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New Passing Siding

Printed From: Southern California Live Steamers
Category: Railroad Tracks, Layouts and Rolling Stock
Forum Name: Track, Switch & Signal Construction Forum
Forum Discription: Discussion pertaining to track fabrication and techniques, installation methods and switch design as well as signal construction and control circuitry.
Printed Date: Mar 22 2023 at 9:32pm

Topic: New Passing Siding
Posted By: tom d
Subject: New Passing Siding
Date Posted: Oct 26 2010 at 10:08pm
Tom D. built and installed a new switch with help from Rory, Howie, Phil and Rob. This switch is on the inner loop by the yard. When done we will have two long passing parking sidings on the back of the inner loop. This should be a big help on run days.

Posted By: tom d
Date Posted: Nov 08 2010 at 3:54am
On Sunday, Rory and I worked on the siding at the end of run day. After Tim suggested we try using the tractor to remove the old ground cover-weeds, and we had Linda take  look to see there was not anything that needed to be saved plantwise. We scraped back to soft ground so we can get a good base to lay the new track on. We also had to do some tree trimming as some of the branches were a little low.

On Saturday after mark and I took truck lode # 15 of junk from out back to the dumpster Phil and I sat  Steve's right hand switch for the yard down to the end of the fist siding switch to see how it looked and see how members would react seeing a track heading across the unused infield. It seemed like all that saw it liked the look, so I will build a new right hand switch and we will put it in and start working some new track across there at a later time. Getting the switch in now is better than trying to put it in later on.

On Saturday Mark asked me if I thought it would be good to put something like a drum of rocks on the back of the tractor to see if it help get the wheels to dig in better. I told him to give it a try and lets see so he went and got some chain at Lowe's and we got an old 55 gallon drum. Ray and Mathew helped him put it on the back of the tractor and fill it with rocks. Boy did that help make the tractor dig in! Now we have got something to work with, as it was just spinning the rear tires and getting stuck all the time before when we tried to scoop or push something without Phil standing on the rear of it. So Im thinking we will have to find Phil and new job on work days as it looks like hes been replaced by a 55 gallon drum of rocks.

Posted By: PhilC
Date Posted: Nov 08 2010 at 6:25am
Friggen story of my life. Outsourced to a barrel of rocks!  I give up!

I used to be a rocket scientist, now I am just a space cadet.
You only need three tools in life - WD-40, Duct Tape, and a Hammer. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape. If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.

Posted By: tom d
Date Posted: Jan 02 2011 at 6:13pm
Steve built a new track panel building jig. We got the new tie stock and Steve cut up many to give us a good  size stock pile of 16 inch ties. Tom and Steve built 10, 15 foot track panels. Rory, Tom and Steve set them down in place and Jim Berryman came by and suggested we try some weed blocker under layment.   Steve ran down to Lowe's and got a 200 foot roll to try. We spent some time getting the road bed flat and then laid the new track in place. It will still need to be adjusted and ballasted.

Tom D.  


Posted By: tom d
Date Posted: Jan 10 2011 at 7:51am
on 1-9-11 Howie, Robert, Steve and Tom got the loose top dirt scraped back from under the trees, cut in the new switch on the main line. set in the switch for siding #1, and got all the track hooked up.

On 1-10-11 Tom set up one of the new auto switch machines on the switch from the main line to the lead track. This took some time as it need a good base to hold it down and not move the switch around when being throne as we seem to have some heavy handed switch mean at the club at times.

Tom aligned,, leveled and tamped the switch in and charlie and Phil got the club SW1500 out and ran back and forth over the new switch to make sure it work well before run day next Saturday. They said it felt like very smooth ride through the  new switch.

After playing around with the lead track layout to siding #1 Steve and Tom felt it was best to build a Y type switch for track #2 so Tom will do that this week. This is being done so that we can get the correct radius for the sub-siding to the infield, We are thinking it will become a figure 8 run around track through the infield at some point after we get some of the other track projects done.

I will start a new figure 8 post on that project soon.

Next we will need to ballast, align, and level the new siding. Steve is building track panels for siding #2 so we should have that one in soon,

Tom D

Posted By: tom d
Date Posted: Feb 14 2011 at 10:30am
On Sunday 2-13-11 Tom, Phil, Shane and Shane Jr worked on adding ballast, aligning and leveling of one of the two parking sidings.

We are finding we need to add joint plates on the joints by the switches as the slip type connectors (Train Mountain type) don't hold the rails in line. Some rail is new and some is old type rail, reused to make the switches. The foot of the old rail is just a little smaller and moves in the clip. Trains are derailing as it looks like their wheels are catching an edge in the misaligned rail head. Phil also thinks we need to go back and cut some more gap in some of the joints as they look to tight now that we got all the track alinged and level.

Tom D may go out one day this week and install the new joint plate so we are all ready for the Saturday's public run.

Posted By: tom d
Date Posted: Mar 10 2011 at 6:33pm
On Saturday, 3-5-11, Tom D added tie plates to the joints on the ends of the switches to hold the rail inline. It seemed to work well on the Sunday run day. He all so spent some more time aligning and leveling the recently ballasted track, as the new track is settling in.

Posted By: tom d
Date Posted: Mar 16 2011 at 6:50am
As you can see from the photos in the gallery, we have got the track installed on parking siding number two on 3-13-2011.

On Sunday morning Wyatt and Tom D got to the yard about 9:30 am and started to build 15' track panels on the jig Steve had built. After a trip to see our new freinds, Bill, Dave and Blake and their neat back yard railroad and help them a little with building track at Bill's place, 9 year old Wyatt wanted to lean how to build track and use a few new tricks we leaned from Bill at SRVRR, So we built track.

We needed the new track for the parking siding so this was a good thing for all. Wyatt did a good job but it took him some time to get it right as the drill was a little big for him. We built 3 panels and then the rest of the so cal boys started to come around and give us a hand. After lunch Tom, Rob and Rory started to install the 5 track panels that were built at that point. Phil, Shane and Wyatt worked building a few more panels while Steve and then Phil cut ties as it does takes a lot of ties to built the 15' panels. The installation of the track went well. We put what looked to be a 143.6 foot bend in the track [thanks Rory for the radius info] this was done as we have the room and it seemed like it would look better as we need to clear the trees and their roots.

We still need to get the switch machines installed, shim the track level, put the ballast stone down, and as always do a little adjusting before we can run on it much. there is also some landscaping work that needs to happen and we may add three more new trees to fill in and add more shade since we are doing  landscaping work, but we will get it all done in the next few weeks or so.

After riding on the new track, standing back and looking at the layout of track, the new siding may work better as the main line. This will give a little more interesting ride as the train goes around the trees. The old old main line will give us a longer parking siding and in time we will be putting a switch in on this track to go into the upper half of the yard. This may or may not work we just have to try some of the bigger locos and their trains though the new track and switches too see if it works for them.

Tom D


Posted By: tom d
Date Posted: Mar 28 2011 at 6:30am
3-27-11 Rob, Rory and Tom installed two of the old RMI motorized switch stands on the two parking sidings this was a bit of work as the units have to have a few changes done to them to make them work for us.

We replaced the activating rod with a longer one as we put the stands three feet back from the track. We then replaced the springs on the slider with lighter, longer ones so it easier on the motor, and we flipped the throw stops so we get a longer throw out of the units. Rory worked on the one for the number one siding and Rob and Tom worked on the one for the Y switch that is for the number two siding.

The hole that needed to be dug for the Y switch was some tough digging as there is a cement like strip that runs under the top soil that we are thinking was in between the tracks in the old railroad yard that this land was used for in the past. As we chipped it out with a big crow bar, looking at the pieces breaking off, we were thinking that it is an adobe type of hard packed soil and not cement. But I tell you, it is as hard as cement to back out!

After the switch stands were in, Tom started to clean up all the stuff laying around from the project and leveling of the top soil so it was easier to walk around and it looks nice.

Beside track number two Tom pushed back the top soil and cleaned off the old adobe pad that runs beside the track now and it makes a good looking hard surface to stand on when getting off your train. It is a little rough but it just looks like a big three foot wide by sixty foot long flat rock.

Shane worked on cutting ties and stated build track panels for the figure 8 project and we sat a few in place at the end of the day just to see how it looked. it must have looked good as Phil was jumping up and down with excitement as he looked at it.

Tom D.


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