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Gold Dog Railroad

Ladder Roadbed Photos

In the spring of 2008 I added 4 feet to the length of my lower loop. Part of my goal was to install a new roadbed that would keep the track nice and level, with no twist going side to side. I had floated the track on a trench of stone dust the past couple of years but it did not remain level in either direction. This prevented me from running my heavyweight cars.

I chose the ladder type roadbed, using 1X2 plastic trim board and 2X2 pressure treated posts. I could have used PVC piping for the support posts but decided to use the 2X2 posts cut to 24" lengths instead. I used 1 1/4" deck screws to attach the blocks of 2X2 to the trim board.



I marked the 1X2 plastic trim board every 8". I then screwed blocks of the pressure treated 2X2 posts, cut to 1 1/2" to 2" in length, to the trim board every 8". The extra length of the blocks extended down into the trench. I made up several of these boards. The deck screws did not require pre drilling holes. I removed the grass, laid out the track and put in survey stakes. Then I ran a string line and leveled it 8" above my planned track height
I started at the tunnel and ran the string line from there. I used baking flour to mark where I laid out the track, then dug a trench deep enough so I would have 4" of ballast under the track I cut some of the 2X2 posts to 24" in length. I used 10' diameter curved track to mark where to install the stakes, putting in stakes about every 24", closer where necessary. I used a 6" level to make sure I kept the stakes vertical. I then bent the one side of the ladder around the posts, clamping or using other stakes to hold it in place
I then installed the other side of the ladder, screwing it to the blocks. I did not screw it to the posts at this point so I could raise or lower the roadbed to level it later. I continued around the curves, using the curved track to insure I did not go tighter than 10' diameter curves
Notice some of the stakes stick above the ladder roadbed. I will cut these off after I level the track. I had a wiggle in the long straight section but I did not worry about it. The track will be straight and you will not see the wiggle in the roadbed when ballasted. I continued around the bend towards the other end of the tunnel. The buckets of stone dust are what I recovered when taking up the track. 

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Comments? Suggestions? E-mail me at golddogrr@wardhutton.com 

This site was last edited on 11/15/2015