Author Topic: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail  (Read 12426 times)

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peteski

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2019, 08:13:54 PM »
0
Are the ties connected permanently straight, or are they like flex-track?
. . . 42 . . .

narrowminded

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2019, 08:15:10 PM »
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@Missaberoad  @robert3985  @C855B   I figured there would be interest in those items. :) 

I can get some track going pretty quick if there's any immediate need/ desire as it's largely figured out, the way that this happened so quick. 

And for turnouts, as of now the rail components will be constructed in largely the same style as Fast Tracks turnouts using all Nickel/ Silver rail material with a likely change to the point rail throw bar connections.  They will probably have soldered on attachments affording a swivel at each rail connection instead of a rigid soldered connection, more in line with the Atlas style but hopefully not as bulky.  I'm also trying to do this with minimal material removal on the through rails.  That's still in the works.  Let me know the size interest. 8)
Mark G.

narrowminded

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2019, 08:50:33 PM »
0
Are the ties connected permanently straight, or are they like flex-track?

They are made with all of the ties bridged.  That assures uniform tie gaps and helps when laying the straights and also, because there are no rails installed until the tie bed is laid, they would be very floppy and possibly awkward to handle.  What you do is to lay the straights and then when you approach the turns you snip the outside bridge piece at every other tie.  This keeps the tie spacing nice, too.  Just use the rail nipper, shoulder the nipper against the tie where you want to start your flex, and snip it.   You don't even completely remove the bridge piece, just snip it, as it's still well nested and hidden under the rail foot, being about half the width of that foot dimension.  I start a few ties back on the straight section so I can start a small easement going into the turn but all of this is... well... flexible so with those cut you can still lay them straight.  And when laying the straights I will still use a straightedge against the tie ends to make sure they stay perfectly straight, same as I would do with any flex track.

As this progresses I will put a video up that shows all of this.  It's actually harder to explain than to do. 8)

Edit add: Also, while laying the tie bed I will use a single piece of .040" square styrene set into the rail guides, one side only needed, as a tool to check the smoothness and alignment.  The styrene is perfectly flexible for this.  I also use the styrene piece OR a piece of rail, one side only needed, when adding a piece of bed on a straight to assure the alignment of one piece to the next.  Again, easier to do than to explain. :)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 09:20:34 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

robert3985

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2019, 10:10:59 PM »
+1
I recently started work on a tie pallet for #7 turnouts with ME C40 rail using proto87.com frogs and points, with tie spacing and profile to match ME C40 flex. A priority was the same footprint as the Atlas C55 #7 for ease of use with track planning software, but I haven't made it that far yet. I am more than happy to cede that project to Mark @narrowminded if he wants to take it on!

EEEeeeww!  :-X  The C55 Atlas #7 is grossly out of proportion.  I'm happy that you haven't made it very far yet because it is proportioned UGLY.  So is their #5 and #10, all of them with much smaller effective diverging radii than what properly proportioned turnouts have.  It's one of the main problems with their #5, which is closer to being a #4, so people that run cars and engines on it that wouldn't have a problem with a real #5 turnout, find they won't run on the Atlas #4.3

Photo (1) - Here's a comparo between an out-of-proportion Atlas #7 and a properly proportioned ME #6:


As you can readily see, the Atlas #7 and the ME #6 are virtually the same length.

Photo (2) - Up at the right/top you can see a properly proportioned #7 over a properly proportioned #6:



A properly proportioned #7 is much longer than a #6, and if I were to expend the money to buy an out-of-proportion Atlas #10 and compare it with a scale drawing of a properly proportioned #10, it would be the same percentage wrong.

No reason to use an Atlas #7 since it's just an RCH bigger than a properly proportioned #6 from Micro Engineering.  May as well spend your money on a turnout that looks much better and functions just as well as the ugly Atlas turnout.

As for Proto87Stores frogs & turnout detail etched frets...I have nearly a dozen of them...both the etched frogs and the detail frets, and I found it nearly impossible to solder the frogs together reliably.  After they were soldered so all the parts were secure, they didn't look that great in the turnout.  So, I only used one of the etched frog kits, and built the rest of my center siding turnouts in about a quarter of the time it took to assemble the P87Stores kit.  I was using them for C55 mainline trackage, so the railheads in the frog were noticeably narrower than ME C55 railheads, which I found disconcerting to say the least.  I also found the detail frets parts were way too tiny to make much of a difference in the appearance of the turnouts.  The frets needs to have "bigger" detailing and I believe the spikeheads are much smaller than scale spikeheads would be, and much too short.  After painting weathering, they virtually disappear.

Photo (3) - Here's a photo of the one P87Stores frog kit I installed:


Photo (4) - And here a photo of my frog made from C55 rail:


After I apply the little bolt strip to the sides of the frogs I made, they'll look exponentially better than the P87Stores etched kits.

If you haven't seen what Ed @ednadolski has done with his etched turnout parts/assembly he produced for his Tehachapi LDE, you need to take a look.  IMHO, he's produced the best-looking, most prototypical appearing N-scale turnouts ever made.  I don't have time to find the link...maybe Ed can do that.

As for 3D printing turnouts, I've got prototype drawings...I mean highly detailed drawings of how U.P. did theirs that don't leave any aspect of prototype turnout/switch construction unexplained or not illustrated. 

Mark @narrowminded when you get ready to start designing turnout ties, I'll be happy to provide prototype drawings as well as give you some advice on C40 and C55 turnout construction.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

ednadolski

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2019, 11:24:13 PM »
0
Looking at it with the naked eye it looks pretty darn good.  At this detail I see a few things I think should be adjusted for close up pics but keep in mind, at this size some details are no more than a few thousandths so... :|  Remarks are welcome. 

The pics look great, thanks for posting!  ;)   Here is my feedback after looking these over:

- Overall the ties have a bit of a 'rounded edge' look in the closeups.  In the original drawing I included the 1" (scale) chamfer that is there on the prototype.  Since printing adds a bit of rounding, it would probably look 'sharper' overall if this chamfer was simply taken out and squared up in the drawing. (It won't be a true 90-degree squaring, since the sides are at a slight angle.)

- The rail clips can probably be reduced a bit, in particular, shorten the distance that the edges are from the foot of the rail (the edge on the rail side looks like it should stay where it is).  They don't need to be very high since functionally they just locate the rail rather than hold it down (unlike flextrack).

(EDIT: after looking more closely, I don't think that the printed clips are standing too high.)

- The clips should IMHO be kept simple: being so small makes it hard to show a lot of fine detail on them, and ultimately they'll be covered by paint (and weathering). FWIW I tried to model the clips after the ones in use on Tehachapi:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Concrete_sleeper_1638.JPG
https://doublebhomestead.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/p1020190.jpg
https://doublebhomestead.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/p1020188.jpg
https://photos-hewgill-com.s3.amazonaws.com/photo/trips/tehachapi-loop/IMG_5470.JPG

- After looking at that 3rd proto pic above, I think it might be good to mimic the flat (green in the pic) pad that sits under the rail, maybe about 0.003" or so high.  Raising the rail will help it look slightly taller, closer to the 136 lb. prototype rail.

- The bridging between the ties should be kept low enough to be fully covered with ballast.  One big advantage tie strips have over flextrack is that they do not have the webbing under the rail that the flextrack does.  Such webbing is almost impossible to cover completely with ballast, and since the plastic is a light color it creates a sort of alternating "picket fence" look when viewed from the side.

- I don't think it's necessary to bridge the strips on both sides to make them rigid.  It's easy enough to place a straightedge along tangent track (you're already doing that, and it will also keep the spacing honest).  It's unnecessarily time-consuming to have to snip away webbing on curves, and a nippers is potentially damaging to the strips.

Hopefully this is some useful stuff.  Thanks again!

Ed
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 12:23:39 AM by ednadolski »

ednadolski

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2019, 11:38:03 PM »
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If you haven't seen what Ed @ednadolski has done with his etched turnout parts/assembly he produced for his Tehachapi LDE, you need to take a look.  IMHO, he's produced the best-looking, most prototypical appearing N-scale turnouts ever made.  I don't have time to find the link...maybe Ed can do that.

@robert3985 Here you go:  https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=34762.msg404138#msg404138

I'm noodling over how to convert the tieplates so that they will look right with C40 rail.  I'll probably just shorten them by the difference in the width of the rail base, without making any other change.  Hopefully they look OK with the P:87 spikes.

The other thing I still want to do is figure out how to get rid of the PCB ties, or at least make them less obtrusive.

Ed


ednadolski

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2019, 12:16:18 AM »
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Proto pic of the concrete tie track.



Interesting how the mainline (background track) has weathered faster than the siding (foreground track).

Ed

narrowminded

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2019, 07:44:07 PM »
+1
@ednadolski I got another run with some tolerance and cosmetic revisions.   The main revision is a redesigned guide appearance, slightly smaller, different profile, less clubby.  Also, the beveled top perimeter appeared more like a radius so I added a slight recess down the center of the bevel to accentuate it a little more.  It is still so small that it's hard to see with the naked eye but might photograph better in extreme closeups.  Height remains the same for proper guidance but also for an attempted rail clamp appearance.  That stuff is small!  I think it's ready for a trial. ;)

Here are some pics.


« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 06:35:31 AM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

ednadolski

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2019, 12:38:02 PM »
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@narrowminded the pics look great!   I've just sent a PM; I think these will look amazing with some paint/ballast/weathering.   BTW, how long is a single strip?

Ed

narrowminded

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2019, 02:37:08 PM »
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@narrowminded the pics look great!   I've just sent a PM; I think these will look amazing with some paint/ballast/weathering.   BTW, how long is a single strip?

Ed

The length of each piece is just over 4 1/2" (4.588").  That is the maximum length that can be printed but also is in a nice range for managing during laying.   
 I found in practice that a lot longer tie bed length was was not necessarily useful at all times and that the shorter length was seldom a hindrance. 8) 

They are made with bridge pieces between each tie to hold spacing as well as a set of bridging stubs at the end of each length to readily butt against the next section while holding uniform tie spacing.  They can be joined on the bench to make any length you might want to use as one piece or just butted up against the previous bed during the bed laying procedure.  The bed material takes CA glue very well so just the smallest drop of glue on each stub end will adequately join the pieces until they are laid.  With my minimal Nn3 track laying experience I have used both methods and find both have merit but I'm less inclined to glue joints in the straight sections.  Hope that helps. :)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 03:07:55 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

narrowminded

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2019, 06:24:04 PM »
0
The concrete tie project is on hold for the moment waiting for shipped samples to arrive @ednadolski  for inspection and feedback.  Sooo... time to start thinking about this wooden tie interest. :)

I have looked over the prototype information posted from @robert3985 and considered the remarked interest from others including @Missaberoad , @C855B , @MK , @amato1969 , @reinhardtjh , @John  (hope I didn't miss anyone) for wooden tie, code 40 track ties with pretty specific preferences.  To that end, does anybody want to be more specific? 

Here's what I have so far.  I'll start with what Atlas code 55 has as far as tie dimensions, mainly because it's so commonly used and is a good candidate for the type of track that this new code 40 tie bed will be mated with.  W 10" x H 8" x L 102" (8.5').  Those dimensions are very close but are rounded down.  The tie spacing is 19".  In reviewing Robert's provided UP information, they have no 8.5' lengths but are either 8' for most or 9' for just heavy main, skipping over the 8.5' length.  All size ties and service ratings seem to use the same 19" spacing. 

What does seem to be different is tie plate sizes and hole patterns.  Those variants can be done but the scale dimensions may need some fudging to make them visible.  The spike heads will not be able to reach over the rail lip but can sit slightly above the rail foot mimicking engagement.  Those heads are small so they may render more like rivet heads but should be presentable, certainly to the naked eye, and not oversized as so many are.  They are also not key to retaining the rail so size is more flexible.  The tie plate holes may be hard to see and may need fudged but are cosmetic and can be attempted in several ways and decisions made by test and review.

For now, for lighter duty rail, it would seem that 8" x 8" ties would be appropriate and the length at 8.5' but could be made to 8' or even made in both lengths, user choice.  8" width seems common to the tie plate widths, regardless of size and pattern, but lengths seem to vary as Robert showed in his UP drawing. 

Does anybody have any specific dimensions that they would like to suggest at this point?  Fire away! :scared: :D

« Last Edit: December 09, 2019, 06:25:44 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

narrowminded

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2019, 11:14:10 PM »
+1
OK, final inspection dimensional of concrete ties.  One of the batch chosen arbitrarily for rail installation and complete measurements.

Tie Dimensions:                             Measured:

Width:   11"  /160 = .06875"           .067"

Height     9"  /160 = .05625"           .057"

Length 102"  /160 = .638"              .638"

NMRA Gauge Tolerance= 359"/.353"
Chosen Target dim .356"                  .356"

I'm happy with that. 8)
Mark G.

narrowminded

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #42 on: December 10, 2019, 12:31:45 PM »
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An issue that we did not discuss in this thread but is often an issue when folks are considering code 55 and especially code 40 track is the wheel flange clearance.  In fact, with this method of rail attachment, not depending on the spike to mechanically constrain the rail flange in the vertical plane, the clearance with the code 40 has .002" more clearance than Atlas code 55.  The spike detail on the code 40 extends above the flange but only for visible evidence of a spike.  It doesn't need to hold the rail down so doesn't need to be as clubby in appearance or as necessarily robust as conventional designed code 55. 

The wheel flange clearance above the spikes as measured on a sample piece of Atlas code 55 rail is .030".  The clearance as measured on a piece of this code 40 concrete tie design and also on my N or Nn3 wood tie track is .030"/ .032", actually equal to or more than the code 55. 8)  So any current NMRA standard wheel (or finer) that runs on code 55 will run just as readily on this code 40 design.  The NMRA standard wheel flange depth specification is currently max .022" (can be less) so they comfortably clear normal code 55 spikes and will just as readily clear the spike cosmetic detail on this code 40 design.  This much clearance on code 40 rail when retained the conventional way, aside from having a grossly oversized spike appearance, would not be mechanically possible and may be why code 40 flex is not readily available.   Hope this information is useful. 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 12:54:59 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

amato1969

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #43 on: December 10, 2019, 12:54:04 PM »
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@narrowminded thanks for posting your detailed findings here!  Personally, I am most interested in switch/turnout tie strips, as it would help enforce clearance/gauge, etc.  My soldered #6's are passable, but not without some fine tuning!

  Frank

narrowminded

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Re: Concrete Tie strip for N Scale and Code 40 Rail
« Reply #44 on: December 10, 2019, 01:19:34 PM »
+1
@narrowminded thanks for posting your detailed findings here!  Personally, I am most interested in switch/turnout tie strips, as it would help enforce clearance/gauge, etc.  My soldered #6's are passable, but not without some fine tuning!

  Frank

Those will be coming at some point but they are several projects away.  One thing to monitor is when my small Nn3 switch comes available as that will have all of the methodology sorted out that will apply to all of the size variants.  Once that's done each subsequent size will be mostly filling in blanks, adjusting dimensions.  A prompt at that point could be useful to set which will be the next turnout size put into the queue.  Thanks for your interest! 8)
Mark G.