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Level crossings

johnoxlade

Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 6

Replies: 6

Posted: Wed 19th Jan 2011, 12:18am
Level crossings

I'm soon going to have to build a couple of level-crossings where my track will cross our driveway at our new house. I have no way of avoiding this but it needs to be "neat" as you'll see it every time you drive up to the house. Our driveway is probably going to be poured concrete (70% likely) or tarmac (30% likely).

I'd like to hear people's experience on how this has been done in the past.

Thoughts I have had:

(1) Make up track panels and embed them into the concrete. This is very permanent but zero maintenance and barely noticeable in the finished drive.

(2) Leave a trench for the track and put wooden boards (or similar) between rails and edge of concrete. This is less permanent but there's still a trench for the track whcih you can't move easily anyway. It will make it easy to maintain but do I really NEED to maintain it if it were embedded inthe concrete?

So what do you think?

Kind regards
John
http://www.worldrailfans.info/7.25inch/therailway.shtml
 

Replies To This Post

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Wed 19th Jan 2011, 5:30pm

John, If going for the concreted in version, bring your concrete up to rail-head outside the rails, but leave it 8-12mm low between the rails. That means that any detritus, small pebbles etc. can be easily swept away with a brush. No need to rake out any grooves.
 

frankcooper

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 9

Replies: 58

Posted: Thu 20th Jan 2011, 9:32am

We have 3 level crossings all built so that stone delivery vehicles can cross them safely.

Track is reinforced both horizontally and down to 12 depth vertically so nothing will move.

Yes leave the gap between rails well below rail height to clear leaves, stone etc.


Frank
 

Mick

Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 7

Replies: 114

Posted: Thu 20th Jan 2011, 1:47pm

We have three crossings at Sheffield, one which has to take full size ballast delivery vehicles. I believe checkrails are essential - they can be filled in between for the central portion of the crossing and leave a deep enough 'slot' for flanges so that if a piece of ballast or similar gets in it won't cause a derailment. Our main crossing has our standard track (Cromar White 27 mm flat bottom rail on plastic recycled sleepers) bolted down to a 6" thick concrete reinforced pad. We have then had the driveway professionally tarmacced. However with the inevitable movement of rail expanding and contracting the tarmac along the edge of the track has started to break up in one or two places. Our concrete crossings have not had this trouble but have begun to break up on the surface with this winter's severe frost! Hope this helps.
 

colinedmondson

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 3

Replies: 82

Posted: Fri 21st Jan 2011, 5:39pm

It probably won't apply in your case but we found that concreted in track is a lot harder to keep clear of ice in the winter, it needs to be chiselled off the rails! If you use check-railed track put expanded polystyrene foam into the slot before you pour the concrete, and leave it there afterwards. It pushes down as a wheel passes and stops stones dropping in. personally I would make a template so that the finished road surface is slightly below the rail head, we found that frost heaved the concrete up a little and the wheels were running on the concrete instead of the rail. Colin Edmondson, formerly at Hills garden centre, Cheshire
 

franksidebottom

Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 4

Replies: 28

Posted: Sat 22nd Jan 2011, 2:51pm

Hi John - Good to see you're making progress! For our small garden line, going across the drive was desirable as a complete circuit could be achieved. Much thought-time was spent contemplating concrete or tarmac with the varying levels involved (any installation had to be 'right first time'). By simply opting for two removable track panels (medium-heavy profile with 3 X 2 sleepers) laid over the ballast drive, when continuous running is required it takes just a few minutes to lay the panels and bolt in a few fishplates. During running there is no discernable movement on these (curved) panels and vehicles can cross (carefully) if necessary. This method avoids concerns that might have arisen with permanent installation, and will remain the preferred method for the foreseeable future.
Good Luck & Best Wishes,
Frank.
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Thu 6th Feb 2014, 11:58am

I'm also thinking ahead to my proposed layout and a desire to cross a vehicle access to the property, I want to preserve access for full weight lorries so envisage a good thick concrete base on well compacted ground on say a minimum of 150mm with steel reinforcing mesh. My business premises in Bristol is part of the old docks and there is still a lot of standard gauge track around that was laid years ago, The scheme seems to have been to lay on a 2ft thick reinforced base (I know it was that thick as I had to cut through at some points for drain and cable laying) the outer running rails are supplemented by inner rails to allow for the wheel flange gap with both rails flush with the ground and concreted flush both in between the rails and outside the running rails for about 18 inches There are many examples of this including one crossing a busy road into the City, all have stood the test of time, it seems the way to go albeit without going to the extreme of 2ft thick concrete ! I would envisage having a removable good hardwood filler for the gaps to avoid debris building up when not running.
 

frankcooper

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 9

Replies: 58

Posted: Thu 6th Feb 2014, 1:18pm

We did similar at my club. We needed to get 24 ton lorries with ballast over 3 crossings.

2ft of reinforced concrete with track built up on steel framework with both side and longitudinal cross members so always level.

No trouble in 4 years!
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Thu 6th Feb 2014, 2:40pm

One of the cases, in my opinion, where full size practice is unwise in 7-1/4" G. Using double rail leaves a pair of grooves that from experience are difficult to keep clear. Do it as I said above (1st reply) and there is only one wide, shallow one, that is easy to keep clean with a brush, and you can have whatever foundations you require under it.
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Thu 6th Feb 2014, 7:57pm

I take the point about full size practice not being the best way to go for 7.1/4 a 12 to 15 mm drop in between tracks is not much but full size it's going to be 50mm + and a real trip hazard where public are concerned, our City Council has had to tarmac the grooves on these long since disused tracks to avoid cyclists getting their bicycle wheels stuck in them and claiming injury compensation, I believe the start point for injury compensation claims to be just a 25mm variation in levels? tracks that invite public could well fall foul of this compensation culture, do we have lawyers on our forum?
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Thu 6th Feb 2014, 8:20pm

You only need flange depth, plus a little for small items. You could always slope up to a peak in the centre to deter trippers. I've used the method many times and it works and is not unsightly.
 

frankcooper

Joined: 9-08-09

Topics: 9

Replies: 58

Posted: Fri 7th Feb 2014, 2:08pm

The old ruling for a trip was 1 inch - now doubtless 25mm. This would exclude most 7qtr track as flangeways not that deep.. We also put up signs saying "Beware uneven surfaces" to try and keep people alert!.
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Mon 10th Feb 2014, 9:43pm

Well Frank you're quite right about 'Legal' tripping depth, the mind boggles about a 'Euro' trip being 25.4 mm so 25mm could mean no claim LOl. I'm very new to this (not about tripping depths though) what's an adequate flange depth? The H & S is not so much an issue for me as my proposed track is entirely on private premises though on second thought with it being in France I'm not sure whether there is legislation to cover P.L. even on private premises there probably is?
 

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 17

Replies: 244

Posted: Mon 10th Feb 2014, 10:02pm

You will find info on wheel specs and other useful dimensions elsewhere on this site (under "About Us"). Allow a little more than flange depth so that small items do not cause obstruction. Using the method I described, slightly large items will be displaced rather than trapped, as with the check-rail design.
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 27

Replies: 91

Posted: Tue 11th Feb 2014, 6:04pm

Thanks Xz for all your advice and the pointer to where to find it on the forum, I totally understand your preference for not using a check rail on level crossings, I didn't realise flange depth was so minimal.
 

rogerbrown

Joined: 1-01-85

Topics: 6

Replies: 35

Posted: Tue 11th Feb 2014, 9:55pm

On subject of trip height my brother once told me that there standard was that when laying concrete paving slabs they were allowed up to 10mm difference in height between adjoining slabs. Hope that this helps.

Regards

Roger Brown
Member 1066
 
 
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