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Stenbrädet Järnväg / Quarry Hill Railway


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Hi All, 

Here are some musings for my new railway.

I plan to call it Stenbrädet Järnväg or the Quarry Hill Railway, depending if i'm running Swedish or UK stock. 

The line will start in a fiddle yard shed, run almost immediately into a largeish station area. Eventually this area will also feature a 'Dog Bone' return loop. Out of the station, the line will run down the garden, towards the 'Garden Shed' where it will disappear into a tunnel and run behind the shed. 

On the other side of the shed the line will run in mostly 'open country' into it reaches the end of the garden, were there will be a small village with station, and entry into some kind of heavy industry - probably a stone pit or slate quarry.

Here the line will turn left ad head to the other side of the garden, again mostly in sparse open country, or wooded/forested areas.i

Scenically, the railway will be based on central and northern Sweden, but will be entirely fictional in location.

I'm planning on 5 phases of building over the next few years. Phase 1 will see the Fiddle yard Shed and the Garden shed tunnel being installed. Phase 2 will see the line between the two connected, including the main station area. Phase 3 should hope to see the line from the tunnel to the industrial area, Phase 4 will complete the line to the other end of the garden with another small village and possibly some kind of logging operation. Phase 5 will see the two 'Dog Bone' return loops at the ends of the lines added, with the mainline between the 3 stations turned into a double main line. from here, it will only be scenic work, and possibly signalling. 

as for control, I'm planning on having a dual DCC and DC switch over setup. on the DC side, there will be a master controller which will have access to the entire line, and all branches. A local controller will also be provided for each station area. switches will be provided to isolate sections and switch between controllers. DCC will share the DC Master controller feeds, and be isolated by a master switch to switch between DCC and DC operation. Switching to DCC will lock out the local DC controllers. 

For baseboards, I'm still deciding on the material, but despite the advise (which is much appreciated btw!), I'm leaning towards OSB sheet still. The main reason is cost, and thus the cost of construction mistakes while I'm still perfecting building, will be far less. I also believe with the protection i'm planning, I'll get at least 5 years out of the OSB. I'm still not 100% on this however. 

I think thats about it for now... I've added pictures that show the 'route'. Numbered 1 to 9, they start at the fiddle yard shed, and work down.  If you have any questions on my plans, feel free to ask! :)










Edited by Stese
post overhaul & image order
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Glad you manage to get the photos arranged correctly - it takes a bit of getting used to but once you get the knack it's fine.

So, I was about to say it's been two years since you posted your original plans for a garden railway but in fact it's been almost three! You've certainly had plenty of time to mull things over in the meantime. I hope after the upheaval at your previous home that you're now settled and can plan for the future.

Splitting up the construction into phases is a good way to go about it. Even the smallest garden layout can be a lot of work so it's wise to plan ahead if you can. It's probably best to do it so that you can use the sections you've completed in some way, even if it's only for out and back running. I've done that with both my garden layouts and it's much better than having nothing to play around with while spending days on end working away at it.

Returning to the OSB point, I think it's clear that few, if any, members would recommend using it but you're never going to know for sure until you've tried it yourself. I doubt anyone would have recommended me using exterior plywood at ground level on top of concrete footings for part of my own layout but I thought it was the way to go and believed it would work. It did for a good while but in the end it resulted in failure and ultimately renewal of the complete section. At least you're going to be off the ground which tips the balance more in your favour.

It looks like you've got some serious work on your hands but take it from me that doing little and often is a good way to make progress. I've been on with my present one for 7 years and as basic as the layout is, it's still not finished.



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Thanks Andrew... got a little progress to share already... 

I spent a few hours making the shed a little more suitable. 

At the bottom of the door, i've plugged the hole, so less damp can get in. (Generally the shed is pretty dry).

The other change is the removal of a panel, it being replaced with a 5mm thick sheet of prespex.

Next weekend may see some baseboards going into the shed and track going down... hopefully


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The next bit of planning i've got is to sort out how the railway will exit the shed.

Currently, i'm thinking of building an extension piece on the left side of the shed. This should hopefully give me the room for two full length sidings in the shed to serve as a fiddleyard. I've got a curved point to help with this. 

One thing i'm keen to avoid is tight curves, so i'll be making a template right angle 3ft radius curve out of cardboard. When I start to lay track, i'll use this to check i'm not going below this radii.

One thing i've not decided on its control of points. I'd normally just go with a CDU + srung center off toggle switches, but this would make computerised control harder later on. I could use DCC with jmri, but this means I need to buy expensive decoders. Alternativly i could develop a hybrid system with arduino and microcontrollers...  ideas on a post card...!

I've had a note from my swedish language expert.. and thus the correct name is 'Stenbrottkulle Järnväg' 

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  • 1 year later...

Well, I'm back here in the planning section, as I had to remove some of the construction... 

I'm making some changes in the plan on how I'm going to rebuild the railway, once I get there...

Before I can do anything, I've decided that I'm going to need a new, slightly bigger shed. I'm hoping for an 8ftx6ft, with the door on the end, as normal. Around 3 sides will be a worksurface/baseboard at around 1m high (lower than the current railway), with shelves at sensible heights above and below. The railway will be run on the back and right hand walls as you walk in, in a similar configuration to the current shed. The left hand worksurface will become a general use work bench.

As for the railway itself, I'm going to build it in smaller sections, aiming each section to have a good amount of scenery and detail, and will be protected from the outside elements by a hard cover. This won't prevent all the damage by the conditions but should stop most. The scenic areas will be connected together by very bland railway lines, which will have little in the way of features that can be damaged by the weather, with the connection between the two being a tunnel portal or similar.

The scenic areas will no longer be flat boards, There will be a lower frame of thick ply, which will carry a very thin layer of ply on supports to carry the track. This will make it simpler to vary the height of certain areas of the layout.

I've attached a picture of the first scenic area in planning... 



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Sorry to hear that you've had to dismantle parts of your layout after you seemed to have been making good progress. Still, at least you're back in the planning stage so it's not all bad news.

The 'modular' type build you mention with linking track sections sounds interesting and it will be good to see how you get on with it. An outdoor line with lots of scenery and detailing isn't something I would personally recommend but perhaps with a suitable cover for protection against the elements, as well as all the little critters that are to be found out there, you could make it work.

A lot of what we do outdoors in OO gauge is trial and error and what works for one might not work for everyone. Some of us may get substantially more rainfall that others, or maybe higher temperatures even when the distance between our respective locations isn't so great so all we can do is try it and see if it works. 

Will be following your progress!


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  • 6 months later...

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