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  1. Today
  2. I'm a great fan of gentle curves, Mike, so I'm impressed by your modular approach to track base. So much more realistic than those clunky straight sections that many people have to use. It all looks most promising. As for black uPVC supports, I've had no trouble with mine in eight years. There are about half a dozen of varying heights, and the taller ones were made with two different pipe diameters telescoped into one another and held by a couple of screws - to provide scope for adjustment if needed at any stage. One is just about visible in the photo below. Good luck with the rest of your layout!
  3. Any chance you guys could write about these great new materials in the Track Base construction section. It would be handy to have a separate topic for each material so we can point people to it when they are after advice. Cheers.
  4. Thank you. For once I recorded what I did. Details are in the Structures & Scenery section.
  5. The word the springs to mind is "Brave". I recommend you give the topic a read. Ive been using the car door lock motors successfully for years now.
  6. Sadly Britain, i.e. the U.K., can't take the credit for this. It is actually manufactured in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. The owning company, Coilte, is a statutory corporation owned by the Republic of Ireland government. However, the initial development was by a British company Accsys Technologies, with interests in the Netherlands. I've obtained a free sample and it looks perfect for garden railway use.
  7. Well the weather hasn’t been too kind over the past few days but I’ve managed to get one side of the triangle done and felted, I just need to paint the front.... Two more sections to felt for the main run and then I’ll be ready to start the station area. Anyone have a large umbrella and a wind break??
  8. So your wooden structures look very stable and seems well made. This gives your railroad a really solid base. Great work!
  9. Hello Peter I used this PVC rigid foam as a trackbed and track base. Since I used part of my tracks as a slab-track, I used black expanded PVC of 5mm because at the same time it imitated the asphalt used in Germany in the spaces between the tracks at slab-track. And it was precisely this black material that was sometimes very distorted or shrunk. I used the same material in light gray or white for the substructure under other tracks. There were actually no problems with the white one, the light gray one was then distorted in some places. Instead of PVC, I've recently started using a British product: Medite Tricoya Extreme Durable MDF. This is a water and weatherproof MDF board (the manufacturer gives a 50 year guarantee) in 6mm thickness. However, the material is also available in various other thicknesses from 4 to 20 mm. In the picture you can see how I still use this black PVC foam in the transition from the bridge, while the switches behind it are already on the new Medite Tricoya Extreme Durable MDF (which I partly painted black). Regards Thomas
  10. Yesterday
  11. This is exactly what I’m looking to do with my garden railway Chris - you’ve made a cracking job on those platform ramps. I’m just waiting for some more pieces to turn up and I’ll have a bash at making some. I need 32 pieces altogether and I’m not looking forward to painting them like the one I put on FB the other day - it’s going to take ages 🙃
  12. Time for some more ‘meat on the bones’ It’s fair to say, this isn’t going to be your typical garden railway, mind you, it’s pretty safe to say, nothing I do is typical 😂 This is more about having an indoor railway...outdoors. When Peco finally get some track out to the shops, I’ll be using code 100 concrete sleeper track with super elevated curves, and it’ll be painted and ballasted. Apart from the fact that I despise code 75 (I’ve used it on Oak Road and it drives me mad), the code 100 is way more forgiving and I can also run some older stock when I want to. The theme is Devon and Cornwall, from 2013 onwards so the station is loosely based on Totnes, with two through lines and two loops, but with the addition of a bay platform to enable more running potential. I’m going to use standard Hornby platforms because a) they can be bought quite cheaply, and b) they withstand the heat quite well (when we get some), and possibly resin station buildings of some description. The signals will be the cheap Train Tech colour light variety, although I’ve not finalised how I’m going to operate them yet - if I can get some Digikeijs Feedback Modules to work over 5m, I may look at using my iTrain as automation adds a whole different dimension. The only thing I’ve not got my head around yet is how I’m going to operate the points, although whatever route I go down, it’s not going to be cheap, but unlike my exhibition layout, there’s no rush with the garden railway. It’s going to be an interesting journey 👍
  13. Of course a DCC layout is always receiving the full voltage, normally around 16 volts in a OO set up. It doesn't slowly ramp up from zero as in traditional DC so that may be an advantage.
  14. I would imagine that the posts themselves would be pretty strong and personally wouldn't be too concerned about them snapping - but I hadn't factored in someone taking a dive onto the layout! Certainly if I were building a small raised section I would be looking at utilising plastic downpipe to support it. You can even obtain similar 'pressure pipe' as used in pond building which may even offer additional strength?
  15. I really couldn't say from experience Peter because the only system I've ever used outdoors has been DCC and my only prior experience with traditional DC control was on a short length of track along the living room carpet some 30-odd years or so ago. It's true that the track and rolling stock wheels must be clean but once that's done I very rarely have any problems with loco's stalling or sound cutting out and only two of my loco's are currently fitted with 'stay-alive' capacitors. I would also say that track needs to be flat along its length and level across the rails without any kinks and with as large a radius curves as you can possibly accommodate. With each section of rail then independently connected to the power supply, either through a bus wire or by bonding wire across the rail joiners, there shouldn't be any problems but I would imagine that those very same rules would apply equally to standard DC control too.
  16. That’s why I’ve used plastic posts buried in the ground. I can just cut them off and cover them over. The flower pot idea, although good, isn’t very sturdy, unless you use a big pot, in which case you can’t pick it up.....ask me how I know? 😆
  17. Welcome Thank goodness l am not the only person running dead rail (battery power) here anymore ! Do you use a commercial system or one you have built yourself? At present l have 3 locos running on Tam Valley boards with one more to fit. Also looking at the Del Tang system which will run with DC locos whilst the TV system works on DCC.
  18. Probably a bit late now but in case you have to move have you thought of putting the posts into a large flower pot and then pour the concrete in and the dig a hole for them. You can even dig them up and take them with you if you need to !
  19. There are many tips I've picked up form this forum over the years, I and many others are in debt to Mick for running this, but one of the best was track cleaning. @IanR recommended a Garryflex Abrasive Cleaning Block. All it takes to clean the track is a gentle rub and the rail tops are shinny clean. It takes me around 5 minutes to do my 70 odd metres of track and points before a running session. For a little more info, this is what we had to say about Garryflex back in 2011.
  20. Thanks for your welcome and comments Mick, Chris, Clay Mills Jn and ThomasL. I started building ‘Virginia Rail’ (named after our house, a Victorian semi called ‘Virginia Villas’) in 2011, and converted to battery/radio-control in 2016. Yes, I suppose it was on my wish-list for some years before that. I agree, Mick, that one needs to the limitations of 00 and not be too ambitious. Buildings and infrastructure at the small scale are vulnerable if left outside: I only leave the platforms and viaduct arches (made of expanded polystyrene) and the bridges which are part of the track. The points are the only vulnerable part of the track, so I would suggest keep the number to a minimum, and keep them accessible. I did not go for any electric actuation, preferring to rely on grand-child labour! I remember I asked Peco if they could supply the points springs in stainless steel, but they could not (but they kindly sent me some spares). It’s a pity, because corrosion of this spring lets down of the whole system, for outdoor application. Have you had to replace these Chris? You get almost there, then ‘ping’ and you know you will spend the next half hour groveling on the floor looking for it! I am interested in your use of DCC, Mick: I have never used it either outdoors or indoors. Does it have more tolerance of dirty track and poor contact than the traditional system? Before I converted to battery power I found that cleaning was becoming more difficult as the track aged, and maybe all that bending down was more difficult as I aged too! I used soap and water with a home-made ‘cloth on a stick’ tool. I also found that the locomotive wheels seemed to get dirty quickly. It was this, rather than voltage drop, which pushed me to change to batteries. Not every loco has the space, of course. The GWR 2-6-2T is about the smallest which can accommodate batteries. I have to confess to having converted a Hornby ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ but the batteries and receiver are carried in the long-suffering Annie who follows him everywhere he goes… The soldering on the tiny receivers can be rather a challenge, but once installed, the system gives good control, with smooth starting and stopping, good slow performance and of course no hesitation on points or dirty track. And you can run several locos on the track under separate control. In answer to your question Clay Mills Junction, when I convert the locomotive to battery power I remove the pick-up brushes from the insulated wheels, so the loco is isolated from one track, and therefore, yes, you could run a conventional or DCC loco on the same track, I presume. Chris, I have not posted any videos on U-tube. I suppose it is possible someone from the family has. ThomasL – sunshine? What’s that? I live in Manchester! Seriously, I have not had problems with warping of the PVC track base. The PVC is only 5mm thick, cut to fit the track in a strip 50mm wide, so it is quite flexible and I just lay it on smoothed earth, or on bricks for raised sections. At higher levels I just rest the base on wood pillars at about 300mm intervals. The viaduct in my photo is done that way, but it is a bit of a cheat: the arches are only on the viewer’s side of the track. At the stations the base width is up to about 300mm wide, but again, I have not noticed any deformation. The foamed PVC comes in sheets 1.2m square, which I obtained from a company called Barkston. I do not leave the track outside all year, but there is no sign that the base would deteriorate if it was outside. I use brass pins for the track and stainless steel screws to join the sections, so apart from the afore-mentioned points spring, the system is weatherproof. You say you have used foamed PVC panels: was this for a track base or for larger constructions? What material do you now use instead of foamed PVC? Again, thanks for your kind comments, and I look forward to our future correspondence. Peter
  21. Haha! No Iain, they’re fine. On the tallest ones there’s 40% of the post buried in concrete and they’re very sturdy. If they go brittle then I have a Plan B
  22. Are you not worried that the plastic posts will be a bit fragile? Id worried that fall into the trackbed and they'd snap - but then, I am about twice the size of most people
  23. Last week
  24. So with the ‘Brio’ blocks assembled and checked, the next stage was to put some tops one them. These arrived in the form of some 9mm ply....which was reclaimed and free! ...and then some upvc cladding to the sides, and some roofing felt on top.... ...and finally, some nice GWR Green (current livery) to tidy everything up... I’ve started painting the posts a stone colour so that they bland better with the garden. It’s surprising just how sturdy the structure is! This brings my work up to date, with all of the main sections done bar the felt, and once I’ve done that, I’ll make the frames up for the station area. Watch this space....
  25. It may seem a little strange to have what would normally be a permanent structure, bolted together, so let me explain. We currently live in a rental property as my father is terminally ill, and we may need to up sticks at shortish notice - hopefully not too short notice as I like having my Dad around. I’ve not seen any ‘portable’ garden layouts before, but those of you that already know my modelling style know that I don’t do things by the book, and if I start off with a plan, it’s normally 6 times removed when it gets to its final incarnation! The triangle originally had three double junctions but I wasn’t happy with it, so I decided I’d take one of the return lines underneath the straight lines to / from the shed, but this didn’t quite work out how I thought, due to the rather large Minorcan Palm, so Plan C arrived whereby one set of lines now go under the other and converge by the shed. These pictures will explain.... The gradient works out at 1 in 48, and this is achieved by lowering the right hand chord slightly as it passes under the other lines and then it rises to meet them just before the shed. ....more pictures to follow...
  26. As I add more pictures, things will be very self explanatory (in answer to your question Mick). Here’s the first section mounted on the posts - these, believe it or not, are 40mm polypipe... Each section is bolted together with M8 blots.... ....here’s more of the sections being assembled together.... I’ll post some further pictures shortly.
  27. That's a nice solid start Mike along with some very neat woodworking skills. From your initial plan I take it that the curved section in the photos is in the top right of the plan (bottom right of your garden) and so immediately before it where the straight timber is laid out will be the proposed removable viaduct? Does the pipe in the foreground indicate the height of the layout from ground level? Have you seen the plastic pipe used as supports for the track base before? I suggested it might be a suitable alternative to wooden posts on another thread a week or two ago, though I was thinking more of the square profile downpipe. I wondered if you had any previous experiences of it?
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