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Old 09-06-2011, 07:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DMS Ry, One Man's Journey - Track and layout

Ah, since we have gone beyond the realm of "Leveling Turnouts", and a number of you "need more input", It's time to start something new!! Thanks everyone for your help so far! Now, if Greg could re-submit my switch pics here, we'll be off!! Thanks again Greg.


So, I added the long guard rail today! It is 27 feet long on a real switch. I used rail about 11.25" and filed the ends to a shallow angle, matching what I saw. BTW, I revisited the same switches on Sunday afternoon for a short get away with My Wife. A little ride to measure more details. Handy having them so close also. The area for you is called "Tully", and is not much more these days than the two sets of cross-overs and a small building to control them. It is 4 miles West of Dragoon.


At this point I have the straight stock rail completely spiked down. The long guard rail is also! The rest will be complete over the next two weeks, as I am waiting for more parts to show! In the mean time I will build all the necessary installation tools I will need in the future for more of these switches!


So - We can go from here Guys, it's all fun, and lots of pushing the limits!!


Thanks again ,


Dirk - DMS Ry
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: DMS Ry, One Man's Journey - Track and layout

They look great! What code rail is it?

Alan
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: DMS Ry, One Man's Journey - Track and layout

That is crazy nice! Can't wait to see something run through it.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: DMS Ry, One Man's Journey - Track and layout

I barrowed this from the "Leveling Turnouts" thread to help give a foundation for my work without re-explaining it over again folks.

I live in S. E. Arizona, at 4700 foot elevation, 1 mile West of the Dragoon Summit, built by the SP in 1881 - reaching Dragoon in June, coming from Yuma on the way to El Paso, TX. It is dry here, yes, not as HOT as Tucson or Phoenix can become, maybe up to 100 for the higher temps most of the time, snow comes twice in winter getting down to 10-15 during cold spells that go away in a few days, the sun comes out and it gets warm again!! I live just about 1/4 mile above the tracks, N., and watch real stuff go by all day!!!! This am there was a great multi - media freight that went by! I like all the colors on cars, great for ideas - ha, toooo many of 'em !!

Most of my track is built above ground, ties glued with Tite Bond 3, then Min Wax stains over the ties and the glued areas also. WE get rain. Lots of Monsoon stuff in the summers. Nothing glued this way has been affected at all. I have some cribbing walls built of cedar strips only glued, with/out stain, for a couple of years, - nothing has happened to 'em. The ties - redwood 2x4's cut into 3/8" squares, from 3.5 in long blocks, are glued to Hardy board 8" trim siding, one full size and the second 4 in. wide for the roadbed, good ballast fill will fall off the sides naturally. I'm running a double track main, so the two 8" Hardy boards have a space between them of about 1.5 inches for drainage into the dirt fill up to the roadbed surface. The two layers for the roadbed are also glued with Tite Bond 3, with the 4in. piece on top - primer side up, these are glued and screwed to a modified ladder system built from landscape pipe for the balance of the support structure. Risers are cemented each 2 feet, 10-12 inches in the ground. None of the support system will show once back filled with dirt and scenery.

What's that, oh ya the BIG ?

OK boys, grab a chair and sit down!!

The switch is made from rail, - 6 feeeeet long. It is a number 14, a copy of the main-line switches here. These are for all the primary main line work. Number 10's and 8's will work for sidings and less important rail work.... All rail is aluminum - code 250. And the frogs are machined brass parts - with the rails screwed to the rear of the frog itself. Switch Crafters did all my custom mill work on the rails and frog, with guard rails also. I, however, now am going to make my own guard rails on the straight stock rail side only, after seeing the real ones again a few days ago. These a very long, like maybe 12-15 feet long, and are spring loaded and do not have the bent ends typical of a guard rail. So I will make something also quite long - just filing a shallow angle on each end to pull the flanges in when the wheels go thru. So why did I go with custom switches you might ask? They were very reasonable and very affordable. The work is just what you see, fantastic. I have done a lot to set it up and get it right and on ties, still need to make installation tools to make it real easy to build and lay all my following switches in the future. And I wanted a smooth flowing switch that was not a problem, for any loco to get thru, or set of cars - or heaven forbid - maybe even a long train someday! Frankly, these cost far less for the parts than if I bought something already made on ties, the mill work is consistent, which gives good service across all following switches. A win- win ...

They look fantastic too. I like 'em... let's play trains Guys!!!!!

Also, I probably should mention that all the small pins are no. 20 x 3/8ths long brass - round heads. They are soldered to the underside of the brass point spreaders, as well as the "pc strip" throw bar, that is copper clad on the bottom also. All the pins are cut off near the 1/4" puddle of solder, and hand filed down to a smooth finish, about 1/16" high. This way - they will not snag on anything that may get under the moving parts, no never... well. I use a 250 watt soldering gun, for fast work here. The idea is to have a consistent tight fitting, yet is free to move with out drag. A easy way to go. Always the same results too! Frankly, I am totally amazed how well the points are working now!!! This has to be the best switch I have built in my life!! The brass spreader ends overlap the stock rails ( underneith ) and do not allow the points to float up during movement! I have built switches for HO and HOn3 since my teens, so this is my first BIG switch. What a world of difference, so much more enjoyable to work on!!

A couple of mornings ago, I went down to the tracks and took pics of the low profile switch motor drives that move a real switch. I intend to build covers that look the part to hide linkage from the throw bar to the bell crank dropping thru the roadbed surface, below to a gear - reduction drive system, with tiny servo based motor, that operates on 3-5 volts. I will run these from a 6 volt solar battery for the system. No noisy air compressors driving air rams for me! I expect to set a voltage, such that the points will take 3-4 seconds, not over 5 seconds to fully move!

It has taken me about 2 1/2 years to get to where I can start laying rail. Design work was just like a real railroad, walking and figuring, no paper plans here.. would not work at all!

Dirk, - DMS Ry.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: DMS Ry, One Man's Journey - Track and layout

I do not know how many folks I have talked too... If one comment would come up it was always this - they wish they had built larger curves.... I did not want this to happen to me. I am building with plenty of open space. This will be my first and my last out door layout, so I decided "I had to get it right", the first time. I have made errors that have been rectified during the process, and I'm sure there will be others to follow later. It is all good, and I keep learning how to build outdoors!! I have not been in a rush or a hurry so a great deal of time passes, giving me the opportunity to see problems occur that might need to be changed sometimes, so these have become my learning lessons! So Far - I'm keeping up with my lessons and not creating long term problems with this.

As far as a leveling issue with this switch - no. I did the work needed to avoid that concern in the first place. The road bed does sit level side to side, as it is on a straight section of the mainline. However what may not show, is the .25 % grade up hill from the frog towards the points. Or my work to make the switch area (level), straight thru the length of the switch, all during the road bed construction, which included using a 6 foot long aluminum straight edge to keep the ladder system, the road bed and then the ties all on a "plane surface" , checking and working with each layer of the process - with out any drops or low spots in the area of the switch, or bumps too! My ties are glued last, just like a indoor layout. Then they are top sanded with a very long sanding board I built for my R/C airplane wings - typically used to sand all the ribs flush to each other!! It is built from 2 aluminum angles, with 80 grit paper glued on the sanding surface.

The one thing I have also learned is the ease with which adjustments can be made or problems rectified using the PVC pipe, it is simply a matter of cutting and gluing. So mistakes never really become a big issue to fix. Let me tell you - building a large layout will come with many mistakes... There is so much I have to keep in my head all the time when I work on it. And so many sketches for this or that. One of my challenges was trying to figure out what and how I was going to attach wood ties to, to make this all work for me. Cement was out, and hearing from others is still a process filled with smoothness issues to get track even when installed...I have seen people us tile shims to make up for rough and uneven cement to get the track to flow evenly....It is all work, no matter..!

The layout represents the present day as I see it here, and the best of the past also. There will be a Modern day Excursion Narrow Gauge train that is a separate included layout. The Main line basically represents a double track wandering through the AZ landscape, with a few points of interest from local areas here. The center piece will be Dragoon, as it is now and when there was a station, water tower, & the Wye for turning locos on - helpers. During the early diesel era, SP would assign Cab-Forwards to helper service, in the Tucson helper district, pushing unit trains from Tucson all the way to the Dragoon Summit, drop them off , turn and go back to Tucson. This did not last for ever, as the Wye was eventually ripped out.. Today, you can still see where it was laid..There is a remnant siding that was the West leg track for the Wye, which is used for set-outs of bad cars, or mostly track MOW equipment.! This is where I go to get close up pics of freight cars when they get dropped off for a week - till they get moved again!

The first switch depicted above is located in the Dragoon area, is the East switch of the passing siding on the South Track, which is the East bound track, but is on the West side of the grade crossing at the summit.

To be continued,....

Thx - Dirk - DMS Ry
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: DMS Ry, One Man's Journey - Track and layout

I might add that my choices in the Hybrid ladder PVC system were based on my being able to stand on the two ladder pipes with a spread support of 24 inches under neath. I started out using 1" sched. 40 pipe for the runners, this supported me well. Then I tried Composite decking material ripped into 3 parts... It was stronger, but cost a lot more, and has a flat top surface which is nice, but that was all. When I went back for more last winter, the price had gone up almost 10 bucks for one piece of decking. Boy what a shock that was - no way was any more coming home with me. So right in the store I reconfigured my work up to this point. I settled on the next larger size of PVC pipe, moving up to 1 1/4" sched. 40 pipe. The price was nominal over the 1" stuff, so does not make an impact on me. It is even stronger yet. It is also easy to insert a smaller 1" joiner system I came up with to splice the pipe into a continuous runner without bumps, allowing me to just keep adding pipes together, as progress moves on. So this leaves me moving ahead with normal progress, but also doing re-work on older sections to bring them up to the new standard... fun

I have a rule here tho, "No Walking on the Track"....

I have noticed when I visit other layouts, that some have this very same rule. Not everyone does....

My other rule - simply ......... "Have fun"

THX again,... Gents,
Dirk - DMS Ry
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: DMS Ry, One Man's Journey - Track and layout

Tell me more about the spring-loaded setup on the guard rails on the prototype. Never seen such a thing. Do you have a picture?

Greg
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: DMS Ry, One Man's Journey - Track and layout

I did get my order in the mail this week. I can proceed with the throw bar linkage to the bell crank set-up, hidden under the low profile switch machine, and on to the gear reduction motor in a sealed box. This will keep me busy for a bit. I have added 24 feet of 8" & 4" road bed surface to continue the straight trackage, East over the Summit/grade crossing. The 24 ft is actually past the grade crossing. The switch depicted above is to the West of the grade crossing about 15 ft. My whole short term goal is getting the grade crossing built, with track laid. I will be needing this crossing to work on freight cars I build - longer cars that is - as they will need to be checked for car bottom to rail clearance. Longer cars create a lower clearance issue as they pass over the grade crossing, esp. since mine follows the actual crossing here. You see, it goes downhill in both directions on each side of the crossing. I am building my track work to match. Heading West track runs at a .25% downhill grade, and heading East it runs about .12% downhill, past the Railroad station. This is needed to check locos ( a SD90Mac is over 80 feet long ) I am building, and 80ft. and 90ft. cars I want to build. So this is a practical project for me to complete, not just working on the RR!!!!

Dirk - DMS Ry
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: DMS Ry, One Man's Journey - Track and layout

Now that is an interesting comment about a spring loaded guard rail. I see no real benefit from it as the guard check and guard face much comply with the FRA standards. Later RJD
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