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Henry Jabel
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Location: Worcestershire, England
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I saw this video and thought it was a pretty neat idea. I was going to build something similar for moving fruit to my pressing area after seeing people in Cambodia making a fold out rail system to get goods to and from thier shop but I like this idea better in some ways as the monorail blends into the environment and uses less material for the track.

 
Erwin Decoene
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Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
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In the Moselle wine region of Germany i saw something similar. 

 
Travis Johnson
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It is an interesting idea, but I do question the statement about being cheap and easy to do. I am a welder by trade and know what steel costs. I think a very similar idea could be done, but with wood, making it a lot cheaper and easier to build, especially if a person lacks welding skills. Some benefits of steel wheels on steel rail would be lost as friction on wood is greater, but I do not think it would be overly so. I also question a monorail system over twin tracks as it would seem to me, not having to balance a load would reduce effort more so then reducing just rolling friction.

Not one to knock someone else without suggesting my own Permicultural solution, I am wondering if a cheaper approach would be to:

Cut your sleepers (also known as cross ties) from 2 x 4's maybe 12 inches long
Set up a dado blade on a radial arm saw and cut a 1/2 inch slot 1 inch deep, (2) of them 8 inches apart
Buy a sheet of plywood and cut into 2 inch strips
Insert strips of plywood (rails) into the slot, then from the bottom secure to the 2 x 4 with a screw starting at 1 foot, but placing 2x4 sleeper every 2 feet (so the ends do not land on a tie)


This would give you a section of twin track 8 feet long, and 8 inches wide with the rails standing up vertically

To secure sections of track together, cut (4) plywood pieces 1-1/2 inches by 4 inches and screw to ends of plywood rails to make rail joints

Doing a rough estimate, I came up with $50 for every 96 foot section of track I am envisioning.

For "wheels" to run on the track, just use pulleys with bearings (like clothesline pulleys). With a little ingenuity the wheel of a persons wheelbarrow could be replaced and it would be less tippy, and easier to roll since there would be a lot less friction.
 
Mike Jay
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I like this idea too.  I wonder how often he reconfigures it.  I don't think the mono rail aspect of it is that much of a hindrance (vs a double rail).  If the double rail was well spaced out, it would help with balance but if the rails are only 8" apart it would still be tippy and require careful operation.

My initial thought was to wonder if you could build it with EMT conduit.  Use wooden or metal dowels to connect the conduit.  Maybe use 2x4 sleepers as Travis suggests.  Possibly do shallow dado grooves in the 2x4's and then screw up into the conduit with long sheet metal screws to attach it.  That was just my initial thought, need to think about it more.

I move firewood around a lot and there are other tasks that could use that technology.  Wonderful fabrication techniques that gentleman used.  I loved the interlocking end joint and the switch over contraption.
 
Travis Johnson
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Mike Jay wrote:I like this idea too.  I wonder how often he reconfigures it.  I don't think the mono rail aspect of it is that much of a hindrance (vs a double rail).  If the double rail was well spaced out, it would help with balance but if the rails are only 8" apart it would still be tippy and require careful operation.

My initial thought was to wonder if you could build it with EMT conduit.  Use wooden or metal dowels to connect the conduit.  Maybe use 2x4 sleepers as Travis suggests.  Possibly do shallow dado grooves in the 2x4's and then screw up into the conduit with long sheet metal screws to attach it.  That was just my initial thought, need to think about it more.

I move firewood around a lot and there are other tasks that could use that technology.  Wonderful fabrication techniques that gentleman used.  I loved the interlocking end joint and the switch over contraption.


I agree 100%, it has so many other applications as well.

I worked on the railroad for years and it even amazed me that we could take a 25 ton locomotive truck and roll it under a locomotive with a simple 4 foot lining bar...steel wheels on steel rails roll pretty easy! I loved your idea of conduit too.

I just used 8 inch gauge as a number, but 12 inch, or 16 inch would work too IF balance was a concern. I often thought that track gauge set up the same width as a self-propelled rotortiller would work good. Just remove the rubber wheels and use the rims on the rails as a cheap locomotive. But if a person does that, why not just build a sulky and not bother with the tracks at all?

Mainer's are incredibly cheap and we are well known here for our "two footers" which were extremely narrow gauge railroads that had rails laid 2 feet wide. Most railroads are 4 ft 8-1/2 inches wide, while narrow gauge railroads were 3 feet wide. Mainer's used 2 foot railroads because it saved a lot of money on grading, less money on ties, could have tighter corners, and use smaller locomotives. A lot of two foot railroads here were quarry and logging railroads, but some moved people as well. Only one is still in service though...
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I could use one of these for getting my honey supers out of my apiary to the road. Love it.
 
David Livingston
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Dont forget ( if you knew ) that rail were originally wood and came about a hundred years before trains .  They were horse powered and used in mines and transporting ores short distances on the surface. https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-railroad-4059935
 
William Bronson
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I saw this video and thought about the expense and the complexity of the joints.
My response would be hose or tubing,for continuous long stretches of track.
Concerned about the hose deforming under weight made me think of adding concrete-which might be better on it's own.
Poured 8' at a time with reusable forms, bent plywood forms for the curves, seems very doable.
Maybe two parralel peices of  tubing could be the form.
Reuse them,or leave them in place as conduits for water gas,or electric.
Could the profile of the track be a rounded top triangle,as to fit different sized wheels?
That's another advantage of a monorail as well lower costs, any suficently wide wheel will do.
 
tel jetson
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those monorails in the Moselle video are all over rural Shikoku, too. probably elsewhere in Japan as well, but that's where I've seen them.
 
David Livingston
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Travis hope you like this one I used to live near it
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romney,_Hythe_and_Dymchurch_Railway
 
Travis Johnson
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I do like it...

My understanding is the guy that had that idea for that railroad, came to the USA and tried to get ultra narrow gauge railroads going here, but failed, until he got to Maine. Here we have a lot of rock, steep hills, and very frugal people, building smaller gauge railroads made sense to us! So we are known for our "2 footers". I actually have a book on them.

On my own farm, I have often thought of building my own railroad well into my woodlot to extract logs and pulpwood. With logging a cord of wood is a cord of wood is a cord of wood; the less money you spend getting it out, the more money you make because it does not matter if you use a forwarder or a horse, you make teh same money per cord. A rotortiller locomotive train set could easily move wood on a scale that would make it cost effective. Like any railroad, it would have to be laid out to glean the most use from every foot of track laid, but I could easily envision it being worthwhile to do, especially if after a landowner is done, they convert the locomotive into a mode of transport for their food forest. As it traversed the contour of the farm to avoid adverse grades, it could easily ride upon the tops of swales which follow the same contour. Darting in and around trees and plants, it could be a very practical mode of transport.
 
David Livingston
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  for Travis
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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RH&D Railway is right around the corner from me. We go a few times per year. It is still used as a commuter train for local school kids.
 
Henry Jabel
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Found a photo of the one I saw in Cambodia for transporting goods to the shop over the pavement/sidewalk. Not the best photo (as I was just passing) but I remember they were using box section which would keep the weight and cost down. It was set up in just a few minutes by a couple of people.
DSC_0141.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSC_0141.jpg]
 
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