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  1. Hi All, Well, I'm back again, can't believe it's been over a year since my last post! This time I've got a video, it's not great camera work, but it will do! As I realised the good weather was coming to an end, I was determined to get some filming done. I hope you enjoy it? Many thanks Mark.
    5 points
  2. It's heart-breaking news. Someone who contributed so much to the forum but who has sadly been taken before he could realise his layout dreams. We've shared Tony's ups and downs for over 7 years, and the poor man has endured his fair share of downs during that time, but he somehow managed to keep smiling and 'moving ahead'! I will miss his presence greatly here as I am sure the majority of our members will. My heartfelt condolences go to his wife and to all his family. Rest in peace Tony.
    4 points
  3. Spotted this on my bike ride today. Not sure what class it is, but definitely a 3-car EMU.
    3 points
  4. You can wait a long time for a train to come along... so when it does, better have the camera ready. Here, after a lot of maintenance work on clearing the track, is the 4MT on a local train, first heading along Bamboo Curtain Straight: Catching the driver passing Throstlebeck Sidings: Rounding Sycamore Curve Three shots at different points on Foxdale Bank And finally heading into the sun across the Northern Viaduct
    3 points
  5. Leaving the viaducts alone for the time being, I decided instead to clean the tracks round Worsley Dale (tick), trim back some encroaching vegetation (tick), vacuum along the viaduct tops (tick), clear away the cobwebs from inside the tunnels (tick), check all the points were still operating correctly (tick) and run a short train (tock...!!) Yes, there was nothing, the handset wouldn't connect to the router. But hold on a moment, it might help if I plug the router in (tick). That's right, it's been a long time since I did anything on Worsley Dale. However, that wasn't quite the end of my problems as even with the router plugged in the handset still wouldn't connect to the router. I tried connecting using the app on my phone and luckily that worked so I removed the batteries from the handset, replaced them and it finally connected. 37425 'CHARLIE BOWER' was chosen to haul the first train, a short 3 coach set and it completed the circuit without a single hitch and that was without running the CMX track cleaner and IPA solution round. In fact the CMX is up in the attic and I never bothered bringing it down. I had a good hour or two running the train round and filming short clips but it was very dull and the light wasn't the best. I haven't done anything along Buttlebank, the stretch along the bottom of the garden, for a long time now. This is where I began adding a rock face to form a cutting. It really should be near the top of my to do (to complete) list as it creates a nice backdrop for the trains. You'll motice the unfinished sections in the distance. Here's another couple of photos of 37425 approaching Watch House Tunnel
    2 points
  6. Hi Thomas, I've cheated I'm afraid, the stone viaduct is the only bridge on the railway that I didn't build myself. I found a guy who was selling them on eBay in 2016. It's a 00 scale model of the Moorswater Viaduct in Liskeard, Cornwall. The original model was made from individual crushed stones glued together and a rubber mould taken and then casting made in R.C. concrete. He was selling them as containers for alpine plants. I filled-in the groove down the centre with concrete where the pants once were to form a flat crackbed.
    2 points
  7. I haven't thought about this before, at least I don't think I've raised this point previously, but do you think our videos and photos reflect our experiences of the railway? In my photos and videos I do seem to show trains from low down viewpoints, at track level almost (when I can get the camera down there in the available space that is), because that's how I remember it. I used to stand on the lineside with trains rushing past me and experiencing the breeze. I was never a rail enthusiast so I didn't really see trains from a more distant viewpoint hence there's probably much less of those types of camera angles in my videos and photos. Just a thought.
    2 points
  8. The future of the forum appears to have taken over.....let's all make time for some modelling!
    2 points
  9. Again, here's just a small selection of some of the photos I've managed to take while out and about walking, and in some cases while at home. Many of these things we would normally just pass by without noticing but if you take your time to look there's an endless amount of subjects to photograph. A wild orchid. Found along a pathway we regularly walk along, and there were lots of them, but we've never stopped to look closely before. Since we started noticing, there are literally hundreds of them, especially along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal towpath. Taken in the back garden. So small you wouldn't have even noticed it but this little fly is, I think, a member of the Sapromyza family. I hadn't found it easy to get a really good photo of these at the time. There always seemed to be part of it out of focus, but this is a Common Blue Damselfly. And this was back-breaking work, much like building a garden railway. but I did manage to get this nice photo of a Grasshopper
    1 point
  10. So, just to prove that the work I've been doing at on my Dad's layout is real. Here are a couple of photos with the main lights in the garage off and just the lights on the railway on. First is a view of the Western end of the station, both pictures were taken on my phone which makes the scene brighter than it looks to the naked eye, I think that the real light intensity is more natural than it shows in the pictures. The transformer for the lights is set at 9v rather than the 12v the lights are intended to run at so even with higher value resistors they are still coming across bright in the pictures. I've posted pictures of the 158 in Platform 1 before and behind it is my blue-grey HST set. Second picture is a view from the Eastern end and shows more of the platform lights and the concrete footbridge built from two ratio kits and some odd bits and bobs. There is still some detailing and lighting to be put on the bridge and it will need weathered. A retaining wall needs to go behind Platform 4 along the back wall and a backscene behind that. I'm encouraging my Dad to do the retaining wall soon so I can finish the station lighting with a row of single lights along it the same design as the doubles I've used on Platform 1 around the station building and between platforms 2 and 3 in the centre.
    1 point
  11. Lockdown taught me there's much to be admired even in your own back yard though it took me some time to get the following two photos The bee photos required a lot of patience, especially capturing them in flight, but the next ones were quite a bit easier. Even in flight, hoverflies were a doddle compared to bees.
    1 point
  12. How sad that cheerful, optimistic Tony, always so full of ideas, new projects and revisions to the plans for his dream railway, has now left us. All the regular readers of this forum will share his family's sorrow and will miss his fascinating contributions, and digressions into shipbuilding and other things. The loss to his wife and family will be tremendous. Tony had shared with us an earlier family tragedy which must have been a great blow to him, although his positive and ambitious approach to model railway building may have helped him cope with that. It certainly kept him occupied, and the way he revised his plans to adjust to the recent house move was another sign of his can-do attitude. I shall be very sorry not to see any further contributions ending with that cheery byline: "Tony from down under keep on moving ahead".
    1 point
  13. You're correct Barry, Quinag is different from my earlier class 60s. It's had a small cut out to the chassis underneath the exhaust area making room for the standard TTS speaker. There's also the addition of holes in the roof moulding to allow the sound out I imagine. Looking at my class 60 in the lower half of that photo with the standrad speaker taped in position, albeit slightly cut down from its original size, you would think the body would fit back on easily. I've also checked Clic Sargent, my Colas liveried 60, and it also has the chassis mods so I'm not sure now what problems I had with that one. Maybe I was trying an alternative speaker at the time?
    1 point
  14. I was using the speaker that came with the decoder Dave. It's quite a low profile but nevertheless, still too deep to fit in the vacant space beneath the exhaust. I've actually seen several Yotube videos with people having the same problem only I didn't realise exactly what their problem had been until I came across it myself. There's the possibility of fitting the speaker at the opposite end but that requires removal of much of the engine room mouldings. The instruction sheet that comes with the decoder mentions something along the lines of "modifications will be required to fit a speaker in a locomotive that has not been designed for TTS sound" so I assume the 60's are included there. I don't believe there have been any factory-fitted TTS class 60's which perhaps says it all. Unfortunately if we wish to have sound in older models like these we have to be prepared to start carving and cutting to make room for a speaker. It's not quite so bad when you paid a reasonable price for the models a few years ago but these days they retail at around £170-£180.
    1 point
  15. Shortly after publishing the video featuring my weathering of the Bachmann 100 Ton TEA tank wagons I happened to look back at some of my previous videos, curious to see when they first featured on my garden railway and I discovered it was back in April 2010 on the Selby Garden Railway. It really doesn't seem that long ago and it's hard to believe that 11 years have since passed. Those old videos show that a lot of the stock I had at that time is still with me and they also remind of some of the items, mainly locomotives, that alas no longer are. I was remarking on YouTube about the length of time it has taken me to make a start weathering the tanks and then I noticed there are other wagons that I have similarly done nothing with and which were also part of the old SGR - the Autoballasters in particular have been with me for 10 years. The wagons from the days of the SGR have certainly stood the test of time and I'm sure they'll be good for many more years yet. 12 years ago I posted a video showing 60007 (still got that one) hauling 47 MGR's on the SGR which was replicating an actual working taking spoil from Selby Discharge to the landfill site at Welbeck near Normanton. I think that was my entire collection of MGR's at the time but they've now increased to more than 140! It's great to be able to look back over what you've done, what you've had and what you've let go. Much of it is forgotten without something to remind you and that's where YouTube and this OO Garden Railway forum comes in.
    1 point
  16. Here's the video of the TEA's runing this evening.
    1 point
  17. Above is 47715 Haymarket on the push-pull service And below is 37025 hauling a short freight and a short passenger
    1 point
  18. One of my least interesting videos but just to record that Worsley Dale is up and running again for the first time since February.
    1 point
  19. He's made a wonderful job of it...it looks fantastic doesn't it? If it were me I would be more concerned with wildlife damaging metal railings than I would be from any self-inflicted damage (though I am prone to being extremely clumsy at times). As you say, matching the quality of the stonework would be difficult for someone else to attempt, almost impossible perhaps. Maybe railings would be your better option - you'd just need to be extra careful. I have to say that it doesn't look too bad without any form of parapet walling or fencing but it would add that finishing touch to what is already a very impressive structure.
    1 point
  20. In a way I imagine that the larger the scale is the finer the wheel standards will be so it probably needs just as much care with track laying, if not more, than OO gauge does. And curves especially are where we experience most problems so they really do need to be as large as possible no matter what scale we are using. I notice the difference when running up in the attic compared to out in the garden where curves are much gentler. I've had a few problematic locos and coaches, ones that derailed over specific sections of track that every other item of stock passed over without a problem. It was always either a dip in the track or the tracks not level across so one side of the vehicle was lifting. Packing beneath the sleepers always seemed to cure it so it was all my fault for not geting the track right in the first place. My first bit of advice to anyone thinking of building a garden railway would be to ensure they get the track laid perfectly.
    1 point
  21. There are 12 full length storage roads on the non-viewing side of the layout and 3 sidings and a loop on the viewing side which allows me to run a good variety of rakes during any one session. Realistically you wouldn't expect to see some of the trains on more than one occasion over a period of a few hours, such as the Gypsum, Tilcon and Cawoods, possibly even the HEA hoppers. Perhaps I could get away with running the steel train more than once but the majority of traffic would certainly have been multiple sets of MGR and HTA hoppers. Even with 15 storage roads I am unable to put all my stock out at once so there are 100t tanks, Autoballasters, Plasmor opens, and additional steel wagons that are currently in storage boxes that could add to the variety of trains on view, not to mention passenger workings. But when I make videos it always seems to be the same collection of locomotives working and so today I made a start weathering two additional loco's that can join them to add some variety. Both have been photographed before and should already have featured in the thread. 31233 is a Hornby class 31 which has had the factory sound reblown with Howes. I've had this one quite some time and it's hardly ever run so it's not surprising that it screeched like hell when I first set it in motion though it has quietened down now after a drop or two of lubricant. I've started off with a wash painted over the body and wiped off with paper towel and cotton buds. From what I remember class 31s were always in need of a good clean so that's the way I'm heading with this one. I'll be finishing it off with the airbrush in a day or two. Although not really intended to do much running 09012 will often be seen idling away in the sidings but even so, it's far too clean so it's had similar treatment to the above and is now also awaiting attention from the airbrush. Class 60s play a big role on the layout hauling all types of traffic and so another member of the class will be very useful. I tend to keep these only very lightly weathered as here with 60070 'John Loudon McAdam' with the Loadhaul logo. Again it needs the airbrush to finish it off. Although still in need of its chassis weathering and a dusting along the body, 31123 is pictured here reunited with the chassis.
    1 point
  22. Oh yes, I remember Dave and his good lady. They were staying in their motor home so they could visit the railway over the whole weekend. I was there on Sunday and at lunch ba14eagle, Dave and his wife and a young guy (who's name I can't recall) all eat with Trevor in the garden, I was in the the conservatory (with all those amazing orchids over the wall) eating with Trevor's wife Janet,Trevor's cousin Alan and Angela (my Mum). It was an amazing day, Trevor and Janet were the perfect host's. I will remember that day for many years to come!
    1 point
  23. That's right, strictly speaking it's a reinforced concrete bridge clad with plasterboard.
    1 point
  24. That's more or less the point I was trying to make although I probably never explained it clearly. Most people stand over their layouts looking down on them or sit down looking across at them. Most people film and photograph them that same way probably because that's the viewpoint they've always had of the real railways - from the other side of the fence - looking over, down or across as the case may be. Wouldn't their videos of a model railway be filmed likewise as they attempt to recreate what they remember seeing? I wondered if it was possible to tell if someone had once been a railway employee just by the way they made videos of their layout, because I tend to do it in a way that wouldn't have been accessible to the general public (unless you were one of those chasing FS as I've already mentioined!). In my videos I like to make it appear that I'm standing right alongside the track as the trains trundle past which is where I often found myself. While I'm watching the footage back I waft a pad of paper about in front of me 😀
    1 point
  25. Also from this evening's session I took the following photos. One of the things that really strikes me when running trains round is just how big the Tilcon stone hoppers appear when you're positioned on the lineside. I'm not sure it quite comes across in the photo. I have in the past been tempted with O gauge but when I see these up close I feel perfectly happy with OO. It's the perfect gauge/scale. The steel coils have to be one of my most satisfying weathering jobs I really like the look of them and they look great passing by in a long rake. I'm also pleased with the Cawoods hoppers now that they've been weathered too. It really does bring them to life. A non-too familar 60 on the Gypsum today. I'm not entirely sure that this would ever have hauled the Gypsums while painted blue but I thought I'd give it a run as it compliments the wagons. But one of the annoying thngs with some locos is the fact that you can't turn off the tail lights. I'd sooner have non-working tail lights than ones you can't turn off. I place a piece of tape across the contacts to stop them showing - just haven't got round to iot with this one yet. The Gypsum wagons look nice with their dusty container frames.
    1 point
  26. I still like Paint! too. They've only removed the icon for that but it is still there. Use the search at the bottom of the start menu for paint. You might be lucky and find movie maker is still there too.
    1 point
  27. Don't worry about it Mark, I do that all the time and I'm supposed to be running the place! Great video of a wonderful garden railway. They can say all they want about indoor exhibition type model railway layouts but there's nothing beats seeing trains running out in the open. We've all remarked before about that lovely detailed viaduct but I'm just as taken by the cast concrete ones and the bridges which I think fit in extremely well with the outdoor style, nice and natural looking. I like to leave bits of decaying timbers and rusted wires etc. as they just make it all appear so natural. You've incorporated the whole lot into the garden in a really pleasing way. It doesn't stand out or overpower, it just naturally blends in. In fact thinking about it, I barely noticed the train as I was so engrossed in the landscape and scenery.
    1 point
  28. There was such a clattering up in the attic earlier this evening that I had to dash up there to see what the heck was going on! It was only flippin 'Dick Hardy' shunting some MGR wagons about in the sidings. Making a right racket he was. 09012 was attached to an empty canopy set on No.3 Down Side and to my astonishment it was able to drag the whole lot down towards the headshunt! I really expected it to struggle but there was just a bit of slipping as it passed over the points. With their shunting duties completed the crew made their way over to the shunters cabin where a brew had been prepared by the driver of 60048 who was waiting for his path. To be fair he's been waiting there a few days as the storage sidings on the other side are chocca. I really shouldn't be out walking alongside the mainline but I just fancied a look at things from the other side, as it were, while there were no trains about. Don't those rafters spoil the view over yonder? I wouldn't mind a go in that little yellow van later. It's been parked up here for ages now, probably since the early 80s, and it never moves anywhere. Last year it was parked up on top of that bridge in the distance behind a double decker bus of all things!
    1 point
  29. I think the ones on 60001 look like some some kind of prototype. They're not the same on the photo of 60008 which you posted (but which I had to remove due to the copyright message across it!) and those are how I remember them. The grey ones look ghastly in comparison. It's true. Prices of new and used models have sky rocketed these past few years and it's getting to the point now where I'm wondering if it's really worth it. It's strange because some of the smaller independent manufacturers seem to offer much better value for money, along with quality, than the more established ones.
    1 point
  30. Just thought I'd share some footage of some new models I got at a train show today, both ended up being absolute bargains , especially the 60.
    1 point
  31. I think that's a good idea Barry. Leave it with me and I'll sort something later.
    1 point
  32. Dammit, I never thought of an underground reservoir. That suddenly makes a little water feature in the corner of my garden feasible...😂
    1 point
  33. Well running water is going to look amazing beneath those bridges so I do hope you can incorporate it in some way. It should be easy enough to add a small pump for circulation providing you can retain the water where you want it. It was always my intention to add water beneath the girder bridges in the middle of my large viaduct but you know me....I just never seem to get round to doing these things. Those who know me well know all about that. Perhaps one day I will surprise everyone!
    1 point
  34. Thanks! Its all outside so I put trains out every time. However most of the time I'm just running one or two around whilst I do things. If I've a full relaxed day and its dry I'll fill up the fiddle yard 😄 There's also a shunting section so if I'm lazy I just play with that, though it only takes ten minutes with a track rubber, occasional wipe with alcohol to get going. There's an outdoor 240v socket for the controller and it plugs to the track with 2 pin plugs like you use for a mower.
    1 point
  35. How's it all going Barry? Have you got any photos of where you're at? I had to smile regarding the comment about tendonitis in your right knee because it's just something we all seem to experience at some point especially when working on a near ground level layout! I've had my fair share of that, not just with getting down low to access the layout but more generally with age I suppose. I started wearing a stretchy knee support on my right knee and began taking a daily dose of turmeric which has definitely helped with the swelling I used to endure. I noted your comments regarding levelling the blocks, I found that they could easily be sanded level using an old file in places where it was required. Obviously if it needs a lot of adjustment there may be more appropriate methods but for small adjustments the files the way to go.
    1 point
  36. This website/forum whatever, was a real find when I came upon it nearly 10 years ago and I did wonder how one man, i.e. Mick, could find the time and money to have created it. I would be very happy to contribute towards the costs involved but I am too old to learn new computer skills, besides which I already have 2/3 almost full time voluntary jobs which have prevented me making progress on my own garden railway. I have hesitated to suggest this, and I know there would be negative issues, but has the time come to offer the domain to a commercial organisation such as a magazine publisher? At one time Pat Hammond ran an online discussion forum, called Model Rail Express I think, and this was much less formal than RMWeb but appeared most days. There was a brave attempt to put this on a commercial footing when Pat decided it was time for him to retire but I don't think it ever really took off. I do hope oogardenrailway continues.
    1 point
  37. Wow.....nothing since March and none of the plans I had back then have even been started let alone accomplished. It's probably too late in the year for ballasting now. Apologies for the lack of any progress on Worsley Dale this year, it's all down to me meandering off course once again and becoming totally engrossed in another of my long-held interests. The only thing I have to share are images of my viaducts which have sustained slight damage due to the amorous advances of a certain pigeon to another of it's kind. The parapet walls have always been susceptible to damage and have been repaired several times already. I've obtained yet another type of exterior adhesive, this time it's 'Gorilla Heavy Duty Grab Adhesive' which is stated to be '5x stronger' and 'extra tough' so pigeons beware! It also dries 'crystal clear'. So this is Low Shott viaduct, the smaller of the two viaducts with a length of walling having been dislodged. And here is Stack Gill viaduct with two areas having been damaged, one not quite as badly as the other. Those pigeons do get about a bit! One day soon I will be getting round to repairing them, though it's not likely to be today despite the welcome bit of sunshine. Fortunately the rest of the layout appears to be in great condition considering the lack of attention it has received this year. It just goes to show that there's nothing wrong planning OO gauge out in the garden.
    1 point
  38. Very sad news. Tony provided a great deal of interest to the forum with his layout progress, other projects and general contribution. Thomas, if you are able to pass on my condolences to his family along with others that would be appreciated. He will be missed. Barry.
    1 point
  39. Hi, Yes, extremely sad news. It came as a huge shock. We had built up a really good friendship and we were in touch with him virtually on a daily basis up until he was admitted to hospital. Her really was a truly wonderful human being. We even swapped some of our rolling stock, one of which was his beautiful Flying Scotsman and 12 coaches. I will cherish these for ever. It's also so sad that he never got to finish all his big projects that he was working on. My condolences to Desley and his family. RIP Tony.
    1 point
  40. Long time no see eh? Yes it's me and I'm still here despite my lack of appearances on the forum of late. What have I been up to? Well, lockdown changed a lot of things for me and it made me see things from a different perspective as I'm sure it has with many of you too. Our 'hourly exercises' became the norm and we began visiting local places we wouldn't usually head to. We could no longer go to stay in our caravan on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and so began walking along the local riverside and visiting local nature reserves. It was great to take the camera along trying to capture photographs of some wildlife we had never seen previously. In fact I became so engrossed in photography again that I even ended up with a new camera! With the relaxing of lockdown restrictions we've simply been trying to make up for lost time, spending more and more time along the rivers and canals close to the caravan. The new camera was joined by a new lens and so it's gone on.... Both the garden and attic railways have taken a back seat during this time but I can assure you that it's not the end for either of them. There's work to do outdoors as a pair of amorous pigeons have damaged some of the viaduct parapets but I've got the glue to remedy that again when I get round to it. I made the decision to cancel a whole host of pre-orders for forthcoming model railway products and thinking about it I am really pleased that I did. I've got all that I need (and more!) and to be honest some of the most recent items I had obtained made me wonder just whether they were actually worth it. I suppose if you heart isn't 100% in it then they really aren't but that's something else. So while I am still here, and as I have posted elsewhere (admin) I do feel that the forum needs someone else to care for it and to move it forward. I would still like to contribute my own content to the forum as and when I can but I don't feel I can now dedicate the time required to administer it. I can't simply pull the plug and allow it all to disappear as I feel the forum belongs as much to everyone who has contributed to it with their content as it does to me so I really would like to hear suggestions as to how it can possibly be safeguarded.
    1 point
  41. Work inside is coming along and we now have a cowboy watching to make sure the bridge is ok 😁 The tunnel and hill are one piece and can be lifted off if access is needed to the point. Signal placement isn't ideal but I'm having to use a bit of "artistic license". If I put it further away from the tunnel the clearence is very tight. It does the job though. An in built sensor turns the signal red when a train passes then starts the timer to go through the light sequence. If the point is thrown the signal will stay red until it is put back in favour of the mainline. Being a traintech sensor signal I can buy another 2 sensors and place them along the outside section and link with a wire to replicate block signalling in the future.
    1 point
  42. 1 point
  43. The first circuit is closed, wired and put into operation. Pictures from the opening train.
    1 point
  44. Just some pictures...
    1 point
  45. Hi All, Many thanks for the compliments posted. In answer to your questions:- 1) No, all the builds only stay out side for the running that session! 2) Living in the south east of England we do have snow sometimes, but not that often, probably on average every fifth winter! 3) The station building is Backmann's Sheffield Park Station on the Bluebell Railway in I guess LBSCR colours (not southern green). This style of building is the closest I could get (ready made off the shelf) to the old East Grinstead station, as the architectural design at both stations was similar, apart for the fact that E.G. was double fronted and S.P. only single. 4) The railway's name "Snow Hill" is where I live and does not have any reference to any true Station locality! 5) When it comes to my layout, I'm not a purest, I just want to get the feel of the stations I like! It's not an exact copy but taken as a starting point for my designs. As to the size of the layout, I'll try to give a brief description. Brief Layout Description The layout consists of a double track secondary main line (I say "secondary" because there are a number of tight bends, 3~5ft radius! This was un-avoidable due to the area available, so the line needs to have speed limits at various point to look authentic!). The line is a continuous circuit flattened into an "L" shape which measures approximately 57 feet X 18 feet, with a total lap being around 160 feet. The shorter side of the "L" is at ground level, but the longer side falls away by about 2 feet. There are two Main Stations, one at ground level at the top of the garden and the other is elevated on a raised flower bed, the double track line passes through both stations twice on its circuit. The station at the top has a platform layout based on that of Lewes station in Sussex. There is also a single track branch from this station approximately 22 feet in length down to the garden pond. The other station already pictured in my previous posting the other day is based on the old two level station at East Grinstead, Sussex (The Bluebell Line!) of which the upper level closed in 1967! The History of the Line My first attempt at building a garden railway was in the late eights as a teenager. It was constructed from old timber floor boards acquired from a Scrap Yard on concrete piers. In those days the domestic planning restrictions were very tight and the line could only follow the edge of the existing flower beds and no plants were to be moved. As I couldn't complete a continuous circuit, the train could only shunt up and down. Then over time the boards started to warp, I soon lost interest and the line was abandoned. The second attempted was started in 1992 and this time I was working, so had money to build a concrete track bed at ground level (on the site of the previous line, although the top loop was re-designed to smooth out the curves). Again planning restrictions hadn't changed much and the overall length of the line couldn't be agreed, but I carried on regardless and got about 120 feet of double track working. The line now passed over three concrete bridges, a 5 arch viaduct and than through a rockery behind the pond via two tunnels built from 6 inch soil pipes with a re-moveable timber track bed inside! Then came the line's first major obstacle!!!! Beyond the rockery the ground dropped sharply by 500mm. To bridged this gap two 14 arch viaducts side by side were built to take both main lines across to complete the circuit at the bottom loop. Construction of the viaducts was from 1995 to 1996. I was now so far down the garden that I was running out of space for a closing loop, though an agreement still couldn't be found on how achieve this!. I had hopes to build a garden shed at this point to house this loop, but talks broke down completely!!! All planning permission was flatly refused! "NO LOOP AND NO SHED WAS TO BE BUILT!". Now with nowhere for the line to go, my only option was for two terminus stations out side, this wasn't an option for me as it meant installing many points etc. So tracks were never laid across the viaducts and the only use it saw was by our cat who used it as a sundeck! The whole line fell into neglect owing to a design fault of the top loop being too tight! Then it was decided that a new larger pond was to be installed on the site of the existing pond and rockery and therefore cutting across the line! Both tunnels, bridge and viaduct had to be demolished to make way for the new pond along with a now disused station and 30 feet of track bed. The line was abandoned again for bout four years until 2001 when I started closing the gap in the track bed each side of the pond. A new timber & steel viaduct decking was then built across the pond. Finally in 2002 permission was finally granted for the closing loop at the bottom of the garden to be built on a raised flower bed with a brick retaining wall. Construction started straight away by the end of the year the track bed and track work was complete. However trains still couldn't complete a full circuit as the ground level loop at the top of the garden needed to be re-designed and re-built! Then in 2003 there was a death in the family and it was looking likely that the property would now be sold! For the next nine years the property was empty, then finally in 2012 it was decided the it was going to be kept in the family. I moved back in that year and after doing a lot of work on the house, in 2013 I turned my attention to re-building the top loop to finally complete the layout. This time being my third attempt at this section of the line, I increased the size of radius. This meant crossing the main garden path twice, previously the line was not allowed to cross any path, I got around this by lowering the track bed slightly and raising the path so that two tunnels could pass underneath. This was quite a major civil engineer design as it would require the shorter tunnel being 1.7 metres in length and the longer at 2.7m. I have achieved this with a cut and cover method plus casting in two aluminium inspection covers so that no section of the tunnel is longer than two arm lengths for track cleaning etc. So far this has been a complete success and if there is a major fault practically all the tunnel roof can be removed! The Future! 2015 has seen the railway has take a back seat yet again as other projects have taken my time (including re-building a Garage). There are still lots to be done on the railway to complete to both station areas and the viaduct over the pond needs detailing added, BUT I'm hoping that a 40 ft. extension of the bottom loop will see the line enter the new Garage and therefore make it possible to stable my rolling stock in the dry without the trauma of having to pack the trains up at the end of each running session! But that's another story!!!! I think I have said enough for one posting!! Regards Mark
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  46. Hello everyone! Unfortunately I have very sad news for you. Desley, the wife of Tony (aussietmrail) informed me in the early morning (for me) of September 24th that Tony had passed away in the morning (in Australia). He must have been very unwell the days before. To be honest, I still can't quite get it. I will definitely miss the "Talks with Australia" very much. Kind regards Thomas
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