Author Topic: Mainline vs Siding heights  (Read 1988 times)

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basementcalling

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Mainline vs Siding heights
« on: July 14, 2013, 06:52:37 PM »
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Do you try to have your passing and industrial sidings slightly lower than the high iron of your mainlines?

Thinking about using a cork underlay beneath the WS foam roadbed so the mainline is a few scale feet higher than the sidings, but that is a lot of cork for a big layout.

Anyone who does this have any genius methods to get it done easily without basically paying to put down roadbed twice?
Peter Pfotenhauer

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 07:29:43 PM »
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I did it the other way.

The mainline was installed on Woodland Scenics roadbed.

The sidings dropped down using wooden shims as transition pieces to tabletop.

I didn't want to have to elevate buildings and the surrounding landscape to match the height of the spur. 

Maybe spurs were done differently in the area that you're modeling but most of the spurs and surface around here was or were the same height.

PGE_Modeller

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2013, 09:31:00 PM »
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I have used three different heights, with a 10 scale inch (1/16" actual) separation between main track, sidings, and spurs and "other" (e.g. yard) tarcks.

The main track is on Woodland Scenics foam track bed raised up on 1/16" stripwood.

Sidings are on WS track bed directly on the roadbed surface with tapered stripwood shims to change elevation.

Spurs and other trackage are laid on 1/16" stripwood glued to the roadbed surface since even trackage that is almost devoid of ballast
requires drainage of some sort.

Cheers,

nscalemike

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2013, 10:34:20 PM »
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I bought two rolls of sheet cork from Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  One I think is 1/4" and the other 1/8" maybe.  They are about 2'X4' and then I cut the 2' side down into small strips to lay the track on.  The two rolls combined might be $10-$15 and will go a long way.  I used the thicker stuff for the main, the next size for passing and 'maintained' spurs, and the run down/abandoned spurs went right on the foam. 

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 07:45:59 AM »
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I have used three different heights, with a 10 scale inch (1/16" actual) separation between main track, sidings, and spurs and "other" (e.g. yard) tarcks.

The main track is on Woodland Scenics foam track bed raised up on 1/16" stripwood.

Sidings are on WS track bed directly on the roadbed surface with tapered stripwood shims to change elevation.

Spurs and other trackage are laid on 1/16" stripwood glued to the roadbed surface since even trackage that is almost devoid of ballast
requires drainage of some sort.

Cheers,

Good point about drainage.

Again I think it depends upon the road you're modeling and the age of the spurs being modeled.

For example around here (PRR & Erie), most of the spurs were laid down prior to 1930 and there was little or no ballast and there was no attempt at controlling drainage... It was just flat, flat, flat.

In one area of town, a new siding with three new spurs were laid in the early 60's.   They did ballast this new trackage much more heavily... but again not much was done in the way of elevating the trackage for drainage purposes.

Our last and newest industrial spur was laid in 1980, and that was elevated some and was well ballasted.

So again I think it depends on the road being modeled and when the spurs were initially built.

basementcalling

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 10:18:37 AM »
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I bought two rolls of sheet cork from Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  One I think is 1/4" and the other 1/8" maybe.  They are about 2'X4' and then I cut the 2' side down into small strips to lay the track on.  The two rolls combined might be $10-$15 and will go a long way.  I used the thicker stuff for the main, the next size for passing and 'maintained' spurs, and the run down/abandoned spurs went right on the foam.

Mike, that's what I have done in the past. I put the mainline done on the WS foambed or cork roadbed, then laid passing sidings on the cork, and industrial sidings went down on the bare foam or plywood.

At least my new layout has long single track stretches so in those I have no worries about it, but I definitely want passing sidings to sit lower for the visual effect, as most of the layout is close to eye level.
Peter Pfotenhauer

mark dance

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2013, 10:58:58 AM »
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On the C&W the mainline is laid on 1/8" cork.  The passing sidings and secondary running tracks are also laid on this material and then I sanded them down to approximately 1/16th height.  I sanded in cambers, easements and transitions at the same time. 


X8604 West in the hole at Coykendahl by mark dance, on Flickr

The industrial tracks are laid directly onto the sub roadbed.  I use wood filler to make the transitions and sand it down smooth.

In yards I laid out secondary running tracks onto 1/16th cork sheets.

Hope that helps...

md
Youtube Videos of the N Scale Columbia & Western at: markdance63
Photos and track plan of of the N Scale Columbia & Western at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27907618@N02/sets/72157624106602402/

basementcalling

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2013, 11:23:04 AM »
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On the C&W the mainline is laid on 1/8" cork.  The passing sidings and secondary running tracks are also laid on this material and then I sanded them down to approximately 1/16th height.  I sanded in cambers, easements and transitions at the same time. 

The industrial tracks are laid directly onto the sub roadbed.  I use wood filler to make the transitions and sand it down smooth.

In yards I laid out secondary running tracks onto 1/16th cork sheets.

Hope that helps...

md

Mark, how long were your transitions?
Peter Pfotenhauer

mark dance

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2013, 11:40:31 AM »
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Mark, how long were your transitions?

Transitions in height of 1/16" were generally sanded in over 3-4".

Transitions in camber (super-elevation) on curves of about 30-50 thou were made over the length of the curve's horizontal easement.

The most complicated transitions were across mid-siding cross-overs where the sanding needed to accommodate changes in height for both super-elevation and main to siding height...luckily most cross-overs were between curved turnouts on concave curves.  The sanded transitions were therefore "down" towards the center of the curve radius and thus the sanding did not introduce vertical curves into the turnouts which would have significantly reduced the reliability of equipment tracking through the cross-overs.  I hope that makes sense.  Think about the slope of the cross-over transition.  You want the transition to the passing siding to work with as opposed to against any super elevation that is required for the curves in the tracks.

Hope that helps.

md
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 11:43:04 AM by mark dance »
Youtube Videos of the N Scale Columbia & Western at: markdance63
Photos and track plan of of the N Scale Columbia & Western at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27907618@N02/sets/72157624106602402/

kalbert

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2013, 06:39:40 PM »
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I used WS foam road bed for the mainline and cut my own from sheets of Funky Foam for the passing siding. Transitions were sculpted from spackling. Here is an image showing the height difference, this is the main line and siding, the industry spurs were laid right on the pink foam and buried in dirt:


PAL_Houston

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2013, 08:37:47 PM »
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My mains are on cork and sidings are on the foam. 

I am surprised by all the effort people spend on the transitions.  If you lay the track in place and tack it down it will naturally form smooth vertical transitions.  After you test run it to your satisfaction, the ballast and ballast glue will keep the form of that smooth transition firmly in place. 

Here is an example that works just fine, transitioniong from the southbound siding onto the main into an Atlas #5 switch.


Here are a couple more examples, transitioning off the Mt. Morris spur into the Kable Printing plant.  Also note that the spur to the elevator is at dirt-level with cinder ballast, which was not so uncommon for low-usage track in various parts of the country with stable topsoils.
Regards,
Paul

mark dance

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2013, 09:10:48 PM »
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My mains are on cork and sidings are on the foam. 

I am surprised by all the effort people spend on the transitions.  If you lay the track in place and tack it down it will naturally form smooth vertical transitions.  After you test run it to your satisfaction, the ballast and ballast glue will keep the form of that smooth transition firmly in place. 

Here is an example that works just fine, transitioniong from the southbound siding onto the main into an Atlas #5 switch.


Here are a couple more examples, transitioning off the Mt. Morris spur into the Kable Printing plant.  Also note that the spur to the elevator is at dirt-level with cinder ballast, which was not so uncommon for low-usage track in various parts of the country with stable topsoils.


I am glad this approach worked for you...only 40% of my track is ballasted 5 years after operations began and I expect this will be the case for quite some time.

And in my experience poor (abrupt, unequal, etc.) vertical transitions, especially when the track was super elevated, did create intermittent reliability problems for me so the extra effort I believe was justified in my case.

Just my $0.02

md
Youtube Videos of the N Scale Columbia & Western at: markdance63
Photos and track plan of of the N Scale Columbia & Western at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27907618@N02/sets/72157624106602402/

dave n

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2013, 09:17:08 PM »
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basementcalling

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2013, 11:10:57 PM »
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Mark, I understood perfectly. Good point about super elevations.  Luckily,  I thought of that during planning so I only have two places where the turnout doesn't naturally flow into the banking.

Awesome photo. Great depth of field. Did you stack that image?

I will definitely use some form of transition. Slight vertical changes cause unwanted uncouplings in my experience.

 luck with sanding cork is limited, but I found some sheet cork at Lowes today. It will be employed as needed.
Peter Pfotenhauer

DKS

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Re: Mainline vs Siding heights
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2013, 11:17:38 PM »
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Dang that is one fine looking photo there Mark!

+1
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