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Origins & Planning

Locomotives, Rolling-stock, Building pointwork

Don't do what I did!

2002 Diary: Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2003 Diary: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
2004 Diary: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, closure notice, The Final Run

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Log of changes to the site

All material on this site is © Copyright John Oxlade unless otherwise credited.

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Salfords Light Railway

Don't do what I did!

or put another way, "lessons I have learnt"

Over time I will use this page to "own-up" to the mistakes I made so that others can learn from it. Come to that, if anyone has any gems they'd like to have put here, me and I can add it. Whether you want me to "credit" you with such a goof is up to you.


When building a turntable and using the "four 2' square paving stone" method, be sure that all 4 slabs are perfectly level with each other, otherwise you will have problems. Real turntables put most of their weight on the outer ring rail and wheels, not on the pivot. If the 4 slabs are not level with each other, there will be a step for the wheels to go over (assuming you are not using a ring rail). I have been fiddling for some time to overcome this and was on the verge of removing the slabs and doing it again.

Author: John Oxlade

Track gauges:

When making a track gauge, don't just use a piece of material which will fit between the rail heads, get a piece of metal angle and cut out slots for the rail head to go in. This way the track cannot be too wide to gauge. I only goofed on 2 sleepers before I figured this one out, but imagine what could happen if you did 100s of them.

Author: John Oxlade

Assembling Ride on Railways' Trojan wheelsets:

Be very careful when fixing wheels on to axles.

It turns out, though I didn't notice it at the time, that when I put one wheel on it was not completely seated on the axle shoulder (goodness knows how, I was careful). Net result that the wheel is wide to gauge and to top things off, wobbling too. Now this is not much, but it is enough for the rear face of the wheel to stick on the motor mounting stud - even though it is trimmed off level.

I have tried moving the wheel and it won't budge - Loctite sure does its job. Paul has suggested that I heat up the wheel/axle joint with a blow lamp or gas torch as this should loosen the Loctite. If not, I will have to cut the axle out and remove the wheels some how. I originally thought I'd have to build a complete new wheelset, but Paul thinks that worst case I'll have to buy a new axle.

Author: John Oxlade

Flange lubrication:

Due to my sharp curves, I was getting "flange squeal". It was suggested that a drop of grease or oil might cure the problem.

Don't do it. It is impossible to keep the grease/oil on the side of the rail and once on the surface you will find that the loco will sit there with the wheels spinning round.

Author: John Oxlade

[ author: | last updated 30th Mar 2003 ] [ HOME ]