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track construction method
here is some information on how the rail is laid.
 
here is an image of the construction using concrete ties every 6' and  two or three treated 2x4 between. note the 2x4 are floating until ballast is worked in.  the treated 2x4 are dipped in used diesel engine oil to simulate creosote. the used diesel engine oil has graphite soot and makes the ties quite black. used oil from gas engines won't make the tie black. the used engine oil may help the wood last as well as look better.  concrete ties use nuts, washers and tie plates to hold the rail and set the gauge.  the wood ties are attached with 4  1-1/2x1/4 lag screws and washers, space is set by a track gauge.  the pre-gauged concrete ties make laying track easy.

the floating 2x4 ties will allow over 600# per truck load for ballast hopper.  this allows track to be ballasted in 2 passes.  first with a 1/2 yard load that is placed along each rail about 3 inches wide.  the vibration of the engine works enough ballast under the 2x4 to support a second full load of 1.6 yards of ballast.
 

phases of track construction
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the concrete ties are cast 5 up in molds with 1/2 inch rebar cut 21" long and 4 2-1/2x5/16 bolts jig wielded at the correct spacing for the tie plates and 15" gauge. the ties are 24" wide, 3-1/2" high, 3" at the top and 4" at the base.  a mold of 5 ties requires 1 cubic foot of cement.  a 92# bag of portland cement, along with sand and gravel  will make 15 ties. 

tie costs: cement:$0.73, sand/gravel:.05,  rebar:0.33, bolts/nuts:0.28, wielding rod and electricity :0.05, for a total cost of:$1.44 each (with free labor). 

time to make a stack of 20 ties is about 2-1/2 hours. the tie at the top right shows a  chip on one end caused by unmolding after only 36 hours. a full cure of 48 to 72 hours is better.

concrete tie stack

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