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ControlIt Guard Rail Sleepers
ControlIt Guard Rail Sleepers are used to neatly and securely hold inner guard rails or check rails in place. Guard rails are generally found where there is confined clearance, such as bridges, tunnels and level crossings. Check rails are found on sharp curves adjacent to the inner rail, the outer rail, or both rails. Guard rails and check rails are used to keep the wheels of rolling stock in alignment to prevent derailment.
ControlIt Guard Rail Sleepers are custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) scaled from official New South Wales Railways (NSWR) drawings and the Data Sheets Trackwork Manual for the New South Wales Railways (Note: product dimensions may vary very slightly due to manufacturing tolerances).
The Guard Rail Sleeper boards are designed for many applications:
- Single track guard rails: trains travel the line in both directions, guard rails are formed to a V at both ends
- Double track guard rails: trains travel in one direction on the line, guard rails are formed to a V at the leading end and are straight at the trailing end
- Check rails on sharp radius curves as per the prototype
- Flangeway clearances at road crossings, for track embedded in paving, bitumen, asphalt or concrete, or for tram and light rail lines
Individual solder points for the rails represent sleeper plates as used on the prototype. The top finish applied to the boards restricts solder to the sleeper plate areas, thereby electrically isolating the inner rails from the running rails, and resulting in a neat and durable track join.
Guard Rail Sleepers are suitable for a range of HO scale track. For modelling trackwork to NSWR prototype standard, the spacing between the track rail head and the guard rail head is 2.34mm, which may require the removal of any plastic sleepers between the guard rail sleeper boards.
For guard rails on curved track, the sleepers can be cut and soldered to the rail separately to suit the radius. The sleepers have been numbered to assist in installing them in the correct order. A cutoff disk in a motor tool can be used to cut the webbing between sleepers.
For installation of long lengths of guard rails where gluing in place may be less practical, straight board sleepers can be added in intervals between the end boards.
To use the Guard Rail Sleepers:
- Remove the plastic sleepers from your track and insert the guard rail sleepers in their place under the rails
- Solder the rails to the PCB solder points
- Form the guard rails and solder in place, starting any rail bends on sleeper number 7 (Hint: filing a small V in the guard rail web at the bend point with a jeweller's file can help with making the bend)
- The guard rail sleepers and guard rails can be held in place with glue (for example a 2-part epoxy for a strong join)
- The sleepers can be painted after installation
The sleeper plate areas on the PCB sleepers may also be used to connect wires for track power.
Guard Rail Sleepers pricing:
- Double track board pair: one V board and one straight board - AUD $10.00
- Single track board pair: two V boards - AUD $12.00
- Straight board: for intermediate guard rail solder points between boards, check rails and flangeway clearances - AUD $3.00
Shipping costs: $6.50 shipping per pack to anywhere in Australia. Postage will be combined wherever possible.
Guard Rail Sleeper Boards Gallery
PCB Sleepers for a double track with Peco code 100 flex track. Top: boards soldered into position. Bottom: plastic sleepers removed and guard rails shaped and spaced to NSWR prototype standard soldered in place
Two sets of double track Guard Rail Sleepers installed on bridges with the track painted and ballasted.
Front view of two sets of double track Guard Rail Sleepers installed on bridges with the track painted and ballasted.
Top view of two sets of double track Guard Rail Sleepers installed on bridges with the track painted and ballasted.
Guard rails on the railway bridge over the Lachlan River south of Cowra NSW, 21st August 2011. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Sydney end of the Up Main guard rails on the viaduct over the Upper Nepean River, Menangle, 12th June 2010. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Double track guard rails on the short bridge spans at Tahmoor, with steam locomotive 3801 leading the Sydney-bound Southern Highlands Express on the 21st September 1963.
Guard rails on a timber trestle bridge along the Oberon branch line in 1974. Photo courtesy of Philip Vergison.
Check rail adjacent to the running rail on the curve at Carlwood, Oberon branch line, 1974. Photo courtesy of Philip Vergison.
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