Modern Era Concrete Track

Discuss the prototype and how to model it.
NickM
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Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby NickM » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:02 am

Hi,

I’m planning on building a small diorama of a Network Rail depot, which will also have a small section of mainline track running alongside. This isn’t my usual era or interest so I have no experience building modern track-work. The gauge will be P4.

For the main track, I think I will be looking for concrete sleepers, Pandrol clips, and code 82 FB rail. I may have a point and crossing which will probably be wood sleepers.

I’m trying to work out the best track system, Exactoscale looks the most promising. I’m a bit confused around the descriptions though. On the Exactoscale site, I can see this:

4FT 103
P4 gauge concrete sleepers for FB rail (2 metres)

and in the Scalefour stores:

4FT103A
P4 gauge concrete sleepers for BH rail (Exactoscale)

Are these different, or are they the same item and compatible with both FB and BH?

Am I correct in assuming the FB rail would be code 82?

C&L also do concrete and it seems to be for BH rail, though there is a suggestion it would work for FB too.

Does anyone have a recommendation and any images of completed track-work?

Nick

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Simon_S
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby Simon_S » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:33 am

Hi Nick,

You might also consider Colin Craig's modern track products.

Simon

Alan Turner
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby Alan Turner » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:51 am

Simon_S wrote:Hi Nick,

You might also consider Colin Craig's modern track products.

Simon


Interesting, all I get with that site is a blue page with a black square in the middle?

regards

Alan

TL Wainscot
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby TL Wainscot » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:30 am

In terms of concrete sleepers adjoining a timbered turnout, you may wish to consider how you model the twist rails either side of the turnout.

Twist rails take the 1:20 inclined rail of plain line to vertical through the turnout. Now, I'm not suggesting that you actually model inclined rails, just these sections of twist-rail would be fabricated using metal baseplates on timber sleepers (each baseplate changing the degree of rail inclination by a minute amount).

Hence you regularly see a length of timbered track (carrying the twist rails) between a timbered turnout and concrete sleepered plain line.

But nothing is always completely clear-cut as with the increased use of concrete-sleepered turnouts, twist rails are now being mounted on concrete sleepers (although it still might be considered unusual to have these leading into a timbered turnout).

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:50 am

All the twist rails I have seen the twist occurs between two sleepers, not over several sleepers. Between CWR and turnouts there is often an expansion joint on timber which may be what you are thinking of.

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zebedeesknees
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby zebedeesknees » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:04 pm

by Alan Turner » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:51 am

Simon_S wrote:
Hi Nick,

You might also consider Colin Craig's modern track products.

Simon



Interesting, all I get with that site is a blue page with a black square in the middle?

Me too, solved by installing latest version of Adobe Flash Player. It's a pain, because I had to restart the browser after. And Colin's site might not be optimised for Mozilla...

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:12 pm

NickM wrote:Hi,
For the main track, I think I will be looking for concrete sleepers, Pandrol clips, and code 82 FB rail. I may have a point and crossing which will probably be wood sleepers.
I’m trying to work out the best track system, Exactoscale looks the most promising. I’m a bit confused around the descriptions though. On the Exactoscale site, I can see this:
4FT 103
P4 gauge concrete sleepers for FB rail (2 metres)

and in the Scalefour stores:
4FT103A
P4 gauge concrete sleepers for BH rail (Exactoscale)

Are these different, or are they the same item and compatible with both FB and BH?

4FT103A are fast track panels of concrete sleepers with pandrol clips suitable for code 82 FB rail to slide in. The mention of BH on the society list must be a typo.
Am I correct in assuming the FB rail would be code 82?
Yes
C&L also do concrete and it seems to be for BH rail, though there is a suggestion it would work for FB too.

These are plain concrete which you can use with chairs for bullhead or with baseplates for FB.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:26 pm

I don't have any FB track layed, just some samples I got some years ago.
Shown in these Pics. As can be seen the C&L sleepers are Dow-Mac, the Exactoscale fastrack are Costain.
Peco also do concrete sleepers and some poor clips of no identifiable type in their individulay range but they are not recommended.
FB track.JPG

Fastrack.JPG
Fastrack.JPG (149.48 KiB) Viewed 845 times

C&Lsleepers.JPG
C&Lsleepers.JPG (127.89 KiB) Viewed 845 times

NickM
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby NickM » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:40 pm

Thanks, everyone - appreciate the support and huge amount of information here. Thanks for the pics, Kieth!

I'm discovering suppliers and websites that I've missed so far in Google searches.

I've ordered the Exactoscale parts as they seem to be the easiest route for this project, and they look pretty good from the pictures too.

Nick

TL Wainscot
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby TL Wainscot » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:53 pm

On a mainline railway I've never seen the rail inclination change from 1:20 (for plain line) to vertical (for S&C) between just two sleepers. The twisting of the rail from 1:20 to vertical has to occur over a distance (40 feet typically springs to mind).

Trying to join inclined rail to vertical rail without the use of twist rails would have the following impacts:

1. The running edges of the rails would not be aligned.
2. One or both of the running rails would not seat correctly in the rail seats of baseplates /on concrete sleepers.
3. If the change took place at a fishplated joint then the fishplate would not seat correctly on the fishing surfaces.
4. The rail fastenings would stress with the potential for failure.

Expansion joints are a different piece of equipment altogether.

Colin
Last edited by TL Wainscot on Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Philip Hall
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby Philip Hall » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:21 pm

I remember seeing a film on the LMS I think, about turnout & crossing construction, and the rails throughout a turnout were clearly inclined. Is this a modern change from inclined to vertical at turnouts?

Philip

TL Wainscot
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby TL Wainscot » Tue Aug 06, 2019 3:35 pm

I'd not personally encountered modern f/b inclined rail through timbered turnouts /crossings on mainline railways but then I've little involvement in recent years.

Model railway layouts can sometimes look very odd when you see (say) concrete sleepers immediately abutting a timbered turnout on a 1980's era layout.

Colin
Last edited by TL Wainscot on Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:59 am, edited 5 times in total.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:48 pm

Inclined rails were standard on British main lines in the bullhead era throughout both plain ttrack and S&C. This practice continued with the first generation of flatbottom. S&C with vertical rail was introduced when the gauge was reduced from 1435 to 1432 (Misguidedly somtime in the mid 60s) and continues to this day for S&C in 113lb rail. However S&C in the new standard UIC60 rail has reverted to inclined rail and 1435 gauge.
I don't see how twist can be taken out over multiple sleepers as there are no baseplates available to give such a graduation. IMHO one sleeper has a 1:20 rail seat and the next has a horizontal rail seat, the rail being twisted between the two, the twist is done to keep the head/gauge face in alignment.
The EF32 sleeper was specified for the approach to vertical S&C, ie between the twist position and the S&C work. The NR design handbook (NR40 of June 2008) shows the symbol for the twist location for use on plans on page 165 and the designer is required, on page 171, to specify the location, hand and length of twist rails, the length is between welds, not the length of the actual twist which takes place between sleepers as above.
Prior to the widespread use of concrete bearers for S&C it was common to see concrete track abutting S&C on timber and there is still plenty around.
The attached paper may be of interest.
track-gauge.pdf
(3.43 MiB) Downloaded 19 times

TL Wainscot
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby TL Wainscot » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:06 pm

I can thoroughly recommend this publication https://www.thepwi.org/shop/product_details?id=6; both author and contributors being former colleagues of mine.

Colin

Cransford
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby Cransford » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:12 pm

I thought I'd just clarify the question over twist rail and position. Twists are made at a single point. If you can imagine holding a piece of rail between two hands and twisting, that is in essence how it's done at 1:1 in a workshop. In reality I seem to recall the twist affects around a foot of length but importantly is in a single location. As rightly said, there are either inclined or vertical baseplates.

When ordering a twist rail, you would request a length of rail (say 18.288 metres long - 60 feet) with a twist at "x" from one end. Standard position is 1.420 metres (two sleeper beds).

I'll even hold up my hand to having in the very dim and distant past using a plain rail to replace a twist rail due to rail defects (it was described as a natural twist!) and biggest risk was to cause clips to break around the point of "twist".

Vertical S&C was originally designed to have concrete sleepers laid to point of twist and then hardwood sleepers to S&C. As mentioned, there was an option to use EF32 sleepers to give concrete sleepers to the S&C itself. EF sleepers are a shallow depth design that give similar depth to timber, which avoids difference in depth to usual "F" or "G types.

Also definitely big-up the PWI as a source of information for permanent way, and also pleased to say at least one of the authors was a mentor in my youth!


Cheers, Paul

NickM
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby NickM » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:16 pm

What is the relationship between the use of wooden and concrete sleepers in S&C to the use of vertical or inclined rail in S&C?

Are all FB S&C with wooden sleepers vertical and all concrete S&C inclined – or is it just not that simple?

Did the introduction of concrete sleepers for S&C come with UIC60 rail?

Nick

Proton
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby Proton » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:24 pm

I have over 50 feet of the Exactoscale sleepers with code 82 rail from a North American supplier, and it is superb. I had bought some C&L Dow-Mac sleepers years earlier but the lack of rail clips induced me to buy the Exactoscale sleepers.
However, as I need even more concrete sleepered track, I will have to buckle down and make a jig to use the original Dow-Mac sleepers.

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:21 pm

Why not buy some more of the Exactoscale ones?
Rgds

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:29 pm

NickM wrote:What is the relationship between the use of wooden and concrete sleepers in S&C to the use of vertical or inclined rail in S&C?
Are all FB S&C with wooden sleepers vertical and all concrete S&C inclined – or is it just not that simple?

Not that simple, all of the inclined FB predating the mid '60s introductical S&C designs would be on timbers. Vertical S&C designs are commonly on timber but, AFAIK can also be on concrete bearers.
Did the introduction of concrete sleepers for S&C come with UIC60 rail?
Nick

UIC60 I think came in the late '90s while my impression is that substantial concrete bearer use came a bit later but, since UIC60 is used for the heavy duty main lines and the same goes for concrete bearers they will mostly be used together.
Rgds

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby grovenor-2685 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:53 pm

TL Wainscot wrote:I've never encountered or heard of f/b inclined rail through turnouts /crossings on mainline railways either new or old.
Colin

Some pertinant information here. http://www.norgrove.me.uk/GWRtracknotes/letter-p1.pdf and http://www.norgrove.me.uk/GWRtracknotes/letter-p2.pdf
http://www.norgrove.me.uk/GWRtracknotes/R4293A.pdf
http://www.norgrove.me.uk/GWRtracknotes/R4304.pdf
from http://www.norgrove.me.uk/permanent_way_notes.htm

Attached NR manual has all the details of the inclined UIC60 S&C starting on sheet 7 and also has a reference to the older inclined designs on sheet 174.
nr40_track design handbook_nr-l2_trk_2049.pdf
(1.94 MiB) Downloaded 8 times

Proton
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby Proton » Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:40 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:Why not buy some more of the Exactoscale ones?
Rgds

Hi Keith,

I want to use up my substantial supply of C&L Dow-Mac sleepers, otherwise they're going into a landfill!

John

TL Wainscot
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby TL Wainscot » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:20 am

I was trying to indicate inclined rail on timber turnouts was relatively rare to the point I'd not encountered it in use; perhaps my initial choice of words was poor (since corrected). Like many things on the railway you can either talk in generalisations or enter into all the specifics.

Colin

andrewnummelin
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby andrewnummelin » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:37 am

grovenor-2685 wrote:...when the gauge was reduced from 1435 to 1432 (Misguidedly somtime in the mid 60s) ...


I remember finding in the early sixties information in a London Underground publication that their lines were to 4’8 3/8” gauge. Am I remembering this correctly?

How many P4 layouts should have been laid to 18.79mm gauge (so a standard track gauge would already give a bit of gauge widening for curves)?
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

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jim s-w
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby jim s-w » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:45 am

Proton wrote:Hi Keith,

I want to use up my substantial supply of C&L Dow-Mac sleepers, otherwise they're going into a landfill!

John


You could build a few of these to use them up

https://ukrailwaypics.smugmug.com/UKRailRollingstock/Y-Tops-codes/YSA-Salmon-flats/i-8Wp4mR4

Jim
Last edited by jim s-w on Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

NickM
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Re: Modern Era Concrete Track

Postby NickM » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:40 am

On route to London today from Runcorn. At the southern end of Runcorn station, there is a wooden sleeper turnout adjoining concrete sleeper track. I was viewing the turnout from the crossing end and counted roughly 25 wooden sleepers from the end of the concrete track section to start of the wing rails. I would guess in the order of 50-60ft.

I couldn't see the toe end from the platform well enough.

Anyway - it looks like I have the option to model a short section of wooden track between the point and concrete track - or not, and either would be correct.

Slightly off-topic - but at Runcorn, the northbound track is concrete and the southbound wood. The wood track had an amazing amount of weeds growing through the ballast, while the northbound concrete track was almost weed-free. Maybe they just sprayed the northbound - or could it be something to do with the sleeper material?

Nick


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