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west Huntspill MES


Joined: 23-08-11

Topics: 3

Replies: 1

Posted: Tue 23rd Aug 2011, 4:55pm
west Huntspill MES

We are planning a new ground level 7 1/4 track and are looking for advise or input from loco owners, are plan is to use profile rail with concrete sleepers ( as we are on very wet ground. Any advise welcome

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Joined: 1-01-95

Topics: 4

Replies: 40

Posted: Tue 23rd Aug 2011, 6:25pm

Hi - My first instinct, if you are starting with a 'blank canvas', is to advise recycled plastic for your sleepers, of generous proportions - say 100 x 50mm section, and 450 - 500mm length. This material looks good (especially with 'rail-section' rails), it is easy, clean and economical to work with (think of all those different lengths required for points etc), fixings hold well, and it should cope well with varying loads in prolonged wet conditions.
Good luck with the project, and remember to keep our Editor supplied with articles on progress for the 'News'!!
Best Wishes
Frank Sidebottom
(Committee Member)


Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 1

Replies: 31

Posted: Tue 23rd Aug 2011, 8:41pm

The Andover & DMES have laid a ground level track within the last couple of years. They mainly went for plastic composite sleepers,(which they cut & drilled), plus PNP type rail chairs etc.It is laid on Ali.track because a large amout was left over from their days at the old Redrice track. I believe a considerable amount of second-hand rail was used if available, & depending on quality. Because of our gradients, steel would have been idea, but they had problems purchasing correct section steel rail. If you go down the composite sleeper route we used, there are a number of places which sell it. I am not a Committee member, but you could e-mail them for a feed back as to the cheapest source. I know they found a very good supplier. They are currently trying to lengthen their new track by up to a mile.


Joined: 4-08-09

Topics: 27

Replies: 172

Posted: Wed 24th Aug 2011, 7:18am

This may muddy the waters, but may also be useful. I hope so anyway ;)
We went to the Dreaming Spires Rally at the City of Oxford SME track recently. Their ground level track is on plastic sleepers, a number of which are fire damaged, and we saw several sleeper fires over the weekend. These fires are caused by ash/cinders dropping from steam loco grates. They have a fire watch crew (sometimes a one-man band) on duty whenever steam locos are running. We were told that they were planning to go back to wooden sleepers, which may burn, but do not burn so badly, and on which fires are more readily extinguished.
We have no idea if the COSME sleepers are different from other societies, or if any other societies have had similar experiences, but it might be worth asking.


Joined: 1-01-89

Topics: 9

Replies: 169

Posted: Thu 1st Sep 2011, 1:55pm

At Sheffield we have used Cromar White recycled sleepers since their introduction and have no problem with cinders burning them - they are fire proof. All you may get is some surface marking at places where locos stop and are serviced ( eg station) but definitely no fires!


Joined: 1-01-70

Topics: 1

Replies: 31

Posted: Thu 1st Sep 2011, 8:54pm

I have the impression that some drivers are very slap happy with their fires, half the time their heads are in the cab, & they constantly poke them, & the rest, raking them out all over the track. I only do this a couple of times in an afternoon, but prefer to use the bed of my fire, & place the new fire over it. If I build up under the door, my fire will work its way down the bars.(per Bulleid Pacifice practice). It may be that some people go with the grate they inherite rather than devise suitable one for their locos. However we can all be critical, but I think some people just put up with what a locos. former owner devised.Our track at Andover as stated before, is the re-cycled plastic variety. But to my knowledge, it hasn't been necessary to have full time 'fire wardens' yet.Perhaps those people need the attention of a 'Firing Instructor'!
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