Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Want to talk about Sir Arthur Heywood's 15" gauge railways? About modern day minimum gauge lines? Have you found a minimum gauge line you've not seen mentioned on the website? Want directions to one of the railways that is mentioned? Whatever your interest in real minimum gauge lines, post your questions (and answer other modellers' questions) here.

Moderator: GnATTERbox Moderators

TPP
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
Interests: 15 inch railways

Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby TPP » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:46 pm

Hi guys

I am looking at some track specs for The Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway which is of course a 15" gauge railway.

At the time it was laid, according to a book I have, it was laid using 9" x 4.5" x 36" 'treated fir' sleepers at a spacing of 21" using 25lb rail.

I have tried quickly mocked this up in scale but I am not sure what 'spacing' means. I had assumed it meant between centres of the sleepers but it looks a little too close. When I think about the practicalities of measuring the distance between the real sleepers in real life on the ground it would of course be easier to measure the gap between each sleeper.

When a 'spacing' dimension is written down is there any convention that says if it refers to centres or gaps ?

>

I mocked it up using 21" centres - I am not sure this looks right

Would do others think ? - Remember this is 15" gauge using 9" x 36" sleepers

Image

User avatar
Nevadablue
Demi-Millegniumer
Demi-Millegniumer
Posts: 830
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:33 pm
Location: Nevada
Interests: model trains, model steam
Gn15, G, 1:24ish people and scenery

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby Nevadablue » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:23 pm

I'll be interested to see the answer...

Just a note, an easy way to measure 'center to center' in work like that is to measure from 'edge to edge'. For example, in your photo, measure from the right edge of one sleeper to the right edge of the sleeper to the left and you have easy center to center layout. (this of course only works if the sleepers are the same width)
Ken

User avatar
tebee
GnatterBox Centurion
GnatterBox Centurion
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Brittany
Interests: just about every scale you can think of....
cute trains generally

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby tebee » Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:39 pm

It looks wrong to me - compare this conveniently CC licensed photo

ImageRomney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway - approaching Dymchurch Station by I like, on Flickr
To know the meaning of life you need not to be dealt a good hand, but rather to play the worthless hand you have been dealt to the best of your ability.

User avatar
Gerry Bullock
Millegniumer
Millegniumer
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:07 pm
Location: S.E.Essex
Interests: Gn15 and O Gauge at Club.

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby Gerry Bullock » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:13 pm

Gnot 15", however this link gives a guide:
http://o14group.org/wp-content/uploads/ ... izesv3.pdf
Yes according to other links centres was the dimension used for spacing.
So little time, so many ideas!!!!! GerryB.
http://gn15gnutt.blogspot.com/

TPP
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
Interests: 15 inch railways

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby TPP » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:22 pm

Thanks Tebee

That's just the type of photo I needed

And it might back up a theory that I have

I have been looking at what Sleeper spacing I can find to back up the idea that it isn't the centres that are 21"

Heywood set his cast iron sleepers at 2' 3" centres which is course 27" - those sleepers were 6.5" wide so that would leave a gap of 20.5"

Lynton Barnstaple ( yes I know 23.5 " ) originally used 9" sleepers spaced at 37" , 37 - 9 = 31"

In 1926 the L and B was relaid with 9.5" sleepers at 30.5" so 30.5 - 9.5 = 28

When the SR relaid it with concrete sleepers ( a bit narrower than the wood ) they kept the 30.5 spacing

Based on this and the photo from Tebee I think 21" between the sleepers seems much more likely.

Tomorrow I will respace them and see how that looks

TPP
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
Interests: 15 inch railways

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby TPP » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:24 pm

Thanks Gerry

I have that document

Really useful for rail sizes and dimensions

Trammer
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:47 pm
Location: Tamar Valley
Interests: Industrial narrow gauge, mining

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby Trammer » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:45 pm

When laying 2' gauge I tend to use 4'6" x 6" x 4" softwood sleepers. I typically aim for three feet over centres which gives 2'6" between sleepers. Depending on how the spirit moves me I will either (a) do it by eye (b) use a tape measure or if I have a lot to lay (c) make up a simple wooden spacing bar.

The key thing is if it looks right it probably is right. Narrow gauge track laying is more of an art than a science.
Rick Stewart

User avatar
Jon Randall
Demi-Millegniumer
Demi-Millegniumer
Posts: 993
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 11:18 pm
Location: NW Leics, England
Interests: Narrow gauge railways, modelling

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby Jon Randall » Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:15 pm

My avatar just happens to be a picture of the track at Hythe Station on the RH&DR and shows that the spacing is more likely 30". IIRC, the sleepers originally were closer when built which was found to be excessive so when replaced they increased it.
This public domain photo shows sleeper spacing in 1928

Image

My photo below is Wroxham Station on the BVR and shows how varied the spacing can be.

Image
Jon Randall

Needs to stop procrastinating and start modelling

TPP
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
Interests: 15 inch railways

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby TPP » Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:28 pm

Thanks for the replies and thanks for those pictures Jon - I think that proves that there is some flexibility involved.

I have decided on the following ( for various reasons )

At track joints my sleepers will be 22" between centres and the other sleepers at 29" centres. This I am rounding to 25mm and 32.5 mm

I am intending to model something very much like the RH&DR but NOT an exact copy

I am now looking at rail - I am thinking something like 25 - 30lb rail would seem right ( I know it was laid with 25lb originally but have no idea if that is still the case ) - it seems the nearest flat bottom rail will be Peco code 143 when scaled

I have no idea if normal RTR rolling stock will work on this rail ?

User avatar
tebee
GnatterBox Centurion
GnatterBox Centurion
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Brittany
Interests: just about every scale you can think of....
cute trains generally

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby tebee » Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:35 pm

I seem to remember it was relayed with 30lb rail ex-Sierra Leone Government railway at one point (70's?).

I'd personally be inclined to use code 100 rail as code 143 rail looks very heavy when laid to such a narrow gauge.

Tom
To know the meaning of life you need not to be dealt a good hand, but rather to play the worthless hand you have been dealt to the best of your ability.

TPP
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
Interests: 15 inch railways

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby TPP » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:19 pm

Hi Tom

Thanks for the reply

So although the code 143 is more accurate do you feel it would look wrong ?

I have been modelling for long enough to know that accurate doesn't always look correct

Any other opinions on this from anyone else ?

User avatar
KEG
Millegniumer
Millegniumer
Posts: 1248
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:42 am
Location: Duesseldorf
Interests: creative Nonsense

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby KEG » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:25 am

Use the search function of this forum and you´ll find a few examples for Code 143 rail used for Gn15.
e.G. http://gn15.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9800&p=114581&hilit=Code+143#p114581

Have Fun

Juergen

User avatar
rue_d_etropal
Millegniumer
Millegniumer
Posts: 2165
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Accrington and sometimes France
Interests: France, any narrow/minmum gauge 40cm,50cm , 60cm

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby rue_d_etropal » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:27 am

It is really a matter of personal choice. I tend to use code 100 rail, because I can pick up second hand flexi track at exhibitions for a lot less than buying new rail. I have some code 143 in box because I used Peco O gauge track for a project a few years ago. Both code 100 and code 143 have same base profile, use same fishplates and so you can swap between them easily. Both fit my 3D printed track sections. You can join code 100 to code 143 by filing down base of the code 100 rail and fitting standard rail joiners. No need for special rail joiners. So you can use code 143 for plain(visible) track and conventional code 100 rail for points. A file will sort out most connection problems.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

User avatar
Steve Holland
GnatterBox Centurion
GnatterBox Centurion
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:31 pm
Location: Birmingham, UK
Interests: Narrow gauge railways (WHR and FR in particular), Gn15, 16mm/ft, 7mm/ft, too much going on in life to have a website to look after!

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby Steve Holland » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:48 pm

I have got some Karlgarin (http://www.karlgarin.com/whatsnew.htm) code 125 N/S flat bottom rail that I am intending to use for Smallbeach - when I decide on what is going where that is. This scales out at 30 pounds/yard in 1:24 scale. Peco use a funny section which is sort of part way between flat bottom and bull head, whereas the Karlgarin rail is a true flat bottom section.
I have taken a few photos of some locos and wagons on a section of track mocked up from foam core and two lengths of the Karlgarin rail, so I will post them when I can log on to my.gn15.info.
Steve Holland

Keep banging the rocks together

TPP
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
Interests: 15 inch railways

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby TPP » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:17 pm

Hi Steve

That rail looks really interesting - I had not heard of it before but I think it will be just right for what I am hoping to do

I would love to see some photos of it with rolling stock when you can

User avatar
KEG
Millegniumer
Millegniumer
Posts: 1248
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 11:42 am
Location: Duesseldorf
Interests: creative Nonsense

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby KEG » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:15 am

In Germany some Gn15 modellers work in 1 : 22,5 scale, so they can use the Preiser figures for their models.
So Code 143 rail looks more convincing than Code 100.


Image

This is the famous KEG Rail Taxi, deceloped from a free cardboard download, on a layout module built by JL Toeffelholm.
Spacing is 35mm (centres), sleepers are 50mm long.


Have Fun

Juergen

TPP
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
Interests: 15 inch railways

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby TPP » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:02 pm

The code 143 looks really good ther

User avatar
Steve Holland
GnatterBox Centurion
GnatterBox Centurion
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:31 pm
Location: Birmingham, UK
Interests: Narrow gauge railways (WHR and FR in particular), Gn15, 16mm/ft, 7mm/ft, too much going on in life to have a website to look after!

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby Steve Holland » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:08 pm

I have knocked up a simulation of track using some foam core offcuts and the Karlgarin code 125 rail. The sleepers scale out at 4ft long and 9in wide, but being foam core are way too thick. The rail has not been spiked in to place as this is only a temporary lash up. Below is the rail profile:

Track mock up.jpg
Track mock up.jpg (175.02 KiB) Viewed 7399 times


I think it looks pretty good with some stock on it.

One on.jpg
One on.jpg (238.26 KiB) Viewed 7399 times


There was a lot of naughty language trying to persuade two 30 inch long loose rails to remain about in gauge while I placed the loco and wagons on them :lol:

One of Steve Bennett's Dragonfly kits on the track - the driver has got a head, honest! Maybe the sleepers are a little too long for narrower/smaller locos, so scale 3ft 6in long sleepers for 'production' track?

Dragonfly.jpg
Dragonfly.jpg (144.63 KiB) Viewed 7399 times


I really must do something about that white styrene packing piece under the coupling - it does not look that bad in real life!
Steve Holland



Keep banging the rocks together

User avatar
tebee
GnatterBox Centurion
GnatterBox Centurion
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Brittany
Interests: just about every scale you can think of....
cute trains generally

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby tebee » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:08 pm

Quite a few 15" gauge lines used to use ex-BR sleepers cut in 3 - these are 8ft 6in long so the resultant sleepers would be 9 inch wide by 2ft 10 long?

This is my Gn15 test track - code 100 rails on coffee stirrer sleepers - only 5 inch wide , 3ft 3 long and 17 inch centre to centre spacing .

Image

Now I'm going to have to try and make another with wider sleepers

Tom
To know the meaning of life you need not to be dealt a good hand, but rather to play the worthless hand you have been dealt to the best of your ability.

TPP
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
Interests: 15 inch railways

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby TPP » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:38 pm

Hi Steve

Thanks for taking the time to post those photos - they are great.

I have to say that rail profile looks quite promising for my main line . Have you given any thought to how you will get or make track gauges for it ?

I really like the look of your locos and rolling stock - I am now off to hunt your other posts to see if I can find more details / photos. What scale are you working in ?

TPP
'boxer
'boxer
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:55 pm
Interests: 15 inch railways

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby TPP » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:40 pm

Hi Tom

Thanks for the picture - I am still considering code 100 for part of my layout maybe - to show the difference between the main line and some lesser used areas

What have you used for spikes there ?

User avatar
tebee
GnatterBox Centurion
GnatterBox Centurion
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Brittany
Interests: just about every scale you can think of....
cute trains generally

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby tebee » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:21 pm

I have a Kadee Spiker - uses staples and splits them in to 2 parts when it puts them in. Not been made for many years now sadly, but much easier than putting individual spikes in by hand.

If the weather is fine tomorrow will get the bench saw outside and rip up some 9mm timber I've found into sleepers and see what it looks like with a wider sleeper and spacing.

When I first looked at the RH&D in the early 70's, there were still some cast iron Heywood sleepers in some of the sidings.

Tom
To know the meaning of life you need not to be dealt a good hand, but rather to play the worthless hand you have been dealt to the best of your ability.

User avatar
rue_d_etropal
Millegniumer
Millegniumer
Posts: 2165
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:55 pm
Location: Accrington and sometimes France
Interests: France, any narrow/minmum gauge 40cm,50cm , 60cm

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby rue_d_etropal » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:16 am

If you want to be really up to date, it might be worth while checking out the plastic sleepers that are being used at Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

User avatar
Nevadablue
Demi-Millegniumer
Demi-Millegniumer
Posts: 830
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:33 pm
Location: Nevada
Interests: model trains, model steam
Gn15, G, 1:24ish people and scenery

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby Nevadablue » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:00 am

Steve, whatever else is going on in the picture, I really like that little loco. :D

Image
Ken

User avatar
Steve Holland
GnatterBox Centurion
GnatterBox Centurion
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:31 pm
Location: Birmingham, UK
Interests: Narrow gauge railways (WHR and FR in particular), Gn15, 16mm/ft, 7mm/ft, too much going on in life to have a website to look after!

Re: Sleeper spacing - centres or between sleepers ?

Postby Steve Holland » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:16 pm

Ken, TPP,

The loco in the picture is one of Brack's 3D printed 1:24 'Sipat' Bagnalls from Shapeways with some added details. See http://gn15.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9716 for the full story. The basic 3D print is a great little model that really captures the character of these little locos and is well worth the small extra effort to add the details that the 3D printing process cannot do.
I have not got around to making any track gauges for the Karlgarin code 125 rail yet. I am one of those smug wotsits with a lathe so I was going to turn some up, but I think it should be relatively simple to make a track gauge using a 25mm long M5 cheesehead bolt, some large washers and some nuts.
The first job is to thin two of the nuts so that they are a little thicker than the head of the rail, rail head plus about 0.1mm should do the trick. Place a washer against the bolt head and run one of the thinned nuts up against it, then tighten it to trap the washer. Add a second washer against the thinned nut, then run an unmodified nut up against the second washer. Add a third nut and run it along the bolt until it is at a bit less than track gauge from the second washer, then add another washer and a thinned nut. Next step is to adjust the third nut and the second thinned nut to set the track gauge over the outer face of the third washer and the face of the second washer closest to the bolt head. Add a fourth washer against the thinned nut and secure this with another nut. If you want to make sure nothing moves you could add a smear of epoxy to the bolt's threads as you build up the layers of washers and nuts, preferably not the rapid epoxy as you may run out of adjustment time. You could add extra washers and thinned nuts for the check rails, but bear in mind that the important dimension is that between the back of one wheel and the flange root on the opposite wheel. This is because the check rail has to restrain the back of the wheels to prevent their opposite wheels hitting the crossing (or frog if you must) nose and climbing over it. Much easier to build than explain, hope that is of some use.
I have yet to build any pointwork, but I think I may have to take a little off the foot of the check rails to give the correct flange way. I was thinking of using the intermediate standards as shown on the OO gauge association website which should suit the wheels that I am using under my stock - see http://doubleogauge.com/standards/commercialtrack.htm. Just ignore the sleeper spacing :)
Steve Holland



Keep banging the rocks together


Return to “Prototype Prattles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest