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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 2004 summer rail race is being orginised for August 2004.

This will included a proxy rail race for which 5 enteries has already been entered, please email me if you are interested. The event is to be held in South Wales and has very limited numbers.


RR
 

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John Roche
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I'll be there Jeff. My BRM V16 needs a run. It would help if you could set a date soon.

Cheers,

John
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is the story of a Days Rail Racing, for those who have never been to a rail race. This is not in the book.

RR

Preparing for a days rail racing for me usually starts several months in advance, when I decide what kind of cars I want to race at the meeting. This more often that not includes have several new rail cars built to use, (I don't build my own cars as I am not skilled enough to build them to the standard I want them to be) to try different chassis layout, motors, bodies ect, so that I can learn the most possible from every rail race meeting.

For the May 2001 meeting I had a new Alfa Romeo sport car built and new wheels made for the Jaguar Mk V11 built by John Moxon out of Parma parts. When the Alfa arrived though the post I was really thrilled as it had been beautifully painted and was very well made using a Pittman motor and MRRC steering unit as many of the original 1950s rail cars did. This to me is part of the fun choosing what cars to build next and out of what parts.

The most successful rail car since rail racing returned in 2000 is my Alfa Romeo Grand Prix car, this I have gradually improved with each meeting filing the guide shoe and generally slowly developing the car, this I really enjoy. The Parma Jag is a real monster of a rail car ballisticly quick in a straight line it must be one of the quickest rail cars ever built, but it took a lot of running on the rail track to get it to work at it best.

The Jag must be one of the biggest 1/32 scale rail cars built and it is a wonderful sight to see this huge rail car flying down the straight overtaking what almost seem like cars built to another scale in a manic burst of speed and sparks and noisy. The first few time this car race around the track the back wheels were not quite big enough so that the chassis was resting on the rail as it drove round making the most horrendous noise as it scraped along the rail with so many sparks coming from it, it looked like it was on fire. I loved this car from that point on. It is very nervous to race and does not like corners just like the full size car infact. It never races two laps the same and sometime will leave the rail track for no real reason. This is why I love rail racing, as it is very unpredictable.

The day of the race meeting arrives Phil Barry has already built the rail track up. The first thing to do is to clean the rail with a cleaning fluid so that the car work at their best. Then the fun of practice start nearly everybody who is racing, has built new cars and the race is on to see if they can be made to work. As rail cars are very hard to set up. This is were having a genius of a rail car builder as a racer is so handy. John Moxon helps nearly everybody get their car running at it's best. The Alfa sport car is wired up backwards and has a one screw bodymount which I think will not last for long I think about gluing the screw in but I don't bother (big mistake).

The meeting starts with qualifying, were I use the Alfa, which is now running beautifully and I do really well. This is really heart pounding stuff as you choose the lane you want to qualify on and wait for the start light to go green. Your heart is in your mouth you are thinking please can my car work well for just three laps in a row and none of my wheels fall off which has happened to me before. The first lap you go slow to get a time, then quicker on the next lap and on the last lap all hell breaks lose as you drive the wheels off the car to get a good time.

Part 2
I qualified in the top two or three, and Alfa sport car was really flying with every lap of the rail track it was getting faster and faster, in qualifying John Moxon's Jaguar D type was playing up. Rail cars are very temperamental (just like my wife) you have only got to put them down the wrong way and they won't work properly again.

So I lent him the Parma Jag (another mistake as John is a real good rail racer) but this was only fair as he had built it. The first race came and lights turned green and the Alfa left the line like it was rocket propelled and total blitzed the oppression for an easy win. I knew this was to good to last with a new rail car. Mean while John won his race with the Parma Jag.

Round two again the Alfa rocketed off the line into the lead, Then the body came lose and I had sit out the rest of the race with a broken car, I was slightly unhappy as it was completely my own fault. I then used my Alfa Grand Prix car for the remaining races, but even though I pulled quite a few places in coming races it was not enough. John Moxon comfortably won the competition for the John Moxon Cup with my car. I really pleased that John and Jag won. We all went down the Pub for lunch and it was great everybody was laughing and having a great time.

In the Afternoon I used the Parma Jag which was really behaving itself and was leading the competition going into last round, for the Lari Davidson Cup (a Art Deco trophy in honour of Lari's work on rail racing) when my lane suddenly slowed with a short.in the middle of the my race. leaving Steven Moxon to win with me coming second. A really great days racing which really captured the spirit of the 1950s events.

This was only the start of the fun as all the rail racers were split into three teams to race the proxy cars two of which were built by Lari Davidson, these car were really in the spirit of the original cars as they had hand carved wooden bodies with brass plate chassis with Pittman motors. John Moxon had fine tuned them after Lari had kindly sent them to me. The Other car was the Australian rail car built by David Bantoft and Phil Kalbfell. This was a wonderful car built with a chassis built out of the rail we had used to build the track, another Pittman motor and a beautifully painted bodyshell. Great fun was had during this part of the day with lots of laughing going on. The car were very evenly matched and each car won a race. The day ended with a ladies race, using the three proxy cars which everybody enjoyed I don't think I have ever seen such a happy group of racers in my life, every single person in the room had raced.

The real winners on the this day was model car racing Slot car or Rail car it does not matter, it's having fun that counts The spirit that made 1950s rail racing draw hundreds of entries to an event, is alive and well and was certain with us on this day.
 

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Nice report! Just missing some pictures to know more about RR - just know that there has been a rail and no slot...
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Thomas

Here are some pictures of the Jag, the Alfa Romeo, two of the proxy cars and Stephen Moxon's Mercedes which won the main event:

RR









 

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They certainly are very nice cars and nice pics!
But I have never yet seen a pic that shows clearly both the rail and how the car is actually guided by it. It probably sounds like a stupid question to someone who is already familiar with how the cars work, but it isn't very obvious to anyone who has never actually seen both tracks and cars in the metal. Any chance of some close ups that might demonstrate this?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The main rail is the raised guide and the negative pole of the power supply. The horse shoe guide lies on top of the rail to guide the car, the weight being taken by the wheels. A second copper wire runs parallel with the rail to provide the positive pole of the power supply.







Son of RR
 

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thx for the quick info! Are there any dimensions of the rails available? Distance, height a.s.o. so otheres are able to build racers for your proxy-races?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Thomas,
The track and rail cars are built to the Southport Standards the oldest set of rules for eletric model car racing or so I believe.

I can email you chassis pictures and sizes to build a proxy entry but rail cars are built to a different philosophy, were you are using the momentum of the car to corner. I have only one rail car built in Germany which has not yet raced.


RR
 

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...would be great to get this information! And as I've emigrated to Switzerland 3 years ago this would be your first swiss entry for proxy races

How to setup a car in 1/32 or 1/24 for plastic and routed tracks is familiar to me - and maybe I'm able to learn a little more if I invest some time in a rail-racer...
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Thomas,
You would learn a lot but it's a lot of work, most of the proxy cars have wooden bodies including the German one, But their are fibreglass and other kinds of bodies which have been used.

Russell Sheldon know almost as much as me, and I am sure would send you some imformation or Don or Phil or any of the other members who have built a rail car.

I really enjoyed building the rail track as it was all done by hand, I bent the rail for the corners by hand and it was really pleasing to see it work at the Brooklands event.

Please will someone build another one? I can tell you all the things not to do.

The Rail Website has most of the imformation on it you will need. So send me a email and I will email you my phone number.

RR
 

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John Roche
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4,155 Posts
I went to the first Brooklands meeting as a spectator as I had never seen a rail car or track although I had first read about rail racing in an article in the Eagle annual in the late 50's or early 60's and in variuos slot car magazines since..

I decided to build a car for the next meeting. I had an old Pitman 196b motor, which was nearly "in period", and a nostalgia BRM V16 body lying around in my future projects box which formed the basis of the car. My first scratchbuilt car for well over 20 years.

Following numerous visits to the rail website and e-mails to Jeff, I turned up at the next meeting with my car but of course it had never ran as there was no way of testing. It was crap, it just couldn't complete a lap. Gradually, over the day it was improved and tweaked with a lot of help from the other racers to the point where it was producing reasonably competitive times. I also needed to improve as they require a different driving style.

I'm looking forward to next years race as my BRM hasn't run since. events have conspired to prevent me making it to other race meetings.

Building my rail car also directly led to me scratch building slot cars again. They still aren't brilliant but each one I build is a slight improvement over the last.

Cheers,

John
 

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Graham Windle
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Want to borrow the the Buggatti again Sean or would you like me to build another Ive got a few new ideas you might fancy trying.
Graham
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Graham,
It would be really great to see a TR3 rail car as their are no existing Truimph rail cars.

I use to drive a lot of miles in Triumph sports cars before I got married, I had a Spitfire, GT6, TR4 and two TR6s. all of which I really enjoyed driving

RR
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Their will be a speical copy of the book as a prize for the best proxy entry. everyone at the event will have one vote the proxy car with the most votes wins

RR
 
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