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MarkE last won the day on October 8 2021

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  1. Yes Mick, you've found the link to that very same guy I bought the viaduct from! The pictures are the same ones I described in his front garden. I remember him telling me at the time that he had weathered his, but I can't call how he did it!
  2. Well, when I said I had cheated, it was partially in jest! No, l understand we all have to buy commercial items, cost considerations alone for the building materials and equipment required would have been too great for me to build a one off structure like this! This guy who was producing them had it set up as a small ebay business, he had started by making models of Cornish mining buildings and chimmies etc. as garden ornaments (all in concrete) and had then expanded his range. I would have loved to have bought several viaducts to put together, he had three or four in his front garden, it looked spectacular! All I want to add now are parapet walls, but l'm unsure the best way to go about it? The full size version has metal railings, if I did that, I would be worried about damaging them when climbing over, if I go for parapet stone walling, I wouldn't have the confidence that I could match the high quality of the rest of the structure.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Yes, ba14eagle was there the day I went, but I didn't realise who he was until he posted a video of his visit on YouTube.
  6. Yes, there are some amazing 00 garden railways on YouTube, but they are so hard to find! These are two of my favourites that I've come across that are in complete obscurity on YouTube.
  7. Also, some of you may have noticed in the video, in places there are many line side miniature strawberry plants, and boy do they spread!!! At least I have some nice treats to eat as I clean the track! Perhaps I should have named the the railway "The Strawberry Line" or better still "Strawberry Fields"!
  8. Many thanks Mick for your comments, they are very much appreciated. For me the railway must blend into the garden, it all goes hand in hand. I was very lucky to visit Trevor Jones' magnificent Garden Railway five years ago and his ethos of setting the railway into the garden landscape has inspired me to try and do the same to the best of my abilities. Spending time on the gardening is more important than the railway. However, at the moment my garden is a bit over grown, ( I should have trimmed the grass before filming! Ha ha!) I do find where the vegetation grows next to a ground level crackbed, the maintenance is much higher and many more derailments to boot!! I am contemplating adding more rock edging to the trackbed to ease maintenance and keep the dirt etc. away from the track, but I don't want to lose that natural look I have achieved so far, (I must say Mick, the natural stone look on your garden railway is brilliantly done). My garden is naturally quite shady and moss grows abundantly, so I reckon any rocks would soon be covered with a thick layer of moss, I just have to let nature do its own thing! "Stonecrop" and "Mind-your-own-business" are very good close to the crackbed. "Lily of the Valley" also looks good, but dies back in the autumn.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. Hi All, Well it's been a very long time since I posted anything as the future of the railway has been in question once again, but hopefully this time our boundary dispute is resolved, so the future is looking up for the railway. Progress is slowly gaining on finishing the extension into the garage, but I have also been improving the existing layout. The main project to date has been to complete the viaduct over the pond. The first two photos are of the gap with the old bridge deck removed and then the new installed Bridge.
  13. 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
  14. Hello All, As a new member on the 00gardenrailway website, I thought I would upload some photos of my Snow Hill & Valley Garden Railway.
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