Gallery, Projects and General => The Design Shop => Topic started by: raynerd on October 06, 2016, 05:35:24 PM

Title: 3.5 inch Gauge Track
Post by: raynerd on October 06, 2016, 05:35:24 PM
I posted this on the model engine maker forum and got no replies.  :(   maybe someone here would offer their thoughts.

I was hoping to hear from anyone with their own garden track - 3.5" guage or bigger. I've got a reasonable size garden and I'm sure I could fit something in, but half of it could be permenant but the other half would need to be temporary so it could come up when not in use. I've also only been on a raised 3.5" track. This seems even more problematic when having to hold the weight of a few people as well as the loco. My uncle had a raised guage 1 running in his garden but of course this didn't need to bear anywhere near the weight this would. I'm struggling to find too much info online. There are a good few sources of track online, looking at about 200 for 10m which is quite affordable for the project. It's how to physically lay the track and especially if it was raised. Any help, thoughts, opinions, suggestions... would be welcomed.

Title: Re: 3.5 inch Gauge Track
Post by: Will_D on October 06, 2016, 06:50:01 PM
I was a member of Rochdale MES and their track is in Springfield park. Google them for their centenary video.

[Done it 4 u!!]

Back OT:

A ground level 3 1/2" track would be the cheapest but also not very practical for coal fired live steam - for that you need a fireman and a driver (ok, 1 person can job share). If you wanted to run R/c gas fired (like they do in smaller scales) the ground level would be fine.

The ground level track would be welded steel sections pre-fabbed to your requirements just like large scale Hornby track.

For ease and comfort you just need to raise the track up into the air by about 3 feet.

2 ways spring to mind:

Steel poles set into mass concrete and fitted with a flat plate that the track can be bolted to and shimmed/adjusted as require

Or as Rochdale and many others have done: Concrete arches to carry the railbed.


Title: Re: 3.5 inch Gauge Track
Post by: chipenter on October 07, 2016, 02:54:12 AM
I belong to RMMES and helped in relacing the track , recyled plastic sleepers were machined using horizontal milling cutters in a lathe , and screwes fitted either side of the track 2 1/2 3 1/2 and five inch guage 6 screws to a sleeper , then 8mm studding chem ancored every 2 meters into the concrete , lasted 4 years so far and only a couple of studs loose so far .
Title: Re: 3.5 inch Gauge Track
Post by: SwarfnStuff on October 08, 2016, 02:32:20 AM
For what it's worth, my brother had portable raised track that he could assemble or disassemble at will. (Well with some effort naturally.) The track would run around his back yard, behind the garage and workshop, pool then down the far side fence.
      Sorry, no photos to assist you but the construction was basically cross braced steel trestles in manageable lengths, bolted together with (for want of better term) fish plates and leveled as needed with various hardwood, steel scrap strips. His Locos were a Britannia and a V'Line (Victoria, Australia)  "D" class. I think 3 1/2" gauge.
    Something for you to think about anyway.
John B

Edit, Now I think more about it, perhaps 5" can't recall
Title: Re: 3.5 inch Gauge Track
Post by: raynerd on October 10, 2016, 06:40:39 PM
Cheers for the replies. I was actually up at Springfield park on Sunday.

I've realised that I should make the track using 1/4" square bar for the rails welded to 1"x0.5" flat bar for the sleepers.

I really could do with it temporary or portable so I'm still trying to get my head around this.
Title: Re: 3.5 inch Gauge Track
Post by: Bee on October 24, 2016, 05:27:56 PM
1/4 squ! won't last minutes. Might do for G3 scenic which doesn't have people on it.
You need 20mm x 6mm on edge to give a bit of strength and that then on say a wooden longitudinal on the ground or on angle iron for raised track. The new Exeter MES portable track uses that with ditto sleepers laid on longitudinals made of decking timber (ie treated) split lengthways all in 6ft sections. The joints use scale bolted fishplates which is fiddly.
A friend's raised track, rather heavy 2in angle iron, at the joints has overlapping plates each side that take an M8 bolt - much easier. Then the St Albans portable track uses slightly lighter sections angle iron and a single central bolt.
Title: Re: 3.5 inch Gauge Track
Post by: Bee on October 25, 2016, 05:44:40 PM
Another common technique is thick sleepers as in 1 inch and slots sawn in them that are carefully judged to grip the steel rail but not split the wood.
Title: Re: 3.5 inch Gauge Track
Post by: Bee on October 30, 2016, 03:00:20 PM
Note stand is welded to track which makes it rigid but heavy
Title: Re: 3.5 inch Gauge Track
Post by: Bee on October 30, 2016, 03:02:00 PM
and extensive packing is required even when they tell you the site is flat as a bowling green.