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climb aboard the rain train....

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by woodycrest, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    CAn anyone give some information as to how to setup and operate these 'Rain Trains'? i did a search and the only thing i could find about 'rain trains' were overpriced plastic trains...wal mart sells them for 69.95..LOL...
    These are heavy duty trains . They are 'Nelson' model 400 .

    A friend of mine offered them to me for free..i couldnt resist.

    the main hose connection looks to be 1", so i will have to purchase some hose.
    THese may be considered dinasours, but ya cant beat the price.
    Any help would be appreciated

    raintrain pair.jpg
  2. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I've seen similar, but it was a LONG time ago. They work a lot like they look. That is a cable winch wich pulls the sprinkler along. The cheap models have a front wheel that follows the hose. With models like this, it is real simple to pick a path half way from your water source and go both directions. You just pull up your stake and switch ends and unreal the cable again. There SHOULD be a shut off that is triggered throught the cable. A small guide hole through a stop mechanism that gets pressed when you run out of places to go. Get a good 3/4 garden hose and down size the inlet. Unless you've got a seperate water source and a lot of water, your not going to do yourself any good spending lots of money on 1" hose. You may want to change the nozzles on the sprinklers to accomadate the lower flow. Also, there should be a gear for the winch. If your using lower flow and smaller nozzles, you probably want the fastest setting. Hope that helps.
  3. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Like Bryan said, unless you have the water supply you are not going to reap the benefit of a 1" hose. You can cover nearly 200' with this things if your water supply is in the middle of the run. Just back it up to the end of a 100' hose. Unspool the line and take it to the other end of the run. Drive a substantial stake in the ground and tie on the cord. Then turn on the water, go over and pull the brass looking apparatus on front of the machine out towards you. This engages the valve which in turn runs the transmission. It will travel in a straight line and when it reaches the stake, it will shut itself off and shut off the water also. The work well for athletic fields. You can cover a football field in just a couple passes.

    About 16 yrs ago, I sold 25 of these machines plus 150' hose each, plus quick coupler valves and keys to the Air Force base in Del Rio, Texas. One of the easiest sales I ever made. They knew what they wanted, called and got the pricing and then submitted a PO for $25000.00, and I faxed the order to Nelson, had them drop shipped directly to the base contractor, and submitted an invoice to them. The hose and quick coupler set-ups cost nearly as much as the machine itself did. Best I recall those Raintrains used to run about $500.00 ea. contractor price.

  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,516

    Nelson still makes a 8402 Rain Train 2, which looks similar. The basic idea with these is to water a football field in two long passes, ideally from quick-coupling valves located by the 50-yard line. With 200 feet of hose needed to fully cover a 100-yard field, plus end zones, you're pretty much stuck with one-inch hose to feed this thing. Besides the hose, there is the water-driven motor to take away pressure from the sprinkler, which you're looking to see spray at least fifty feet.
    <a href=http://www.nelsonturf.com/products/files/8402.pdf>pdf instruction file for the newer Rain Train</a> <a href=http://www.nelsonturf.com/products/files/999-03119.pdf>catalog page for Rain Train 2</a>
  5. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    thanks guys for the information...i think i've got them figured out.

    I am going to use them on a small golf course, i just picked up two more of them today...so that gives me 4 all together.

    could i run them as stationary sprinklers with regular(say 5/8 ) garden hose?

    Wet Boots,thanks for the links , these old ones are very similar to the 8402...gives me a good guidline to work from.

    What kind of pump would anyone recommend? a gas powered pump would be most practical to suck water out of ponds. Or are there pumps i could run off the PTO of a tractor? Any suggestions as far as what to look for?

  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Heck... go all the way and make then RC. Then just sit back, pop one open and have fun.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,516

    5/8 hoses and golf courses don't go together. You have to scale way up to cover golf course acreage.
  8. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    The golf course is on about 4 acres...like i said, small.

    I dont need huge coverage, only certain areas require water...kinda hard to explain.
    The 'train' would only have to run about 100' or less.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,516

    A pitch-and-putt course? You still need larger hose and a large enough sprinkler head, so there's enough flow and pressure to turn the water motor and operate the sprinkler head. On four acres, it almost seems like a job for regular quick-coupling valves and impact heads.
  10. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    yeah, pitch and putt course.
    so what flow is required?

    THe course has no irrigation, but has three deep ponds...plenty of water there....my problem is getting it to the rain train. :)

    I have a few other larger properties with access to lake water as well that i would like to be able to get water to as well , so portability is important.
    That why i need to get these trains figured out.

    i just need an idea of what i need to get these things operational. IF i need to spend some cash, then so be it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    thanks ,


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