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Glen Dollar Garden Railway


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The first set of blocks are laid so I stuck some track on top and sent a train down as a test. The roofing felt isn't glued, the track isn't glued or pinned yet and I had to use a temporary board to run off. It was really just to get something working - anything.

By the time I did that, it had gone dark. So all I've got to prove it is a grainy video. I'll stick it up anyway and try to get some better footage in the light.

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Congratulations Barry. That's the first milestone reached.

It's always good to see something running no matter what level you've reached in the build. I used to spend hours just running trains back and forth along the short sections I'd completed up to that point and it spurs you on to keep going.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • admin changed the title to Glen Dollar Garden Railway
  • 1 month later...

So I've managed to get on a bit with the tunnel section around the camellia by working in the utility room. I've got the inner wall in place and some of the aluminium angle for the outer wall. The tunnel mouth on the left is just in there for clearance testing and not fixed. The end structure and how I affix the tunnel mouth will be one of the last things. The roof is just placed on for demonstration.
The tunnel is narrow due to space, hence I've made it quite high instead so I can get my hand in easily. The reason there are gaps in the outer alu angle is because there will be hatches to get access for recovering derailments and cleaning.
The roof and sides will be covered in roofing felt on their outer edges. The roof actually overhangs the edges and ends so this section can remain out in summer. All of the ply will be varnished before the felt goes on.
I've also got a string of battery powered Christmas lights from Wilkos to provide lighting inside the tunnel.

DSC_0470.JPG

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On 10/28/2020 at 12:30 PM, aussietmrail said:

Hi Barry, wow that is some video, you are using DCC, like to see more video and pics please  and like DMU set .

 

Tony from down under

Thanks Tony. That was just done quickly with an analogue controller for the time being. Though I will be using DCC when it is up and running. If we get some better weather (it is just rain front after rain front sweeping over at the moment) I'll do a meet the fleet video once the tunnel section is in place.

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Nice work Barry. I'm glad to see you're still able to make some progress in spite of the weather. It all looks good to me.

It actually doesn't seem quite such a sharp radius curve in the photo, especially where the coach is standing. Is that the actual track layout and if so how do you propose to operate the point in the tunnel entrance?

Did you say you were planning on bunging up the entrances when the railway is not in use to deter the little creatures? I imagine slugs will be the biggest problem.

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12 hours ago, mick said:

Nice work Barry. I'm glad to see you're still able to make some progress in spite of the weather. It all looks good to me.

It actually doesn't seem quite such a sharp radius curve in the photo, especially where the coach is standing. Is that the actual track layout and if so how do you propose to operate the point in the tunnel entrance?

Did you say you were planning on bunging up the entrances when the railway is not in use to deter the little creatures? I imagine slugs will be the biggest problem.

Hi Mick, The point in the tunnel entrance will be sprung if I can make it work. With the blades and spring inside the tunnel they should be protected from the worst of the weather / leaf fall /droppings etc.

The radius of the track throught the tunnel is 36" (91mm) so not too bad. Certainly a lot better than sectional track radii.

The plan is to find a way of sealing the entrances from slugs and the like, I'm not a fan of slugs. Do you find they climb your aerated block sections much?
I'm not afraid of spiders so I'll leave them to deal with anything smaller.

Cheers, Barry.

 

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10 hours ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

Hi Mick, The point in the tunnel entrance will be sprung if I can make it work. With the blades and spring inside the tunnel they should be protected from the worst of the weather / leaf fall /droppings etc....

Of course. I remembered soon after posting that you'd mentioned springing the points. They should be fine just inside the tunnel - mine are fully exposed and still work okay. At least there's no need to worry about that little over-centre spring going rusty anymore.

10 hours ago, Clay Mills Junction said:

....The plan is to find a way of sealing the entrances from slugs and the like, I'm not a fan of slugs. Do you find they climb your aerated block sections much?
I'm not afraid of spiders so I'll leave them to deal with anything smaller....

I've never had a slug on either of the viaducts so the abrasive nature of the blocks must not be to their liking. I don't worry too much about spiders either but they do sometimes build their webs inside the tunnels which then wraps around the leading vehicle if I don't notice it beforehand.

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On 11/30/2020 at 10:40 AM, mick said:

I don't worry too much about spiders either but they do sometimes build their webs inside the tunnels which then wraps around the leading vehicle if I don't notice it beforehand.

Ha, I didn't think about that.

Putting the tunnel away in the garage isn't going to help with the spiders. I may just have to clear webs before a running session.

I'll have to think about how I engineer the tunnel ends.

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So tonight will be the end of work on the tunnel until after new year. Things need to be cleared for Christmas.

Might not look like much progress but those supports have been sawed from 12mm birch ply by hand. I used a saw tool on the Dremel to put a groove in the surface then did the rest by hand. The aluminium takes a bit of drilling too, I say that but it actually drills quite easily, it just takes a lot of drill bit swapping.

I've managed to get it to all fit with a 5mm drop to the outside of the roof panel to help with water drainage. It will be covered with roofing felt anyway but the slope might help a little.

I got a fresh sheet of 3.6mm hardwood ply from the orange place for the rest of the outer wall as that doesn't need to have the strength to it of the uprights now in place. On the inside I cut a groove where I wanted to bend it the ply rather than cutting it lots.
I'll have to dismantle most of it to paint before the felt goes on as I've had to cut some bits that were already painted but it isn't hard especially with the old drill being on hand with the 7mm socket.

On the subject of drills, I'm getting on really well with the Ryobi. I doubt the old B&D would have got through all of the aluminium drilling and even doing the bolts it smells on its way out.

DSC_0477.JPG

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  • 3 months later...

Schoolboy error. I've been struggling to figure why my rails wouldn't line up. I've been working with a streamline curved RH point where I've used a straight RH point in the track plan. Doh!

I'm going to have to order the correct point or wait for the local model shop to reopen.

Also a couple of the blocks had moved over winter where I hadn't laid them properly on sand, so doing those before moving on. Progress today, if a little slow.

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I've got the same B&D drill (18v version) and it's done me proud... other than the PSU for the charger failing! I'll rebuild that some day, lol. I replaced it with a Ryobi One+ and I couldn't be more impressed with the performance..

 

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The clocks going forward has brought the opportunity of doing a little each evening after work. So progress is now steady. Since the last update I've used a point intended for elsewhere until my local model shop reopens but that has at least allowed me to cut a few more blocks to shape. I decided not to lay the blocks properly as, on second consideration, I'll be best laying the outer blocks properly first then I'll do the inner.

The board that will sit over the decking has moved on, it was just a frame with 12mm birch ply but I have now added the roofing felt cover having found my staple gun. Ready to add the tracks.

A 25m coil of 2.5mm twin+earth cable sourced from Screwfix has been cut into the required lengths and laid around the outside of the track. I've split the outer insulation and removed the blue and brown internal cables to be laid along the outside. Not sure how I'm going to secure those to the hidden sides of the aerated blocks but I'll experiment.
I've started soldering the droppers, I could only find 16/0.2 steel stranded wire in my collection in blue and brown so I'll use that up first. Hopefully the 9 extra strands will make up for them being steel rather than copper.

I was also thinking about edging the track with wall or fencing. To that end I've sourced a couple of packs of Hornby trackside fencing. This may be a bit toy like for some but the supports can be cut down easily and I have plenty of small rawlplugs and screws so I'm drilling small holes in the aerated block, sticking a rawlplug in it and screwing the fencing in. The Hornby fencing is easy to remove when not in use so birds don't wreck it. We'll see how it looks when I've got enough in, if it doesn't look good enough then I won't buy any more.

I have quite a lot of non-railway things to do over Easter weekend but I'm hoping to get the wiring done enough to get some trains running as I have promised I'd make a video of them for a friend. Unfortunately, my sound decoder never turned up. I phoned the company and he said it was on their system as dispatched but wasn't showing on Royal Mail at all, he said he would look into it and call me back which he hasn't yet done. In my experience, when an item doesn't go on RM's track and trace by the time it should have turned up at the recipient then it means they've lost it. I will phone the shop back tomorrow.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I've come to the conclusion that there are too many blocks through the passing loop station area to get completely even and level. So I have taken the decision to cover that area with a layer of birch plywood. So the blocks I have already cut will need another 6mm taken off them. Around the top bend I'll go back to just blocks as it is easy enough to get these level one at a time.

In the mean time I'm progressing the boards at the staging area and making the wiring. Reading on the Sprog forums about shorts damaging the sprog unit I'm considering some sort of power management board like a PSX to give it more complex surge protection. The alternative is a car light bulb which would probably be more robust outdoors and cheaper.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

With waiting on the opportunity to get more plywood for the passing loop station I've been concentrating on the boards off the decking and starting to get those covered and track pinned down.

So the board for the main running line to go around is cut to shape and braced underneath. To keep it in place there is a prong that goes off under the sidings board and a small prong that comes out from the sidings board. This meant I could finalise the bracing on the sidings board and pin down the roofing felt neatly. I've then finalised the positions of the points and track to the two main sidings and I can now do the soldering and wiring indoors regardless of weather.

DSC_0540.JPG

Once wired it will mean that the line is operational from the sidings to the station area rather than running it off a temporary board with crocodile clip leads supplying power.

DSC_0539.JPG

I'm pleased at the quality of the trackbase so far and flinging coaches along it shows they run well and it is decently flat. Theres only a couple of places I could do with embedding the dropper wires into the aerated blocks.

Not having a car at the moment is a bit of a drag. As much as I'd like to live car-free, a trip to B&Q for materials is not so easy on a bike. Though cycling home with an 8-foot strip of wood in my right hand like a medival jousting pole last weekend did result in every car but one (Audi) obeying Highway Code Rule 163!

Edited by Clay Mills Junction
moving pics up within the text
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