A volunteer group, which included several contributors to this forum, extended the track in front of the Como depot across the old road crossing to the edge of the roundhouse property. It still needs some leveling and ballast, which we hope to finish next Sunday (along with more track if there's time).
Daniel Frauenhoff driving a spike while Alex Hois nips the tie, and Jeff Young gets ready to set some more spikes.
Now Alex is spiking, Jeff is nipping, and Daniel is watching. Pat Mauro, who organized the workday, is on the right.
Daniel and Alex level out some of the ballast that was recently added to the track that we built last summer.
I've only been to 3 track-laying sessions so far, but to-date my experience has been that it's easier to bend it (with lots of leverage) than to keep it bent. The ties don't really provide much location until they are ballasted.
The rail we're using is a bit beat up, so we've been orienting it so that some of it is already pre-bent in the right direction. It's a lot of work to move it around (the stuff is -really- heavy), but it makes getting it to conform to the curve easier.
I remember talking with a guy directing some track work on the RR near my home some years ago. He said that curves don't like to stay curved until they are connected to good lengths of tangent track at both ends, or at least to some longer stretches of track that can distribute the stresses. I think he said that they don't usually have sidings ending in a curve for that reason. I've always thought about the cost saving of narrow gauge trackage in terms of the narrower width and lighter loading of the right-of-way that needs to be constructed, and of course the cost of rail and other materials, but I guess the ease and speed of laying the lighter rail might be a significant factor too. You could probably comment on how much easier it might go if you were using 40 lb rail instead of 65. Since the stiffness of a beam goes as the cube of its thickness, as does its weight per unit length, so 40 lb rail, if it were the same shape but just scaled down, should be 40/65 or only about 60% as stiff, not to mention just easier to move around. The flip side of that of course is the greater stability of heavier trackage, and potentially less maintenance cost in the long term.
What always attacted me to narrow gauge was the overall "delicate" appearance
of the entire system .... the scaled down ROW, the snaking curves, the "sewing machine"
locomotives, spindly trestles, diminutive cars. 35lb rail is just part of the equation. :)
That heavy rail looks like a bridal dress matched to combat boots ! :) Still, it is
wonderful to see Como getting any attention at all. What a historical gem that place
I think it looks great, didn't mean my comment as criticism at all, was just wondering about how tracklaying goes, and I'm impressed by your work, wish I could try it myself someday!
By the way, I messed up my calculation, forgot to keep the length unit constant. So in my example smaller rail of same sectional shape would be thinner by the square root, not the cube root, of the ratio of the weights per yard, so the stiffness of a given length of rail would go as the weight per yard to the 3/2 power, meaning that 40 lb rail would be slightly less than half as stiff as 65: (40/65)^(3/2) = 0.48