9:29 PM EDT
      • Coweta, Oklahoma USA
         
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      Cool.

      Welcome to this sometimes unruly mob.

      ____________________________________

      In that awkward stage between preschool and death. 

    • July 31, 2017 2:21 AM EDT
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      Casey Akin said:

      We bought a 1 inch auger bit 24 inches long. We use this in a heavy duty drill to get down about 16 inches. We pvc glue a pipe cap on the bottom end of the pipe, and hit it down with a plastic dead blow hammer. Once it stops, we cut the pipe about 1/2" above the grade level, and drill out the top end to fit a 7/8" pvc plug. This is pvc glued in place and then the pipe is hammered down to match the grade level. 

       

      Gravel is placed under the ladder track after it is all bolted and leveled. Dirt is then backfilled to the top of all the pipes. After the track is laid, balast is poured over the top and held inplace with a white glue / water mix. 

       

      Casey

      Ah. Interesting.  Why do you bother with the bottom plug? I have just let mine fill with dirt as I pound them down.

      My method, which sort of works is

      1. Drill a hole about 10 inches down with a masonry bit. This helps me find any surface level rocks. I use a 1/2 inch Dewalt drill.
      2. Optionally, use a 1.25 auger bit to clear out more soil. This bit is terrible in that the shaft is smooth. It works ok but not great.
      3. Feed the pipe into the hole and try to get it vertical.
      4. Pound it down with a metal fence Everbilt Post Driver
      5. Hope its vertical. If it's not, use 2 vice grips to pull it up, and feed it in again. Possibly drilling again.
      6. After all the posts are in, use a laser level and painter's tape at night to mark the level marks. 
      7. Raise the roadbed up and screw in. 
      8. Cut off the excess.

      I am using SplitJaw's roadbed PVC boards.

       

      The biggest issues I run into are that my soil is often very clay like, and full of rocks. The posts rarely go in vertical. The entire railroad is about 2 feet (or more above ground).  

       

      Can you point me to a link of the auger bit you bought? I am looking for a better one then the one I have, though I am not sure the drill I bought is powerful enough for it.

      This post was edited by Nicolas Teeuwen at August 1, 2017 11:52 AM EDT
    • August 2, 2017 11:40 PM EDT
      • HAHNDORF, Outside US
         
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      re: D&RGS

      interesting indeed.

      Hand made trackwork I see....

      RGGR

      This post was edited by Andrew Beattie at August 2, 2017 11:43 PM EDT
    • August 12, 2017 12:34 PM EDT
      • Clovis, California
         
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      Casey, the C-18 you built is just amazing. I look forward to following your progress as you build out your railroad.

      John

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