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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope this will be of interest to people. I have always wanted a garden railway and until recently haven't had the time, space or money. I thought it would be 0 gauge having had a quantity of Basset Lowke coarse scale stock in the past. I sold all this several years ago as it was deteriorating and I was unlikely to be able to make use of it.
A chance buy on ebay about 6 years ago was a Bachmann G gauge 4-6-0 in Durango and Silverton Bumblebee colour scheme. Another club member had some European outline G gauge items. We had a test track at the club for a while so I was able to run locos from time to time.

Being retired and haveing completed most of the projects in the garden I now had time to start. At the end of 2019 we had a sun room extension built and I asked the builders to dump the spoil where I wanted the railway. Last year I built a brick retaining wall using old reclaimed bricks, a lot found in the garden which came from an 18th Century house which stood on this site until about the 1930's. The wall is 2 feet high and the raised bed is approximately 27.5 feet by 13 feet which will be enough for a start. hopefully I will be able to extend further into the garden at a later date.
I spent the rest of the year filling it with soil and compost and left it over the winter to settle, I hope it has settled as much as it will by now.

The line will be US outline and also freelance UK narrow gauge. This is loosely based on the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway. The US is mostly Denver and Rio Grande Western.

19993


The picture shows the first track laid at the begining of June. I dug a foundation trench about 9 inches deep and filled this with building ballast ( sharp sand and stones mix) which was tamped down with a large block of wood. The track is a mix of Piko ( the point and 4 foot radius curved sections ) and Tenmille ( long length in fore ground ). I preformed teh 5 foot lenght of track and fastend it to treated tile batten which is embedded in the ballast. At present it is temporarily wired without sections just to test the track for reliable running.
More by accident than design I managed to get a small amount of superelevation on the curves whihc looks good. The station area in the background is laid in Thermalite blocks and the track will be screwed to them.

After a couple of weeks I found that some of the curved track had settled and caused a derailment of my Railcar in one direction only. On checking, I found the track changed from having a cant inwards to level or slightly outwards at on joint. This was enough to let the outside wheels lift over the outside rail due to centrifigal force. Repacking the track carefully cured to problem. AS Emily has a fixed wheelbase I can see that she will be a useful test vehicle. Being battery powered I aim to make a track cleaning van to be pulled behind to clean the track before a running session.
19994


This pictue was taken last night and shows some of the planting now in place.
At the moment I am waiting for some more track from Tenmille and some adapter rail joiners before anymore track can be laid.

Christine
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alan, Your Lego trains look good. If you build an outdoor layout that would definately be a garden railway. Lego is a bit different to the bricks that I and my brother played with in the 60's! I was very impressed seeing a couple layouts and other model displays of Lego models at a Model Railway Show at Bressingham in Norfolk a year or so ago. Have fun outside, at least when it's not raining.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alan, The plastic track ought to be ok, after all unless you make your own track with wooden sleepers the commercial track is on a plastic base. The Colosseum kit sounds great and should look good.
Christine
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Latest Progress.
20035


This is not to scale plan of the line. It is built on a raised bed 2 feet high and 27.5 feet by 13 feet. I drew this up with AnyRail software but i haven't really got to grips with it yet hence the passing loop not being parallel! Trackwork is complete around 3 sides but at the top of the diagram the track shown is only a rough idea at present. I will make a small pond and stream in this area and will decide the exact route of the line when the pond is completed. I am not sure if the line will run alongside the water or if there will be enough room to curve the line so that it can cross the water on a bridge which will look more interesting.

I may have enough track to make a temporary straight run along the top so that trains can be run round the complete circuit in the interim. I tested the track yesterday late afteernoon between heavy rain showers using the battery powered railcar "Emily". She ran along the entire length without derailing, so far so good. I will have to leave the top right curve to settle for a few days as this is laid on a foundation of sharp sand and stones so will settle a bit. The station and freight yard is laid on thermalite blocks plugged and screwed.

I have also made the station building from a Pola kit, this is waiting to be installed, I had varnished the station name board which have been printed on the computer and some parts I painted with acrylic paint to tone the "plasticness" look down. This is the roof and the boardwalk platform. If it is dry later on this will be placed by the passing loop.

I will take more photographs soon.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here a few pictures taken with a good evening light yesterday.
20039


No 179 arriving at Honeysuckle Creek. I cloned the smoke from a picture taken at Lakeside Station of an 0-6-0 ST taken in the 1980s, this had a similar background to last night's picture so was easy to blend in.
20040


Similar to the above but slightly more distant.

20041


Looking from the other direction. The very large red leaved plants are annuals so they will go in the Autumn, in the meantime I am gradually going to landscape this area properly and plant smaller plants near the line. I have already planted so camomile further along which has given a "grass" effect from a distance. The only thing is that it is quick growing after peroids of rain so needs trimming back from the track.

So far so good!

Christine
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello Christine Your Garden layout is really coming along well. I note you said you used ( Anyrail ) for your planning. I have anyrail but could not find any Lgb G scale track system on there I am also planning a Garden layout along the Harz & Rhb which is my big interest. Thank you Babs
Hello Babs, I have Anyrail v6 on my computer and under Track Libraries it has LGB G and LGB G-1992 available. If your version is a bit older you should be able to upgrade for free. I didn't exactly use Anyrail for design as I had a good idea what I could get in the space and placed track around to see if it would fit. I have used computers at home and work since about 1994 but I am still happier with pencil and paper when it comes to design!
Look forward to seeing your Garden Railway when you get started and have pictures. Haveing seen film of the Hartz Mountain lines that is somewhere I would like to visit if I get the oppertunity.
Best wishes,
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Over last weekend I have temporarily linked both ends of the line to make a continuous run and play trains! i have made a video of a run round the line but when I tried to insert it here it exceeded the limit of 20Mb. How can I get round this anyone?
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the information Alan. I had already reduced the file size with the programme that I use. It looks like if you want to add video on here it has to be on the internet already, when I tried the add media button it asks for a URL.
Thanks,
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hopefully this should be a video of a test run round the line using the temporary link to make a complete continuous run. Any shaky camera work was due to the fact that using a DSLR meant that i had to use the preview screen as a viewfinder which is not easy in the bright sunlight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Chris,
That's great, loved it that the loco picked up some vegetation on the way round. :)
Also noticed a bit of de-rail on the loco early in the video, is that an issue with the trackwork, or just a one off
Regards
Alan
Alan, I think it is a bit of both, that loco is a bit sensitive to the odd bump, I might try a bit more weight on the pony truck. The track hasn't been ballasted properly yet, I will check levels as i do this which should improve running.
Best wishes
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
28 July 2021. Progress update. I have made the small central pond and I am waiting for the bridge to arrive so that the track can be diverted to cross the water. I took delivery of 3 locos bought at auction a few days ago. They all run well. When I inspected them I found a small switch mounted on the chassis on all 3. This turned out to be an on/off switch which is a great idea. I expect most people instal them but I havn't seen them mentioned in any magazine articles. I intend to add switches to my USA locos to save having to install a mobile switch panel to isolate track sections. I can only see that I will need to run one loco at a time for the forseeable future as I only have a single track line.
Photos of the three locos plus Lyn that I already had.
20095


George and Gladys

20096


Exe and Lyn

20097


All 4 together. Looks a bit like they are in a prehistoric jungle, hope that there arn't any dinosaurs around!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
What a lovely collection you have.Are any live steam? What is your next plan after you get the Bridge.I am looking for a Truss bridge in Metal 2 track about 4 feet long Yours is very nice indeed. Babs

They are all electric, one day I might get some live steam. Our local auctioneers had a sale earlier in the year which had several Roundhouse locos but I thought it was better to spend money on actually building a railway to run first rather than gather more stock. The bridge will only be about 18 inches long so not as impressive as yours will be. I am hopeing to get permission to extend the line further so I will need another bridge/viaduct to start the extension.

Thanks for the nice comments.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Hello Babs, Your collection looks good. I fin the cog locos fascinating to watch. I have never been on a European one but rode to the top of Snowdon 30 years ago and then we walked back down to Llanberis. I took several photographs of the trains on the way down, a really great day out. Look forward to more from you.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Progress report. The line has now been diverted to cross the end of the small pond over a girder bridge. I also added two sidings to the station area to make a frieght yard. The track needs a bit of work yet, some joints need electrically bonding for reliable running etc.
\
20114


20115


Two views of Emily on a test run over the new section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
It is now September and I havn't made a lot of progress with the railway, too many other projects to complete at the moment. I am still finding failed joints when having a running session so the soldering iron has been out again. I expecct that eventually I will need to bond all the joints. I also had to re-align one curved section whihc was causing derailments with some of my kit built stock.
Last week a friend wanted to play with his boy's toy ( a drone ) so took some aerial video of the line. I have taken a few still from it. These include some of the "station staff" i.e. some of the Westies.
20216


20217


20218


20219


As you can see, the line is not that big at present, I hope to eventually extend from the end and curve back round to run along the inside of the adjacent pergola with a terminal station there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Here is ashort video of some of my UK narrow gauge stock.


Unfortunately the autofocus on the camera is a bit out on some sequences. I find it difficult using the live preview screen when composing shots, especially against the light. I noticed a bad track joint when playing back the video, this is not apparent when just watching trains. The sounds are real, not dubbed on, the camera microphone really amplifies the sound on the freight wagons, they are most realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I seem to have something that keeps digging around the trackside and covering the track with loose stones and earth. This has gone on for a few weeks now. At first I thought it was just blackbirds scratching around for food and that when the plants at the side had grown a bit and covered the loose soil it woukd take care of itself. Over the last few days it has changed from being a mild nuisance to being a real disaster. Yesterday morning I found a large length of track and one point buried in soil and stones. This was mostly along the rock cutting. I cleared the track at lunchtime and by 16.00 it had been buried again. I suspected the wood pigeon population here as we have a great number of them and the cause damage to many plants. This morning the track was buried again, see pictures below.
Plant Flower Leaf Wood Vegetation


Plant Terrestrial plant Vegetation Track Railway


Flower Plant Terrestrial plant Groundcover Compost


Plant Botany Terrestrial plant Grass Groundcover


This last picture is of an area which looks like it was dug from a hole under the stone on the top left so is probably rodents.

Having thought for a bit I remembered that I had some off cuts of wire mesh left over from making a run for the cats. I used this to make a cover for the worst affected length of track.

Plant Flower Flowerpot Grass Landscape


I will see what tomorrow brings.
This afternoon when doing a quick bit of weeding further along I found rat droppings so I have set a rat trap along the line there. Living in the country with chicken farms nearby etc we do get a lot of rats. At one stage I gave up feeding the wild birds because the rats were getting more food than the birds!
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Hello Alan,
Planting camomile along the line seemed like a good idea at the time but it grows really fast. I planted the first lot a bit too close so that grows over the rails quickly. It doesn't take too long to prune back before running trains and I like the effect it gives when running my UK stock.
Thanks for liking the video.
Best wishes,
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
So far so good. It seems that the wire mesh "tunnels" have stopped the stones being piled up on the track. One was slightly dislodged yesterday morning but today they were undisturbed. I now think that the rat is a grey squirrel that has moved into the back garden. I saw him on monday afternoon gathering hazel nuts from th bush near the house and yesterday morning he ran up the pergola near the railway and jumped the gap to the second pergola which runs alongside. He is taking a chance with 9 West Highland Terriers loose in the garden! Anyway, it is a bit of a chore having to cover a lot of the line and remove the covers before running trains but that is a lot easier than having to excavate the line each time.
Chris
 
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