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Laying track in Public Park

denismulford

Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 4

Replies: 24

Posted: Tue 2nd Sep 2014, 10:58pm
Laying track in Public Park

At Oxford we are about to go for planning permission for a track extension which will break out of our present site and be unfenced, (our present track is in a fenced off area), and we are not sure if we lay the bed on the usual ballast or just put it on a concrete strip and no ballast. Our worry is that the track will get messed about with.

I was wondering what other societies that have tracks in public parks have done ? Our preference is for standard ballast as it is at the moment but would welcome others comments and experiences on this and other thoughts on sleepers etc.

Regards

Denis Mulford
 

Replies To This Post

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Wed 3rd Sep 2014, 9:48am

Denis, ALL tracks in public places are subject to the attention of the local 'wildlife', probably even your track inside the fenced area. You could always lock the track down every so often, by pins through to concrete blocks underneath if you thought it would get more 'attention' than normal. I have had whole lengths pulled out of the ballast. Takes two seconds to do, and two hours to put right.

Bob.
 

ivanhewlett

Joined: 1-01-85

Topics: 8

Replies: 53

Posted: Wed 3rd Sep 2014, 12:14pm

Hi All
This is an interesting question, any information that Xz or others might have on optimum (cost Vs resistance to damage) rail weight, ballast size etc. etc would also be of interest to me as well.
I wonder if anyone has any information on how well the Leyland track, for example, stands up to running through open parkland ?

I will watch with interest.

Cheers, Ivan.
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Wed 3rd Sep 2014, 2:28pm

It is some years since our track was abandoned (Stoke-on Trent), but probably one of the worst transgressors were the grass mowers; as the machines got bigger, they got more unwieldy and often would knock a section of track sideways by several inches. Nobody would bother to report said damage, and on running days much time could be lost reinstating the line to safe running. Our track was 6lb/yd steel section, on 3" X 2" sleepers, at 9" spacing with 15mm crusher-run limestone ballast, capably of the heaviest locos.
 

Mick

Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 7

Replies: 114

Posted: Wed 3rd Sep 2014, 7:43pm

Cromar White rebuilt the Pickie Puffer line in Pickie Park, Bangor, County Down, which was originally laid on a concrete base because of vandalism. The new track replacing the old was 27mm steel rail bolted to recycled sleepers (fireproof) and bolted down to the concrete track bed every metre.
 

johndoyle

Joined: 15-12-99

Topics: 6

Replies: 21

Posted: Wed 3rd Sep 2014, 8:05pm

At Halton we have nearly a mile of track in a public park, first laid 35 years ago. Originally 12x10 flat bar rail on wooden sleepers we now use a mixture of ex-BR point rodding and 25x50 steel channel, on welded steel sleepers. All track is laid on good foundations and ballasted with 10-15 mm stone chippings.

With the original bar track we had continual problems with the local youth, with sections being lifted even between trains. The worst was a 80m section written off after being wrapped around some trees. Damage was also caused by the grass cutters, and in one case a fire engine running over the rails.

Now, with the heavier rails, we have no real problems. Once or twice the grass cutters have hit the rail but don't cause any problems for us - s light 'nick' in the channel is all we see.

We can now turn up on site and not have to worry about any track damage since we left.

Two important points to remember;

1. don't have any trip hazards; ballast to just below rail level etc
2. keep a written record on checks and maintenance just in case

Hope this helps

John Doyle
Halton Miniature Railway
 

johnnicholson

Joined: 1-01-77

Topics: 12

Replies: 68

Posted: Wed 3rd Sep 2014, 10:44pm

One way to secure the track from being lifted is to cast concrete blocks with heavy chain in then. You can then bury the block well below the surface . The chain is bolted under the sleeper and this allows the track some movement due to heat but not enough to pull it up and damage it.

John Nicholson
 

denismulford

Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 4

Replies: 24

Posted: Thu 4th Sep 2014, 11:00pm

Thanks all for replying and if anyone else wants to comment then please do so.

I tend to think that I would prefer to use bullhead steel rail with welded tie bars, plastic fireproof sleepers, on 20mm or so ballast. I think we will possibly cast in some concrete blocks every metre or so and bolt down the rail but we are looking at many options and again thanks for the replies above.

That brings me onto the next question, where/who supplies plastic sleepers that do not burn ?. We had some that we had to get rid of as the fumes were over powering.

Thanks again.

Denis Mulford
 

Mick

Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 7

Replies: 114

Posted: Fri 5th Sep 2014, 8:06am

The recycled plastic sold by Cromar White which we use at Abbeydale (Sheffield SMEE)does't burn. It will smoulder briefly if you weld very close to it, or a hot coke falls on it, but it will self extinguish. It's true the fumes are vile and should not be breathed, but we have been running on this track since Tony Martin (Cromar White and a member here) first introduced it. I tested it with a blowlamp before taking it on! we use standard gauge sleepers but larger narrow gauge ones are available too.I hope that helps.
 

Richard_Langford

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 10

Replies: 37

Posted: Fri 5th Sep 2014, 10:26pm

The big issue in public places is vandalism. If they can do they will do it at some point. They will try to pick the track up and move it and the chains John Nicholson suggests are a good idea and are worth pursuing. 

Vandals will use your rails as a stand for their disposable bbq's so fire resistant sleepers is a must. They will also sometimes try to set them on fire directly. 

They will unbolt your fishplates (amazingly some vandals  carry spanners!) so welding the rail is a better option.

They will use your ballast against you! they will deliberately put it into points and build up little derailment mountains such as the one in the picture (they built this as the train was running!)

Some of the the worst things to deal with is broken glass and drunks urinating but there isn't much that can be done about either.
The big issue in public places is vandalism. If they can do they will do it at some point. They will try to pick the track up and move it and the chains John Nicholson suggests are a good idea and are worth pursuing.

Vandals will use your rails as a stand for their disposable bbq's so fire resistant sleepers is a must. They will also sometimes try to set them on fire directly.

They will unbolt your fishplates (amazingly some vandals carry spanners!) so welding the rail is a better option.

They will use your ballast against you! they will deliberately put it into points and build up little derailment mountains such as the one in the picture (they built this as the train was running!)

Some of the the worst things to deal with is broken glass and drunks urinating but there isn't much that can be done about either.
 

Old Baldy

Joined: 31-05-12

Topics: 0

Replies: 4

Posted: Sat 6th Sep 2014, 9:49pm

Hi There
I use sleepers from KEDEL Ltd. (www.kedel.co.uk)
They supply recycled plastic in lengths with various sections. Easy to saw, and good to put screws into. I picked mine up direct from them. There is a Boundary Mill outlet near there, so when the wife was shopping..........

Cheers
Peter
 

denismulford

Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 4

Replies: 24

Posted: Wed 1st Oct 2014, 10:34pm

Thanks for all the replies and apologies for not getting back sooner but holidays and family bereavement have prevented.

Richard, I would be interested where your track is and how often you get these problems plus I would welcome any more plastic sleeper suppliers and any more views. Is there anyone from the Leyland Society who could give some of their experience ?

Thanks again.

Denis Mulford
 

Richard_Langford

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 10

Replies: 37

Posted: Wed 1st Oct 2014, 10:48pm

Hi Denis.
The track I was writing about was in Wakefield. I'm no longer involved in any way over there but during my tenure minor incidents were very regular but a keen eye and a little common sense were all it took to keep things running.
 
 
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