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the Dorking Garden Railway

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Your layout is really turning into something special. That line along the slope looks fantastic. I'm envious, If I wanted a line like that in my garden I'd have to dig down 6 feet and that ain't happenin.

Watched your vids and those are nice too.

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First trains of the year About time too, I hear some say.  Well, up till now the weather hasn't been great this year, and there's always real life which conspires to get in the way of running tra

A bluebell railway Pictures from yesterday's running session.  First, the Black 5 on Foxdale Bank:     The same stretch of track, here with a Jubilee and 10 bogies:

Mick, You're very welcome.  That is just to say a big Thank You on behalf of all the contributors and visitors to this superb website which you have diligently maintained over so many years to pr

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A return match with the Danes Wood Railway saw a number of guest locos running in Dorking, taking advantage of a dry interlude in a damp day. Photos by Andrew & Fungus/Ian.

A Class 37 leaves the sunlit Lowlands with a portion of the Fort William Sleeper:


Two views of the Sleeper in the more challenging terrain of the West Highland Line:



A 9F on a mixed parcels and passenger working picks its way along Foxdale Bank...


...while the fireman gives it some welly, building up the fire for challenging gradients ahead:


"Oh dear, my tanks need a fill-up to get home to Danes Wood", said Thomas. "Visiting Dorking is thirsty work. I normally just pull Annie and Clarabel, but they've given me this long train of Bachmann coaches which really needs a big engine like Gordon. But I think I can..."


After the visitors had left, some experimental videos were shot:

And the following day, the Guildford to Redhill local train had gained a parcels van:


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Superb videos and photos Andrew. I especially like the standard class 4 on foxdale bank. I have to ask about the bamboo.. The previous owners of my house were bamboo mad and planted it numerous locations. Problem is, being planted straight in the ground in has turned very invasive. Started marching in to the farmer's field behind! Makes a good backdrop for your railway, but trying to thin mine out more. I get a lot of bamboo leaves on the track, seem to get everywhere.

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Thanks for the support, folks. I must get some video editing software and string some shots together.

Regarding bamboo, Andy, as you say, it will rampage across the landscape unless it's corralled by a barrier, for example in buried tubs -- but that seems to be working here so far. As for leaf-fall, the real question may be: Is it any worse than other small leaf shrubs? Unless you're big on gardening, then I guess Griff's tagline from Arthur Ashe "Start where you are... Do what you can" is the best motto.

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  • 3 weeks later...

After a week of damp and misty weather, today dawned bright and occasionally sunny, which looked a bit more promising for the railway. But if you build a line under trees, mid-autumn is not the best time. The photo below shows the initial state of Foxdale Bank after several weeks of neglect. Although clearing the line didn't take long, any hopes that the blustery wind would dry things out in time for running in the afternoon were dashed by the rain which set in after lunch. Could be time to think about a layout in the garage.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Don't give up yet!!! The recent high winds have cleared all the trees of leaves in our garden, so as soon as I can I'll be out there sweeping them up.

By the way, Andrew, last week I had the planned visit to the locomotive works for corrective maintenance, and everything now seems to be in perfect working order (touch wood)! It will soon be time to plan the next exchange visit (perhaps to show off anything that Father Christmas brings?).


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  • 2 months later...

After the railway has suffered several months of disuse and a week or more of snow which had just cleared a couple of days ago, today seemed like a good opportunity to excavate the stretches of line covered in leaves or fallen earth, polish up the rails and have a little run. The result is here:

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Great stuff Andrew - just what the forum needs, some action!

Looking at your video you wouldn't think we'd ever had any bad weather - it's come through really well and looks excellent. Some great lineside shots.

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There's a super picture today (30/01/13) at http://www.mremag.com/news/bulletin.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; of Julian Martin's Hornby Class 29 in the real snow 10 days ago. It' about ⅔ of the way down the page. That link will change after today. That's not a name I recognise from this forum but I am sure Julian would feel very much at home here.

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But too much snow isn't good for a railway, as this 1928 sequence from a line on the Oregon coast shows:


Look for the rotary snowplough/plow.

Snow aside, if you just like watching (Great Western) trains, try these five minutes of fun from 1947:


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