Author Topic: No weatherproofing necessary  (Read 3694 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline 454

No weatherproofing necessary
« on: Aug 07 2012 21:28 »
The decision to migrate my G3 layout from the loft to the back garden has given rise to many challenges. After visiting some GTG over the years I have become resigned to the fact that my garden is but a fraction of the size of the main contenders on the GTG circuit. Large gardens, large layouts. Mine will be substantially different due to the restriction of space. No complex track work but a single track circuit for continuous running will be the initial phase. Upon survey of my available space indicated that a 12 feet radius would be possible but the terrain rising from the back of the house to the bottom of the garden means that part will be ground level and part elevated. the garden path has to be traversed by a removable section to allow access to the centre of the circuit by pedestrians. A king truss 1 metre span aluminium girder bridge has been completed and still needs to be incorporated. The track laid is now 80% complete. The track bed is 85% complete.

Now why do I state "no weather proofing necessary"? Simply because I will not be using wood, roofing felt, concrete, creosote, or any anti rot agent. The decision to use recycled plastic came to me in a flash of inspiration. It is not cheap but it is very tough, flexible and can be used like wood. The technique used is similar to that which can be found on under garden railway products. I may have taken a big risk but so far it seems to be working out OK.

The technique is called 'ladder frame construction' square section uprights driven into the ground. Strips separated by 'cube' blocks upon which is mounted a 9 inch wide 18mm thick black recycled plastic ECO board. This is the clever bit.
When I contacted Filcris they were very helpful and offered to cut up for me two & quarter 8' X 4' sheets of ECO board to my specification. 9 inch wide curved planks 18mm thick to 18 degrees of arc with a centre line radius of 12 feet. 10 days later 20 such curved planks were delivered all neatly and precisely cut by 'computer'. Laying them out they all fit in a perfect circle. If any of you have tried transporting, lifting, handling, cutting 8' x 4' sheets of anything I am sure you will all agree that this was an instant solution to a track bed problem - solved.

The ladder frame construction can be set into the ground for stability or elevated and infilled with earth bankings. Or simply just elevated.

When the cost of a full circle of stainless track from Cliff Barker, the Filcris sheet material including cutting charge by Filcris. The decking screws, carriage bolts, posts, pre cut blocks, strips and rail joiners & screws for holding the track down all come to the price one would pay for a larger (non steam) loco & a couple of wagon kits from our usual suppliers. This I think is an acceptable sacrifice or price to pay for something that could be regarded as environmentally friendly

Visit Filcris website and check out the ladder frame construction for yourselves if you are contemplating building a new layout or even adding to an existing layout.

The great thing about the material is that as it never rots, it could have a resale value to be sold on to G3 or G1 fraternity when no longer needed. This is obviously an advantage compared to having a big bonfire or hiring a skip for disposal.

Of course when complete I will be happy to receive visitors to have running sessions subject to availability.

Completion of circuit is expected September 2012 with King Truss in situ at current rate of progress.

Dave 454

Offline John Candy

Re: No weatherproofing necessary
« Reply #1 on: Aug 07 2012 21:47 »
Just today, I was standing in the middle of my garden (between showers of heavy rain!) wondering whether to use wooden posts, plastic downpipe of brick pillars as supports and how durable marine ply would be for the track "deck". The fact that some sections of track would be at (or near) ground level added to the anxiety over using ply (or any other timber) as a track base.

This looks to be an ideal solution and worthy of further examination.

Thanks for the tip!

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: No weatherproofing necessary
« Reply #2 on: Aug 07 2012 23:54 »
And I see they are just down the road from you John!


Offline John Candy

Re: No weatherproofing necessary
« Reply #3 on: Aug 08 2012 06:24 »
Yes, I have already emailed them to arrange a visit!

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline 454

Re: No weatherproofing necessary
« Reply #4 on: Aug 08 2012 08:29 »
They were too far away for me for a visit, so I purchased in blind faith. The website says it all, there are links to other garden railway sources on the site so well worth a surf in there. The service I received was excellent when I telephoned and emailed them.  :)

Please understand that my application of a 12 feet radius circuit was very simple so the cost was not an issue for me. However, if extrapolated to a pipe dream layout of large garden proportions I envisage the cost being astronomic. :'(

Dave (454)

Offline jamiepage

Re: No weatherproofing necessary
« Reply #5 on: Aug 08 2012 09:17 »
That really is very useful information, thank you. Timely for me as well.

Offline John Candy

Re: No weatherproofing necessary
« Reply #6 on: Aug 08 2012 10:57 »
Learning of this source of weatherproof materials has revived my "flagging" enthusiasm!

I have dusted off my current plan which is for a two-level arrangement.

A branch terminal station with three platforms and goods yard, small loco shed,etc. (platforms to accommodate 5 coach trains + loco) running at a couple of feet above ground level. This will run double track in a straight line, to a junction station where the line splits into two single lines.

One line will curve away to the left and cross a low level (double track) mainline on a viaduct before heading diagonally across the lawn. The other single line will continue ahead and eventually curve around to a high level station with passing loop, situated behind a junction station on the low level line.

The low level station will be connected to the high level line in both directions by gradients, to permit trains to access the branch (and thence the terminus) from both "up" and "down" low level main lines and, conversely, trains from the terminus will be able to enter the main lines from both directions.

The high level (single) line will continue to loop around and cross over the main line again, on a second viaduct, before meeting with the other arm of the branch and heading back towards the high level junction and then on to the terminus.

The low level (main line) junction will have carriage sidings and goods yard plus a large loco depot with turntable.

The garden is sloping in both directions so the "low level" line will not be at ground level for much of the route and the "high level" line will be at ground level for part of the route!

The plan gives maximum flexibility in operation, a train being able to leave the terminus and either return to the terminus without reversing, or can do one or more circuits of the main line (in either direction) before leaving the main line, climbing to the branch and returning to the terminus.

A terminus to terminus direct run via the high level line would give a run of approx.320 feet, while a single circuit of the mainline would add another 200+ feet.

The aim is to work with 20ft radius curves on running lines and a minimum 12ft in sidings.

Don't ask when all this will be completed.....I need to determine the levels and gradients, cut down a lot of undergrowth (and a tree or two) and work out precisely what materials are required (as well as working on several wagon kit projects and completing several part-built kits including three GRS locos)!!

I expect to start on the first section (the terminus to the high level junction) before long and hope the high level circuit will be completed next year.

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline John Candy

Re: No weatherproofing necessary
« Reply #7 on: Aug 09 2012 07:29 »
If anyone is interested (and lives within easy reach of Bressingham), Filcris Ltd will have a stand at the East Anglian Garden Railway Show this Saturday (11th August). Unfortunately, mainly a 16mm show so I don't think I will bother.

A sample of their track board material is on its way to me.

My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.