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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/05/2020 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    A little later than planned but here finally is a video with action over the past 2 days mainly featuring the SLW class 24 quartet in yesterday's bright sunshine.
  2. 4 points
    Yes Mick, the two viaducts are still there! Both are in need of repair, I should rebuild them, but that's too big of an undertaking to stomach, just the thought of replacing 8 metres of viaduct in-total......! I will have to put a speed restriction on the trains crossing! WEAK BRIDGE! Only half of the line is at ground level, after the pond the ground drops away so the track is about 500mm above ground, running over elevated rockeries before entering the garage. Here are some photos of the extension to the garage, which includes two tunnels (one has an oversized ventilation shaft, but it's fun to look down and see the trains pass through), and yet another viaduct.
  3. 3 points
    It's bucketing it down outdoors right now so that looks like the end of play for today. I've just managed to add Kadee couplings to a couple of Bachmann MK2F coaches, stick on some paper corridor connectors and give them a quick run out along with a couple of MK3 sleepers behind the ETHEL. Poor old ETHEL has been sitting at the side of the loco shed at Shieling Bridge for months without moving a wheel so it was good to finally get her moving. Here's the train formed behind 37114 'Dunrobin Castle' crossing over Low Shott viaduct and heading in towards Shieling Bridge. Half a dozen photos and 3 video clips is all I managed before I had to hurriedly pack everything away
  4. 3 points
    We all have those kind of days now and again Iain, days where nothing seems to go right and everything seems to have been a waste of time. Lanzarote will still be there when everything sorts itself out but for the time being just enjoy what's available to you - there are far worse places around than Wiltshire to be confined. It's only 23 degrees in Lanzarote right now anyway, you'd catch your death of cold. Put the On30 to one side for another day - I find that works a treat for me. If it's still giving you grief then let it go and concentrate on what you do best with the OO gauge. It's disappointing when you receive something you've been looking forward to that doesn't work properly but it's not the end of the world. Sure there's going to be a delay of a few days while they get another one out to you but if it's what you want then it'll be worth the wait. As Dave says, just ask for a Royal Mail certificate of posting in the same way Hattons recommend you do, and it's then no longer your problem as you've done as you were instructed.
  5. 3 points
    Found this video of a really great H0 garden layout based on US motifs. Probably from the Czech Republic, but it really gave me new ideas. Have a look, it's worth it.
  6. 3 points
    I've managed to salvage the following footage taken over the past couple of days although there's nothing featuring the new Scotrail HST worth adding. I need to sort out those wobbly coaches at the very least before it can be seen.
  7. 3 points
    I was looking forward to posting some footage of the Scotrail HST and my latest class 37/4 but typically it's been a day spent faffing around trying to get things working properly. I'm sure Hornby are well chuffed with their Scotrail HST power cars and reasonably priced matching coaches but unless you're prepared to accept a massive gap between coupled vehicles you are going to want to change the couplings to bring the coaches closer together. I was delighted to see the coaches now have NEM sockets so it's a simple matter to pull out the tension locks and replace them with my preferred Kadees but how on earth do they expect you to couple them to the power cars? Pull the tension lock from the power car, replace it with a Kadee, and it ends up much lower than the adjacent coach - so low in fact that the Kadee trip pin is between the sleepers. I've had to fashion a scrap piece of plastic, drill through the shank of a Kadee coupling and the plastic, glue them together and insert a track pin through the previously drilled hole for additional strength and then secure that on top of the power car coupling drawbar so that the height of the Kadee is correct. It's a £400 rake of vehicles and I'm drilling and gluing bits of plastic to them just so they couple closer together. When I eventually got it coupled together it would run for a while and then stop abruptly as if there was some resistance in the motor. I ended up removing the body only to find one of the pickup wires had come adrift on the PCB. Out with the soldering iron this time! £400? Anyway, all's well that ends well as they say and from there on in, apart from a slight annoying wobble from coach B, it's run perfectly for the best part of two hours. There's clearly going to have to be diversions in place for me to justify this on Worsley Dale but you've got to love the HST's haven't you? It's fitted with twin TTS sound decoders that make quite a noise even outdoors, though I'm not sure how prototypical it is. Next job is to fit corridor connectors to hide the remaining gaps between vehicles. I've never been entirely happy with the alignment of the track coming off Low Shott viaduct and onto the points where the track changes to double. The track on the viaduct really needed moving over slightly but because it's been ballasted it's always seemed too much trouble however, today was the day I decided to do something about it. I cut the track on top of the viaduct and removed a section probably 15 to 18 inches in length which I replaced with a spare length. I'm really pleased with the exterior varnish I used for the ballasting - it was still solid but not too difficult to remove, even from the strip of roofing felt which I was able to reuse.
  8. 3 points
    Has anyone else noticed that lockdown + good weather has seen the popularity of garden railway expand and actual layout grow. Besides the new active member on here there are a load of new 00 gauge garden railway videos on youtube as well. Long may it continue.
  9. 3 points
    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....
  10. 2 points
    Have to say those pictures had me fooled l thought they were real 12in /ft scale.
  11. 2 points
    I decided to use the airbrush in the attic this afternoon as that's where it's been stored for the past few months. It also gave me the opportunity to run the loco's round Skew Bridge once they'd been weathered. 37411 and 37419 have now had their chassis weathered as well as their roofs and a little extra weathering on their bonnet tops. I coupled them together on the rake of BDA wagons as that's the most appropriate load up there. Those BDA's are in need of weathering too. 37025 has also had some additional weathering to its roof as it looked a bit too 'brown' previously. I allowed it to dry by letting it take over from 411 to have a run out. Unfortunately it appears that 411 has gained a slight wobble from somewhere, which annoys the hell out of me, so I'll have to take that one apart again to investigate. Hopefully it will be an easy fix.
  12. 2 points
    Evening all, I'm Chris from sunny (well, sometimes) south Devon and I'm currently in the middle of building my first garden railway for my little lad who is 4 this year. A quick bit about me I suppose. My father and I built a 00 gauge layout in my bedroom when I was about 8, we then moved to the loft and expanded. We moved to Devon and again started a project in the loft this time switching to DCC. Years have flown by! We were just getting to the scenery part of the loft then I moved out, got married and had a little dude with another on the way. My son is MAD on trains and with permission from the chief we have been given the green light to get a garden railway setup. It will be a single line loop which doubles back on itself giving the impression of a double line most of the way around and my dad is building us a nice bridge to add to the interest. We are using inside the garage as our main station and "Thomas style diesel works". I've done a lot of research and went with 18mm ply supported by lengths of batten, treated fence posts, paint, 15yr roofing felt etc. There seems to be a million ways to do it and a lot of opinions on the right way so I've just gone with what works for me. The layout will be DCC operated with point motors, signals etc and hopefully controlled by something like the Z21 system so I can tweak train speeds from the comfort of my chair in the garden using my phone or tablet. I'll be having a go at building the platforms from scratch and also a dabble at weathering buildings etc for the first time. Anyway, enough waffle, lets have some pictures Hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying the nice weather when it appears. Cheers P.S - I decided to call it the pickle line as that's our nickname for our son
  13. 2 points
    So I spent a couple of hours this afternoon just running trains a s a reward for soldering joints left right and centre. I thought I'd do some video's at the same time, however, it doesn't always turn out right.... I had 6 trains out on the layout this afternoon, with two in each direction at once, the most I've run solo. Can't wait for this lockdown to be over so I can have my planned "open day" with friends round to drive whilst I film!
  14. 2 points
    Hi Chris, welcome to the forum You're right, there's many ways to build a layout outdoors and I think if you take a look through the layout threads on here you'll find most of us have chosen to do it our own particular way. Elevated layouts like the one you're constructing are, in my opinion, less susceptible to the effects of the UK climate than layouts built close to or at ground level. I would think that you'll be fine with 18mm ply, a coating of preservative and a covering of roofing felt. I use the Z21 system outdoors having transferred the Prodigy Advance system to the attic layout and I'm slowly getting used to it now. It seemed awkward at first because I was more used to having dials and buttons rather than sliding my fingers up and down a screen and I still find a traditional handset preferable and easier to use but Z21 does have its advantages. The drawback I find is that it's not easy to see a screen display outdoors, especially in bright sunshine, which is where I tend to be when operating my layout so I tend to use the WLANMAUS wireless handset when away from the shed section. I've made it my mission to avoid using point motors outdoors wherever I can and operate my layout with just a single motorised point in the garden section. I'd like to add signals to the ground level section but I doubt it's something that could be left out permanently and I don't want to get round to having to put things out and pack things away later. I don't believe the 'chief' fell for that one for one minute! So apart from 'Thomas' what else are we likely to see on the Pickle Line in the near future? Do you still have the stock from your previous layout?
  15. 2 points
    More work done - the branch junction is in, and the point control rods. I also managed to lay some more track towards the tunnel. Here’s a good shot showing the super elevation. The weather is meant to be cracking for the next few days so I’m going to attempt to make it round to the station area, then start going back the other way from the other side of the viaduct.
  16. 2 points
    Further to my previous post and just as a reminder for @jimbob that if you choose to implement sprung points on your layout you may need to add additional weight to some of your lightest wagons. I found that coaches were fine but small 2-axle wagons really do need some additional weight otherwise they tend to ride up onto the point blades rather than pushing them across. Just the tonic! Today I rediscovered just what it is that I love about the garden railway - it's the high quality sound from a really top notch model locomotive. It's been a few years now since I purchased my first SLW (Suttons Locomotive Works) class 24 and I remember being enthralled with the sound quality and driveability that these little loco's offer. Since purchase they've more or less remained in their boxes apart from one or two brief running/photo sessions but today has been the first time that all four models have made an appearance on track at the same time and it's just been a really wonderful experience. They've performed faultlessly and sound superb. Most of the time I've simply run them round light engine but 24081 had a Kadee fitted previously and so I was able to couple it up to a rake of blue/grey Mk1s and send it on its way. It's great fun accelerating, coasting, and then manually 'braking' the train to a stand. Here's a few photos of 24081 And here's another two SLW class 24 loco's on Shieling Bridge shed. D5098 in BR Green with small yellow warning panel can be seen in front of D5000
  17. 2 points
    Jon Price at The Bradnor Branchline. I bought my first stone cast one going on for 10 years ago and more recently the resin cast one as seen in the above photos. Looking at his website it appears his online store is going through an extremely lengthy 'refurbishment' so perhaps if you're interested it would be best to drop him an email or phone. I wouldn't expect an immediate response to either an initial contact or a future order - it does take some time getting through to him and receiving your goods. http://www.thebradnorbranchline.com
  18. 2 points
    I had some track delivered over the weekend so I got on with laying a double thickness track bed using more felt and today I started track laying. It’s not the quickest job because I’ve got transition curves and super elevation to factor in. I’m just waiting for a few more points and I’ll be able to get all of this section laid as a double line, then it’s back on to the station frames to finish those off with felt and then start laying track on that bit. I made a schoolboy error and didn’t order enough track to do a complete double track circuit, but there’s more turning up at the end of the month, by which time, I should have this lot wired up. The CDL unit hasn’t arrived yet so nothing to report back on the AD1-HP yet but I’ll crack on as soon as it lands.
  19. 2 points
    It's not long since the loop line was reinstated but today I've taken most of it back up and replaced it with some new concrete sleepered track. I've left two lengths of wooden sleeper in place where 'the loop' joins the points immediately after Low Shott viaduct as those 2 lengths hadn't been altered so it seemed a waste to discard them. I suppose now that the track has been reinstated, the point motors removed, and with the points themselves acting as 'spring points' I should refrain from calling it the 'loop' as it now forms a double track section. I'll have to decide whether it's going to be the up or the down. I was never going to be happy with the old wooden sleeper track so I'm really glad I decided to replace it. I feel like I can safely move on now and begin thinking about ballasting. Although there's not been much happening outdoors I have managed to fit sound to another class 37/4 as well as to the Scotrail HST which has now been joined by its set of coaches. I was hoping maybe to run one or both today but I've run out of time so that's for another day.
  20. 2 points
    I agree with @scoobyra that the viaduct on the garage extension looks magnificent and not something I would have expected to find on an OO gauge garden layout. If that's a commercially available product I might have to start thinking about an extension on Worsley Dale! The Hornby Dublo girder bridge sides look entirely at home spanning across the pond, forming a structure that you can be incredibly proud of - a stunning setting. After going back over your earlier description of the layout, I do hope that all the uncertainty has now passed and that you can continue to develop and extend this wonderful layout. I hope too that sharing your efforts on the forum will give you that extra incentive to press forward and bring it to fruition.
  21. 2 points
    That stone viaduct is exactly what I need for my railway Mark, did you make that yourself? It’s fantastic.
  22. 1 point
    Oh I think 37s are one of the few loco's that actually suit EWS livery and it was a video of a pair working the West Highland line that made me want to create the double header. They make a nice change from large logo and they're something I can realistically use either outdoors or up in the attic. Thanks Jim. I'd forgotten just how good it felt to be up with the attic layout - I've spent so much time lately outdoors that it's been completely overlooked. There's still work to be done up there but at least there's plenty of opportunities for running trains now and it's not all about construction. I still need to get the hang of the camera's and find the best way of taking photos and videos.
  23. 1 point
    Although I don't always have the correct loco's and associated rolling stock I do enjoy trying to recreate some of the scenes I've stumbled across either in online videos or through photos in various books and magazines. The double-headed class 24's running earlier in the week were an example of that although the actual loco's should have been class 26's, but never mind. Anyway, moving on in time and another scene that caught my imagination was of double-headed class 37's from 1999/2000 with both loco's in EWS livery and again, I've got two suitable class 37/4 loco's, one of which actually featured in the video, and so I've decided that the next time I have the layout operating I will be getting these speed matched and coupled together. Here they are posing earlier today on Low Shott viaduct having been fitted with chips and some added detailing. I'll have to see how they perform because 37419 is a pretty old model now and only has pickups and drive to 2 axles on either bogie. I see I even managed to grab the photo while 419 wasn't sitting properly on track! Another loco that's being prepared ready for use is 37415 in InterCity Mainline livery which it received in 1990 before transferring away from Scotland. It wouldn't have been seen working in Scotland like this, rather more at home around the Blackpool area I think, but again I'm not looking for 100% authenticity. I just want something that looks right without needing to go down the renumbering route. Maybe in time I'll feel differently but for now I'm happy to leave them as they are.
  24. 1 point
    It depends what the actual radii you are using are. If you are using setrack radius curves then best to use setrack track centres. Also depends on rolling stock. 0-6-0s and 4 wheel wagons will probably pass at streamline centres even at setrack radii. The Hornby 800 / Azuma / IET set might be unlikely to pass another 800 set at Streamline spacing below 1200mm radius.
  25. 1 point
    I think it's a wise move to keep everything 'electronic' under cover of the garage. It's quite possible to have motorised points out in the open as you'll have seen on several other layout threads but I would always recommend keeping things as simple as possible. The less there is to go wrong or cause problems the better the experience will be, especially for the youngster. Get the layout up and running well first and then you can add things at a later date should you feel the need to do so. I've been running my current layout since 2012 or so and rather than adding to it, I try to take away as many complications and sources of potential problems as possible. It's a sense you only gain after a few years of experiencing the frustrations that garden layouts can deliver. The loft layout looks nice. Does you Dad still use it regularly? Is it still a work in progress?
  26. 1 point
    So, after yesterdays frustrations with the On30 and OO, I cleaned up the O gauge and gave some recent purchases a run out. The Heljan Hymek has had sound fitted by YouChoos, who, luckily for me, are only about 5 miles away. The 2 plate wagons are kit built and thus very light - lots of weight soon got them to stay on the track. Unfortunately, the builder has put some plate loads on them - I had a different plan, but hey ho. The hoppers suffer from the same issues - hence the temporary addition of the golf balls! The 12t open (Skytrex) has a massive lump of weight in it - that was only gonna pull everything else off! The brake van isnt new, but has now got a working tail lamp.
  27. 1 point
    Signed for is only £1 extra by Royal Mail you get proof of postage and you can track it as well. NEVER use Hermes to send anything expensive signed for or not as they rarely pay out for lost items and are a bunch of cowboys, l should know l used to work for them !
  28. 1 point
    Thanks for the link to that US outline layout, Thomas. It's fantastic. I love all those dramatic bridges, the tunnel, the mesas set in concrete, and the concrete desert landscaping which is very effective. There's no point in having an outdoor layout unless you can run scale length trains! I see there's another video showing aspects of that layout's construction here: https://youtu.be/mJv1kVflGM4
  29. 1 point
    Mixed traffic and mixed fortunes Today began with yet another outing for the coal train of 16 ton mineral wagons, pulled this time by the elderly Hornby Dublo 8F. About half the train is Hornby Dublo, as can be seen from the solid brake gear. Anyone counting rivets? Shame about the cab full of motor. Then at Throstlebeck, a BR Standard 4-6-0 came past with a cross-country passenger train. Being the 1950s, there is no provision on the train for refreshments. Then, as the train ran past Black Ghyll, there was the sound of wheels bouncing on sleepers, and disaster struck: The engine and first vehicle stayed on the track; the following eight didn't. The occupants of Sycamore Lodge were very lucky to escape harm - and so was the railway, as no damage was done to any of the coaches. The cause of the accident was the nut on the regulator. He was away from the controls, setting up his camera to take a video - which is always tempting fate!
  30. 1 point
  31. 1 point
    Test piece of track weathered and painted. The weather has been a bit rubbish over the last two days so I’ve not been able to do much, except make a start on the viaduct. This is a Wills plastic kit that I’m probably going to fill with resin. I need to extend the piers too. Hopefully I can get some more track laid soon.
  32. 1 point
    The sleeper waiting for the freight to clear was a real highlight.
  33. 1 point
    Quick Mike! There's a bloomin' great caterpillar on your railway
  34. 1 point
    Hello All, As a new member on the 00gardenrailway website, I thought I would upload some photos of my Snow Hill & Valley Garden Railway.
  35. 1 point
    There’s some tiny track pins to temporarily tack the track down until I ballast and glue it. As for the cant, I do it all by eye, although 2mm is about the most you’d ever want to go. I’ve just used strips of felt, pushed under the sleepers and the further you go towards to centre, the more elevation you get. The downside to doing it this way, and I’ve seen many people on YouTube so it - some of them with thousands of followers, is that the trains lurch in to the corners. At the moment, most of the track is floating, so it’s very smooth, and once the ballast goes down, it will fix it in place. In the real world, the elevation rotates around the track centre, so the inner rail would drop, but it’s way too long winded to do it in model form.
  36. 1 point
    Really enjoying following your build Mike. It's all extremely well constructed and your experience with exhibition layouts really does shine through. I think anyone contemplating an OO gauge garden layout would be well advised to digest this thread - though we're only currently on page 2 and you're already close to having an operational layout! The double thickness trackbed along with superelevation in the above photos looks really good - there's going to be some stunning camera angles with your HST's running round there.
  37. 1 point
    Putting the bridge together was very simple, the girder sides are from the old Hornby Dublo metal single track bridges made in the 1950's/60's. I bought them on eBay, but it was hard to find just the sides alone as normally they are complete with their original box and cost £60-£70. That was too expensive for me, plus I didn't have the heart to dismantle such a collectable item. Luckery I found enough sides being sold much cheaper at about £23 per span. I also found on eBay a man who makes the double track width beam replacements that connects the girders above the track. The first four of these I bought (some time ago) were in cast metal, but the fifth one I purchased thee weeks ago is in resin. In reality the bridge spans from one side of the pond to the other, the track deck is timber pickled in creosote and reinforced with two mild steel angles. The columns which are made of plastic pipe, only extend about a foot below the water level. Here are some more photos taken before the bridge was painted. (All the photos of this bridge were taken in the last two weeks on my phone).
  38. 1 point
    Styrene cab Just the roof to cut, and some tidying up of those edges.
  39. 1 point
    I thought the same, but I think whats going on is that they've offset some of the cost with the PSU, as that seems rather expensive to me.
  40. 1 point
    More work today - station frames built, just need to add a bit more bracing to the left hand side and then I can put the tops on. I also got the lift out section done along with the station extension frame. Block walls for raised gravel bed which will have rocks on around the tunnel portals and upturned planters for piers at the site of the second bridge.... Still no track though....
  41. 1 point
    I think it's this: Mind-your-own-business or baby’s tears, Soleirolia soleirolii (syn. Helxine soleirolii) is a creeping perennial with tiny rounded leaves. Despite looking pretty in cracks in paving, it re-grows from the smallest stem sections and can soon get out of control. It is especially difficult to control in the lawn. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=348
  42. 1 point
    Looks like a Sedum Mike.
  43. 1 point
    Yes, there's been a noticeable increase in interest in OO garden railways with several new layouts appearing online as well as a lot of progress made with existing layouts on our forum. The 'lockdown' has certainly been a contributory factor coupled with the long dry sunny spell during Spring. I'm sure had the weather not been so kind it would have been a different story as, even with lots of time on your hands, a garden railway isn't much fun when it's bucketing down with rain! But yes like you, I hope interest in OO garden railways continues to thrive and people continue to bring new ideas and methods to the forum and the wider community.
  44. 1 point
    Hi Mike, wow what a great idea in constructing the frame work on your curves, yeah as Andrew has said too , I am another big fan of gentle curves , I have thought of doing the same construction as yours , now I will choose the same way for my large curves knowing that will work , most of my main line curves are 7 feet , there are two curved section 12 feet which is an S bend coming off my bridge . You must be working every day I can work a couple days a week cutting being so close to neighbours., mine is modular set up can't be permanent, I like mock- up's too. Keep the great work up , look forward to further progress pic and welcome to our forum. Tony from cold down under.
  45. 1 point
    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!
  46. 1 point
    So your wooden structures look very stable and seems well made. This gives your railroad a really solid base. Great work!
  47. 1 point
    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...
  48. 1 point
    So now you’ve seen the plan, it’s time to show you what it looks like. The whole thing is built like set track, wooden blocks of varying angles 4/5/6 degrees screwed and glued together to make a frame... The frame is bolted together in 6ft-ish sections and sits on top of PVC pipe posts, sunk in to 8” of concrete. The frame is treated 75x22 timber and once assembled, it’s given two coats of wood protector.
  49. 1 point
    After a long running session on Friday, not much moved over the weekend. A couple of bonds had failed, both rails on the same track join! That was desoldered on Saturday and a unit was run back and forth through it to check all was well. The rest of the time was spent pondering, or beard stroking, spending more time thinking about a problem than working on it. I have one moveable platform. Its made of the cheap Hornby platform sections. On Friday I thought of how I could improve the end ramps to fit in with the scenics I have at one end and will be creating next at the other. The beard stroking was about how I would go about building the new end ramps. I actually started the job on Saturday, before tea, bu this is no indication that it will be finished this year. Anyhow. Low I did finish it on Sunday. The before and after show the new design. The platform looks longer, and it is, but only by 15cm. I've moved it down to fill the gap between the station and the scenic board. This has freed up space at the other end for a new scenic board, I have over a meter to play with between the Pub and the Station. the space to the right of the tracks needs a small railway yard building on it, S&T cabinets etc. The platform looks part of the scene now, rather than something plonked by the railway. I've already started the beard stroking on the new scenic board.
  50. 1 point
    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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