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scoobyra

Oak Garden - somewhere to run the trains!

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Some of you may know me from an exhibition layout called Oak Road - a very modern affair based on Somerset and present day FGW / GWR.

Oak Road lives at work, and at 20’ x 9’ it’s too big for my house, so I decided to build something in the garden to let the HSTs stretch their legs.

I’d already had a plan, one that I thought would be used for O Gauge, but given the lack of present day models, I decided to adapt it for 4mm. The general idea is a double line that covers around 85’ in a loop, with a triangular junction taking the line towards a shed for train storage, and an additional ‘tail’ for a single line terminus.
 

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Progress has been slow But I’ll upload some more pictures shortly.

Mike

 

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Welcome to the forum Mike.

I'm guessing you are an experienced modeller so this is already well thought through.
What is behind the name Scoobyra?

Regards,

Barry.

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12 hours ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

Welcome to the forum Mike.

I'm guessing you are an experienced modeller so this is already well thought through.
What is behind the name Scoobyra?

Regards,

Barry.

Cheers Barry, it’s a name I’ve had for years and should be pronounced - Scooby Arr Ay, owing to the fact that one of my Subarua Impreza cars was an RA version. I get called Scooby Raaaa and Scoo By Raaaa which proves I didn’t put as much thought in to that as I do my modelling 😆

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Welcome to the forum Mike, it's good to hear from you.

I don't follow the exhibition circuit so I've just been familiarising myself with 'Oak Road' on YouTube - very impressive and a great place to watch a variety of trains passing by.

I take it from your opening post that you've already begun construction so I'm looking forward to seeing how you're getting on and how you're going about it.

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4 hours ago, scoobyra said:

one of my Subarua Impreza cars was an RA version.

That is what I had guessed.
I had a passenger ride in a Type RA once when I was looking to buy my own. Even as a passenger I could tell how direct and sharp they feel with those alu panels, a very impressive motor. I've had my UK turbo for 12 years, can't let it go.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

That is what I had guessed.
I had a passenger ride in a Type RA once when I was looking to buy my own. Even as a passenger I could tell how direct and sharp they feel with those alu panels, a very impressive motor. I've had my UK turbo for 12 years, can't let it go.

I drive a T5 Transporter these days, although I’ve got an Audi S3 on the drive that would make many tuned Imprezas look silly. My first WRX classic was one of the best cars I’ve owned....until it blew up....like most of them! 😁

Edited by scoobyra

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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...
 

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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.

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That's a nice solid start Mike along with some very neat woodworking skills.

From your initial plan I take it that the curved section in the photos is in the top right of the plan (bottom right of your garden) and so immediately before it where the straight timber is laid out will be the proposed removable viaduct? Does the pipe in the foreground indicate the height of the layout from ground level?

Have you seen the plastic pipe used as supports for the track base before? I suggested it might be a suitable alternative to wooden posts on another thread a week or two ago, though I was thinking more of the square profile downpipe. I wondered if you had any previous experiences of it?

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As I add more pictures, things will be very self explanatory (in answer to your question Mick).

Here’s the first section mounted on the posts - these, believe it or not, are 40mm polypipe...

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Each section is bolted together with M8 blots....

1F51E2C3-5D4F-400D-BC8C-2A1B564CF4A8.thumb.jpeg.528825fee0880aea4fbb3fb008923aa6.jpeg

....here’s more of the sections being assembled together....

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I’ll post some further pictures shortly.

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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....

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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...
 

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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! 

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...and then some upvc cladding to the sides, and some roofing felt on top....

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...and finally, some nice GWR Green (current livery) to tidy everything up...

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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....

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Are you not worried that the plastic posts will be a bit fragile? Id worried that fall into the trackbed and they'd snap - but then, I am about twice the size of most people :lol:

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5 hours ago, ba14eagle said:

Are you not worried that the plastic posts will be a bit fragile? Id worried that fall into the trackbed and they'd snap - but then, I am about twice the size of most people :lol:

Haha! No Iain, they’re fine. On the tallest ones there’s 40% of the post buried in concrete and they’re very sturdy. If they go brittle then I have a Plan B

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Probably  a bit late now but in case you have to move have you thought of putting the posts into a large flower pot and then pour the concrete in and the dig a hole for them. You can even dig them up and take them with you if you need to !

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1 hour ago, jimbob said:

Probably  a bit late now but in case you have to move have you thought of putting the posts into a large flower pot and then pour the concrete in and the dig a hole for them. You can even dig them up and take them with you if you need to !

That’s why I’ve used plastic posts buried in the ground. I can just cut them off and cover them over. The flower pot idea, although good, isn’t very sturdy, unless you use a big pot, in which case you can’t pick it up.....ask me how I know? 😆

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11 hours ago, ba14eagle said:

Are you not worried that the plastic posts will be a bit fragile? Id worried that fall into the trackbed and they'd snap - but then, I am about twice the size of most people :lol:

I would imagine that the posts themselves would be pretty strong and personally wouldn't be too concerned about them snapping - but I hadn't factored in someone taking a dive onto the layout! Certainly if I were building a small raised section I would be looking at utilising plastic downpipe to support it. You can even obtain similar 'pressure pipe' as used in pond building which may even offer additional strength?

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5 hours ago, mick said:

 - but I hadn't factored in someone taking a dive onto the layout!

🤣 Youve not seen me at a bbq! 🤣

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Time for some more ‘meat on the bones’

It’s fair to say, this isn’t going to be your typical garden railway, mind you, it’s pretty safe to say, nothing I do is typical 😂 This is more about having an indoor railway...outdoors. When Peco finally get some track out to the shops, I’ll be using code 100 concrete sleeper track with super elevated curves, and it’ll be painted and ballasted. Apart from the fact that I despise code 75 (I’ve used it on Oak Road and it drives me mad), the code 100 is way more forgiving and I can also run some older stock when I want to. The theme is Devon and Cornwall, from 2013 onwards so the station is loosely based on Totnes, with two through lines and two loops, but with the addition of a bay platform to enable more running potential. I’m going to use standard Hornby platforms because a) they can be bought quite cheaply, and b) they withstand the heat quite well (when we get some), and possibly resin station buildings of some description. The signals will be the cheap Train Tech colour light variety, although I’ve not finalised how I’m going to operate them yet - if I can get some Digikeijs Feedback Modules to work over 5m, I may look at using my iTrain as automation adds a whole different dimension. The only thing I’ve not got my head around yet is how I’m going to operate the points, although whatever route I go down, it’s not going to be cheap, but unlike my exhibition layout, there’s no rush with the garden railway. It’s going to be an interesting journey 👍

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Posted (edited)

So your wooden structures look very stable and seems well made.
This gives your railroad a really solid base.

Great work!

Edited by ThomasI
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