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making curved track panels

vulcanworks

Joined: 31-01-17

Topics: 15

Replies: 21

Posted: Sat 21st Oct 2017, 11:57am
making curved track panels

Hi,
I was just wondering how people produce their curved track panels, and if you have any hints or tips ?

I've had some success using a rail bender with aluminium rail and have produced an excel spreadsheet which calculates outside and inside rail lengths for a particular radius and degree of curve, and then calculates other measurements which I duplicate on a piece of scrap wood so I know when I've bent the rail to the correct radius. I obviously have the problem of 6-8 cm of flat spot at either end, but it produces pretty accurate results. I can get a 20ft radius 22.5 degree curved panel from 2.5m lengths of rail.
 

Replies To This Post

Xz

Joined: 1-01-92

Topics: 20

Replies: 256

Posted: Sat 21st Oct 2017, 3:30pm

If the straight ends offend your sensibilities then you should roll a longer length and cut them off. I haven't found it necessary to be deadly accurate with curves, close enough being good enough. They will always move about with hot and cold and general use anyway. At 20ft Rad I would suggest gauge-widening would be good idea.
 

vulcanworks

Joined: 31-01-17

Topics: 15

Replies: 21

Posted: Mon 6th Nov 2017, 1:40pm

Thanks for the reply. I've considered gauge widening and connected with that, as with 5" gauge, do I need to be concerned with the outside and inside rails being different radii or at this scale does it not matter as well. Just wondering if I'm making more work for myself than I need to.
 

Mick

Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 7

Replies: 131

Posted: Tue 7th Nov 2017, 7:51am

Steel rails do not roll the same despite being put through rolls kept at the same radius. I put this down to the rails at the rolling mill cooling down: as they do so from red hot to air temperature the outer ones cool faster than those inside the bundle and this leads to a variation in hardness. So you can put one rail through the rolls, having set the radius and it barely affects the rail, the next one could end up like a banana! Aluminium does not suffer from the same effect. In any case final tweaking can be done manually. At Abbeydale we make up our dual gauge rolled steel curved panels with the common rail fastened tight to the sleepers and the other two rails left slightly loose until the panel is in place on the ballast then adjust manually and tighten the screws down.
 

vulcanworks

Joined: 31-01-17

Topics: 15

Replies: 21

Posted: Mon 27th Nov 2017, 12:27pm

Thanks for the replies. I've greatly improved my method of making curved panels, and got the time down to making a 22.5 degree panel, 26ft radius to 1hr. I just installed a 90 degree curve at a client site from scratch in a little over 5 hours. I might write up an article on how I do it and post it on our website.
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 30

Replies: 106

Posted: Sun 18th Feb 2018, 5:25pm

All my track is made up in the workshops on jigs, one for straight and one for 30ft radius, some was 30 X 12 flat bar but now everything is Cromar White 27mm medium steel rail the 4 m rail lengths are welded to 300 mm lengths of 50 x 5 flat bar at 250 mm centres with 2 or 3 gauging plates dropped over the rail to ensure accuracy when welding up (2 sets one for straight and a wider set for curved sections) curving is done on electric rolls and no allowance has been made for inside and outside curves, at 30 ft rad the difference is minimal, the steel jig ensures repeat accuracy. The finished track panel is laid on wooden sleepers placed under every 250 centre flat bar lightly trapped with a large washer headed scrow
 

HauteSaoneFrance

Joined: 2-01-14

Topics: 30

Replies: 106

Posted: Sun 18th Feb 2018, 5:25pm

All my track is made up in the workshops on jigs, one for straight and one for 30ft radius, some was 30 X 12 flat bar but now everything is Cromar White 27mm medium steel rail the 4 m rail lengths are welded to 300 mm lengths of 50 x 5 flat bar at 250 mm centres with 2 or 3 gauging plates dropped over the rail to ensure accuracy when welding up (2 sets one for straight and a wider set for curved sections) curving is done on electric rolls and no allowance has been made for inside and outside curves, at 30 ft rad the difference is minimal, the steel jig ensures repeat accuracy. The finished track panel is laid on wooden sleepers placed under every 250 centre flat bar lightly trapped with a large washer headed scrow
 
 
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