Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Discussion on OO, and O gauge garden model railway design and construction. (scenery, track laying, electronics)
b308
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby b308 » Thu May 27, 2010 9:59 am

Just a small point, but if you use meths (as I do) to clean rails you are better off using felt as the "cloth", not those yellow dusters, felt is less likely to leave bits of itself lying around, and you don't want bits of cloth hair in your mechanisms! :wink:

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TVGR
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby TVGR » Thu May 27, 2010 5:30 pm

b308 wrote:Just a small point, but if you use meths (as I do) to clean rails you are better off using felt as the "cloth", not those yellow dusters, felt is less likely to leave bits of itself lying around, and you don't want bits of cloth hair in your mechanisms! :wink:


Very good point 8)

bomber68
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby bomber68 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:23 pm

Hi there

I've started building a railway out in the garden !it's not a massive but wot i need to know and help with do i solder the fishplates and run wiring passed my points to help my locos run better ( are they called jump wires ?? )

Many thanks
Paul

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Bufferstop
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:03 pm

Don't rely on fishplates, soldered or not. If a section of rail doesn't have its own power feed then solder a short jumper wire from the rail on one side of the fishplate to the rail on the other. Just like the ones you can see on the real thing (but they are for signalling, not traction power)
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Emettman
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby Emettman » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:41 am

Agreeing with Bufferstop.

Once arranged for location I tended to solder the track's bridging wires on my kitchen worktop, in about 6ft lengths, with extra wires to suit at the ends.
(This for G)
This for much of the track was easier than making the solder joins in situ.

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Bigmet
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby Bigmet » Tue May 16, 2017 11:05 am

bomber68 wrote:...started building a railway out in the garden !it's not a massive but wot i need to know and help with do i solder the fishplates

NO!!!!

Outdoors, as you will discover if we get sustained sunshine, the heating of the rails is very real and they expand: and then they need the slack of rail gaps at the joints to take up the expansion. Soldering on wires to every length of rail on the bench, ready to solder to a pair of continuous 'bus wires' as suggested above is the way to go for good conduction.

I am guessing here, but are you using set track pieces? If so my past experience is that sunshine - the UV component - will degrade the plastic bases pretty quickly. Peco Streamline is the stuff to use, as it is made specifically to survive UV exposure. Leave 1mm gaps - no less - between the rail ends of the yard lengths if laying on a normal UK warm day of 20C, that'll allow enough expansion distance for the occasional blazing hot noonday when the rails can get up to about 70C. (The nickel silver alloy used for the rails expands roughly 1mm over a meter for a 50C temperature increase.)

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Bufferstop
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby Bufferstop » Tue May 16, 2017 12:28 pm

It's also worth remembering that the conductivity of nickel silver is far less than that of copper, so even a 1mm dia. bus wire should do better than code 100 NS rail and 2.5mm is readily available.
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GWR_fan
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby GWR_fan » Fri May 19, 2017 3:17 am

While my outdoor railway was a bigger scale, one point I insisted on was good power conductivity. As well as using railclamps I also ran jumper cables plus I ran power to a distribution block and then took cables from this to outlying parts of the railway.

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Metadyneman
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby Metadyneman » Fri May 26, 2017 9:22 am

I've had a simple OO gauge garden railway for the best part of 15 years now and have never used bus wires on the line at all. The line feed is via two wires to each line in the shed with two booster feeds at two points round the layout, admittedly these are in the form of twin wires but I wouldn't describe them as bus wires as they only run direct from controller to the fixed point n the line. Conductivity between each rail has been via fishplates which on average the worst require replacement every two years others slightly longer. I do have some on the line which have survived the full 15 years! I have been gradually replacing track this year and one thing which I have noticed is that the old track has worn down by almost 1mm over the 15 years it has been in place. So in essence, it is possible to just rely on fishplates but be prepared to buy a few spare packets for when they fail.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby Bufferstop » Fri May 26, 2017 10:07 am

Us geeks in the computing world talk of competing topographies, star and bus. In model railway terms that's section feeds or buswires. Think it out, two section feed cables direct to point of need are actually better than a bus running from place to place. A metre of 2.5mm sq copper cable is better than a metre of code 100 track for conductivity any time. Your outdoor arrangement sounds rather similar to my pre-digital indoor one.
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Metadyneman
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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby Metadyneman » Fri May 26, 2017 10:19 am

Mine started life as a non digital layout but progressed to digital when it became more popular and I took the plunge to do it. Would never go back to analogue now. The sight and sound of a class 50 with DCC sound and 10 Bachy Mk2s round the garden is pure joy!
A voice from the distance said unto me "Smile, things could be worse" so I smiled and lo, things did get worse!

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Re: Garden Railway Basic Techniques

Postby Mountain » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:46 am

Railjoiners may last a long time in certain parts of the country yet in others they dont. Here, when I tried 00 gauge experiments in the garden, they held electrically connectivity for a couple of months and within a couple of years they no longer held the rails in position having failed totally (Peco railjoiners). Back then Lima rail joiners were available which lasted around double that time, but they were so hard to obtain that I abandoned the hope of trying to get them.
It quickly became apparent I would need to routinely change rail joiners every two years, all joints needed soldered bridge wires and all pointwork needed to be sheltered from the elements. If one lives in other areas I'm told points last a good few years outdoors with no issues.


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