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chris

Paltryville Ridge & Peak Railroad

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After years to procrastination I have finally started work on the Paltryville Ridge & Peak Railroad.  My second railway in the garden, it will run close to ground level below Amblethorpe which is on a shelf about a metre above.

Running on 16.5mm gauge track at 1:48th scale it is an American Narrow Gauge O Scale commonly known as On30. 

Paltryville is a fictional location found in The Miserable Mill, the forth book in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. The book begins with the children traveling on a train to Paltryville when they find themselves working as slaves in the Lucky Smells Lumber Mill.

The Ridge comes from the design of the layout. The main run will be on a raised bed built from aerated blocks. The blocks have been carved to create a rock face effect, the railroad will run along the ridge.

The Peak is in there because I like the interlaced alliteration and that the abbreviation P.R.& P.R.

Ground works have begun.

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Blocks have been carved.

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Track is on order.

 

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11 hours ago, chris said:

....Blocks have been carved...

That's a brilliant idea! Now why didn't I think of doing that?

I'm really looking forward to seeing you progress with this - it looks like those years of procrastination might be about to pay off.

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11 hours ago, mick said:

That's a brilliant idea! Now why didn't I think of doing that?

Because you had the brilliant idea of using them for a viaduct. You do know that brilliant ideas are rationed out, we only get a very few each.

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Yesterday I cleared the soil down to a level and removed as many obstructions as possible. The fence post foundations are an issue. I've chipped away at them to reduce their footprint. There is also a second set left from where the original fence stood over 20 years ago. I couldn't remove a concreted in Met-Post, so sledgehammered it below my woking level.

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My plan is to put in a weed membrane first. Build the block on top of that. Back fill between the blocks with soil. Put on another layer of membrane and top with stones.

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Too cold to be out today. I gave one carved block a quick wash with dark grey. I think I prefer this look. Might give it a dry brush with some white tomorrow.

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Are you going to treat the blocks with some sort of commercial water sealant?

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11 minutes ago, ba14eagle said:

Are you going to treat the blocks with some sort of commercial water sealant?

I would recommend that, one of my untreated blocks turned into sand over wintertime.

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You must have used internal blocks. External grade blocks will take all weathers without degrading.

 

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They are suitable for use "below ground" so I'm assuming they will be OK without treatment.

Mick, did you treat the blocks in your viaduct?

 

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1 hour ago, chris said:

....Mick, did you treat the blocks in your viaduct?

Yes I did Chris using this....

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...but I wouldn't worry too much as it was only precautionary and as you rightly say, these blocks are suitable for 'below ground' use. I've got some out in the garden that have never been treated with anything and they're as good now as when I purchased them several years ago.

I did both viaducts with the water seal after I'd built them but they haven't been done again since and there's been no deterioration in the blocks whatsoever.

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Gone for a thinner wash in slate grey followed by a dry brush with white. It's very effective.

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I may build the raised bed tomorrow.

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I wasn't expecting Code 100 track in O-16.5 to look so different to the OO/HO stuff.

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The plan was to build the raised bed along side the lawn. Having put the blocks in place we decided to bring forward the further extension of the bed to now. More blocks are on order. Two paving slabs have been lifted to allow 90cm extensions at either end of the bed. This photos shows the scene after the first slab had been relocated from the top left to bottom centre.

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The slab at this end of the bed was the next task on  the job sheet. The hardest job was lifting the turf to make room for the slabs. We've had next to no rain, the earth was like stone. We developed a technique that involved the spade and the sledge hammer.

This extensions will make the area of the bed 50cm by 580cm. I plan a single track with a passing loop and one siding. OK, may be two sidings.

I managed to scrounge together some fishplates form a couple of friends so once Wickes sort my click and collect order of blocks I should make swift progress.

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Blocks collected. Sawn, carved and washed in grey paint.

Weed membrane down. Blocks in place. Soil back-filled.

Resting.

Next job, the blocks that will form the track bed. There is a noticeable drop in the raised bed. However the track bed will remain level. This means that there will be an embankment and may be a bridge.

 

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Cracking on nicely Chris, no doubt aided by the weather and unfortunately the restrictions.

Was the 'noticeable drop' intentional or are you to the same standard as myself when it comes to laying bricks and/or blocks? Either way, an embankment or bridge sounds good to me.

Post some photos of recent progress if you've been able to do anything further.

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I spent an age trying to decide what height to build the raised bed too so I could keep everything level. Then I realised the the bed itself could rise and fall while the trackbed stayed level.

I've been cutting blocks in half today. My saw has got rather blunt. I did a test cut with an old circular saw. It worked fine. Job was suddenly a lot easier.

Time allowing, I'll start on the trackbed tomorrow.

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Tried to avoid the procrastination (beard stroking) phase of development which was looming upon me. So far with my railways I've built baseboards and then laid the track independently. This has meant that I haven't had to have an exact track plan before building the baseboards. With this build I don't have the baseboard so I need to finalise my track plan beforehand.

Yesterday I worked through that process; placing, levelling, adjusting and swapping around blocks to enable the track plan I am after.IMG_8834.thumb.jpeg.18b5d808bb7335c2bc2ea63fb506759a.jpeg

One consideration was to try to keep the track from being below the drip line off the Amblethorpe baseboard. This would have been easy if it was a constant width, but it varies form 40cm to 20cm to 30cm along its length. Locating points away from drips was more important.

I still can't figure out how things will work at the house end of the line. A track needs to turn off to allow a connection with the Snicketway baseboards. This requires a 90º turn in around 40cm, which is around 1st radius. This is OK for a narrow gauge, but I'll have to check that my stock is fine with that. Not that there is any set-track for On30.

At the shed end the level trackbed creates a significant rise within the landscape.

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I cut the tops off the blocks at 45º to create a very narrow track bed, a common feature on American railroads.

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Still work to be done on the trackbed before I can fill the gaps and create the landscape.

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Yesterday I began the process of filling the gaps with earth and stone. Months ago I rescued the stones form a friends driveway before she had it tarmaced. I didn't know if I had enough, which meant it was guess work as to how much earth I'd need to fill with first.

We did about 72% of the filling. Getting the point where the final position of the trackbed blocks has yet be decided.

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This morning I placed some track down and, for fun, popped some coaches on. This turned out to be helpful, it shows me how long my passing loop will have to be, allowing for a loco on the front. Up shot is that I can'y make it any shorter. 

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I'm still uncertain which point to use where. I have two right hand and two Y. 

I've started thinking through how I can create a connecting line to the Snicketway baseboards. I'm going to use some 18mm ply which should be ridged enough for the 70cm length it will span. For the radius I'm following the track that came with train set, which ensures that it won't be too tight. This afternoon I'm going to have to lower a couple of the ridge blocks by 18mm to allow for the linking track to be able to pass over them while the track stays on the level.

Feels like real progress now. Should be sticking down roofing felt and laying track soon.

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