Larry sent this in and I just had to post. He’s made his own ride on railroad for a shoe string budget. Genius!
“The key to the ride on railroad I constructed is using pvc track. It is inexpensive, and easy to assemble. I used 8 inch spacing between rails, and 6 inch spacing between wooden ties.
PVC track component and total costs
Electrical gray ½ inch pvc pipe 10 foot= $1.60
1 by 2 by 8 pressure treated wood x 8 feet=$2
misc: screws, pipe glue, ¾ inch pvc track tie
Cost per 10 foot of track (7.5 inch wide rail spacing on 1 foot long ties spaced every 6 inches)=$8.20 plus cost of misc or no more than $10 per 10 feet
PVC track is 1/10th the cost of steel track, and easy to assemble and make curves.
The track is assembled by screwing through the underside of the ties into the pvc using screws long enough to catch 1 side wall of the pvc pipe (3/4 inch long, but depends on thickness of your ties).
Assemble by predrilling 4 through holes at 8 inch spacing in each tie, then use a jig to hold rails in place with proper spacing upside down. Then, screw in to secure.
Another method is to router a groove at the 8 inch rail spacing distance, and then simply assemble the track without need for the jig. 2 screws per tie are sufficient, instead of 4, to hold the track together.
The last step is to fill the track with play sand to make it more rigid. It can support my weight (200 lbs).
The drive systems for the crank car and engine are shown in the photos below. I cut down a 16 inch kids bike to make the crank. I used tricycle gear conversion sprocket on the axel.
Wheels are made using lawnmover replacement wheels, with a circle of polypropylene to create the flang, all screwed together with a 4 inch zinc pulley wheel which can set screw onto a ½ inch steel axel. The pulley serves as a wheel hub, and driver for the second axel. The primary axel is 25 chain driven by the scooter motor (35 or 50 watts).
If you want more details on construction, please let me know.
I can’t thank Larry enough for sharing this. I read his ‘how to’ and watched his vids, and found myself thinking, “That’s my summer project!”
Well, we’ll see.
Anyhow, hope you enjoyed it as much as me.
It reminded me of the wonky playhouse – another fun project. Click here to have a look at that one.
PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Lots of HO stuff at the mo.