# Rail length

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by babydot94513, Jul 30, 2005.

1. ### babydot94513Member in training

What is the standard length or average length of a section of jointed rail?

JD
2. ### brakieActive Member

Jeff,The section was 39' in length and the joints was staggered.
3. ### NYC-BKOMember

Why 39' you might ask, because the longest gondola when rail length was established was 40' and it just stayed that way even though longer gons were built, nowadays, it is 80' lengths hauled on 85' flats but rarely installed as jointed rail, it goes to the rail mill to be welded into 1/4 mile lengths.
4. ### babydot94513Member in training

The reason I ask this is because I want to model a modern industrial complex and I want to build the jointed rail to modern day specs.

From what I gather, it sounds as if the prototype jointed rail is basically 40 ft lengths which equates to five inches of track segments in HO scale.

Thanks for the intel.

JD
5. ### Russ BellinisActive Member

I'm not sure, but if modern rail is manufactured in 85 foot lengths and then welded in 1/4 mile sections, logic would suggest that modern industrial tracks would come from the mill in 85 foot lengths for bolting together. I don't see a mill making a different length of rail for industrial uses from the length used for the railroad's mainlines.
6. ### babydot94513Member in training

Good point. I guess I may need to drive to Lodi or Stockton and have my tape measure handy. What I am trying to do is have my track layed as close to scale at least on the industrial leads/spurs. The mainline I will be using flex track to simulate welded rail.

JD

QUOTE=Russ Bellinis]I'm not sure, but if modern rail is manufactured in 85 foot lengths and then welded in 1/4 mile sections, logic would suggest that modern industrial tracks would come from the mill in 85 foot lengths for bolting together. I don't see a mill making a different length of rail for industrial uses from the length used for the railroad's mainlines.[/QUOTE]
7. ### nachomanGuest

also consider that industrial sidings may be using recycled rail - it may be 90# rail from 1910. Do you plan on handlaying the track?

kevin
8. ### babydot94513Member in training

Negative on handlaying because I do not know how.

Also, I just walked a section of mainline track here in town that is old jointed rail. It was roughly 40ft sections, but I cannot guarantee that is what modern industrial spurs may use which is what I am trying to replicate in HO scale.

I will just go with the 40ft sections for what I am trying to do and call it good enough. The sections would equate to 5 inches in HO and I can at least use a track cutter<g>.

JD

9. ### zedobMember

why not just cut/nick the top of the rails with a razor saw and glue some scale rail joiners (fishplates?) where the joints are, well, modeled? Unless, you wanted that really kinky looking industrial track. Looks good, but might be trouble for operation.

That's what I am planning to do for my track. Use flex, then add some scale rail joiners to simulate the joints. Now, all I have to do is find some scale rail joiners that won't interfere with the flanges on my rolling stock.

Humm, good reason to model in O, I guess.
10. ### Russ BellinisActive Member

I don't know what sort of modern industrial spurs you are modeling, but many of the new industrial spurs share space with trucks working the same warehouse, so the track is laid in pavement much like rails in the middle of the street. If you lay your track in asphalt paving, you don't need much detail at all because it will be covered up with just the rail head showing.
11. ### N Gauger1:20.3 Train Addict

Cut off the "Inside "side" of the joiners - leave only the outside "side" and bottom. That way - you can still slip it under the rail - for support - but there is no "Joiner" on the inside of the rail - for flanges to get caught on.

That's the way "G" track is made - the high side of the joiner goes on the outside of the rail.
12. ### zedobMember

AHHHHHHH, good idea. I've never actually did the simulated joiner thing and was trying to figure out a clever way to do it. You've given me the answer to my problem.

Yeah, I was so hung up about the "inside", which in reality doesn't really need to have them.
13. ### N Gauger1:20.3 Train Addict

You wont believe what you can learn - Hang around & ask any more questions you want to...

There will always be somone who has tried it before & worked up a shortcut.. I learned a ton of stuff from the people in here
14. ### zedobMember

Yeah, the older I get, the more I learn how little I knew.
15. ### babydot94513Member in training

Russ, I am emulating the Gaylord Container facility here in Antioch or the Weyerhouser plant in, Elk Grove. My tracks will be stand-alones for all the world to see. Hmm, I better hone my track skills- that are non-existent.

Oddly enough, the industrial park in Lodi, Ca has both jointed and welded rail depending on application.

JD