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WGR 2008 Contruction
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January 2008


I finally have finished the initial layout of the road bed. I have the 8’ lengths of plywood suspended and the curve portions as well. I now have gone back to complete the additional supports between those on the ends of the long pieces of plywood.

February 2008

While shopping online I found another box (12 pieces) of 1' Aristocraft aluminum track for less than $1.70 a foot. This now gives me 108 feet of alumunim track for the rail yard.



I've continued constructing the supports between the ends of the long pieces of plywood. Some of them are of the same construction as the supports on the ends of the pieces of plywood. However, there were three places where the layout passes between cinder block columns and or between a column and the foundation. For these locations I got the idea of anchoring angle brackets to the cinderblock to suspend very short lengths of threaded rod. The threaded rod would support pieces of 2x4 or 2x6 (I had scrap of both to use). I believe that this will greatly reduce the lateral motion of the roadbed once all of the roadbed is attached to supports.

To attach the brackets to the cinder blocks, I used a masonry bit to drill the block and tapcon screws to attached the bracket to the block. This completed all of the necessary supports for the track from the back vent door to the side vent door.

March 2008



Next I started on the supports for the rail yard. The rail yard will extend from the #6 switch towards the back of the house. It will pass between two cinder block columns also so I attached one support using the angle brackets described above. I cut one piece of plywood to support the first 3 switches into the rail yard.



For the rest rail yard I did extensive measuring and trials using the RR-Track software. I determined that I have just over 5’ between the floor joists in that area which would allow for 10 parallel tracks in the rail yard. The first 5 switches will pass between the cinder block columns. In total the rail yard will use 9 switches, two parallel adapter track pieces, and 98 pieces of 1' aluminum track. I may end up using a few more feet of track to cut up to make all of the track in the yard end at about the same point.

Once beyond the columns, the roadbed for the rail yard measures 5’x11’. To support the plywood for the rail yard I used 69" pieces of EMT that attached to 5 floor joists. The threaded rods support lengths of 2x4. The plywood then rests on the 2x4s completing the road bed. The far end of the rail yard ends about 1.5-2’ from the foundation allowing me room to squeeze between the rail yard and the foundation.

For my birthday this year I received 8 Aristocraft end-of-track bumpers to use on the rail yard.


The plywood is attached to the 2x4s using #8 x1-1/4" wood screws.

As one last measure to provide lateral stability to the rail yard I drove metal 'U' stakes into the ground next to the last 2x4. I then screwed the stake to the 2x4.

April 2008

yard1.jpg yard2.jpg The train yard has Aristocraft wide radius stainless steel switches (30370 & 30380). The rail in the yard is Aristocraft aluminum track in 1' pieces. I also used Aristocraft stainless parallel track adapter pieces (30375) for the two outside tracks of the rail yard.

Next Steps

I am also planning on using a Hillmans’ rail clamps bridge kit to allow the section of roadbed next to the back vent door to lift up to allow access to the other side of the track instead of having to step over.

Next I will work on adjusting the supports to provide an even grade to the road bed from the foundation vents to the #6 switch. I will make the final cuts to the plywood road bend. Then I will finally start laying track. I have purchased a Train-li rail bender and have 4.5’ length of Aristocraft stainless steel track.

So what has construction cost me this year? Here's what I've used and how much it cost.

Item Cost
angle brackets (4 ct.) 6 @ 3.22
tapcon screws (8 ct.) 2.80
tapcon screws (25 ct.) 2 @ 5.80
#10 x 2" (50 ct.) pan head screws 4.81
#20 nuts (100 ct.) 2 @ 4.97
1/2" EMT tubing (10') 7 @ 1.97
washers (100 ct.) 12.00
washers (100 ct.) 14.00
threaded rod 8 @ 3.73
threaded rod 14 @ 2.67
threaded rod 5 @ 2.97
2x4 8' 7@2.36
2x6 8' 2.69
8 x1-1/4" wood screws (100ct.) 4.81
3/4" plywood 4'x8' 2 @ 20.00
Sub Total 235.35
Sales Tax 16.47
Total 251.82

This page last updated March 31, 2008