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WeekenderSteve

The Weekend Railway

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A conversation a few months ago led to the conclusion that there weren't enough daft plans in the world. So in the interests of correcting that shortfall, we thought we'd try and build a garden railway in a weekend.

At noon on Saturday, there was nothing:

The coloured thing in the photograph is a paper windmill, and Windy Miller's there to look after it. Well, it wouldn't be a Garden Railway without a windmill, would it?

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There's a short video of the section through the treestumps here:

More to follow, including some from a lashed-up wagoncam.

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Great stuff, bet you had fun building that and I bet it's the only railway on here that runs through the back of a scrap car! :)

Ian R

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It seems like the best way to spend ones weekend. And all made from scrap wood, well done.

So many details on that layout, such as the news clipping pinned to the tree. :lol::lol::lol:

I must say that's quite a collection of dead autos.

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Different, completely different but just goes to prove what can be done when like minded people get together and have a brain storming session.

Ian

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Thanks for the feedback. It certainly made for an enjoyable weekend.

The inspiration came from the discovery of this forum, the rediscovery of my childhood model railway stock, and the realisation that there was a feasible OO-gauge route through the trees, through the back of the red estate car ('Old Mrs Grumpy' to a previous owner) and round the back of the downpipe on the adjacent shed.

It's very much a temporary installation - I can't get into either shed at the moment, with a railway straight across the doors! Knowing it had to be temporary made construction a lot quicker though, as we could just grab any old bit of timber that was the right length, hold it in the right place, whack a couple of screws in, and staple-gun track directly to it. Having said that, PW man Chris made a fine job of the tracklaying, the curves are beautifully smooth. Gradients came out pretty well too; the steepest is about 1:60, but most of it's pretty-much dead level. Hornby's infamous 1970s pannier tank happily hauled 20 coaches around the whole circuit without breaking sweat.

The following pictures give some idea of the clearances through the trees. The original plan was to put a trackbed on top of the supporting timbers, but in fact most of the timbers were wide enough - even if this section of 3x1 must frighten the tiny passengers witless.

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There I am taking ages to even get started and along comes someone who does it all in a weekend !

Well done guys.

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It was a particularly amusing weekend. I have a fair amount more video that I'll put up of the progression, but real world is somewhat getting in the way this week.

The second camera is an MD80 clone from Deal Extreme, bought for bolting onto kitesurfing kit, bikes etc as it is super cheap (under a tenner) in case anyone has an interest. I'll try to get some of the footage from that uploaded so people can see the difference in quality. The subject really isn't my strong point, along with everything else anything that was to hand and not running away was utilised :lol:

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All we did was the garden railway equivalent of erecting a tent, and it'll last about as long. Building something that would last months, never mind years, would have taken a lot more time, and a lot more care. Mind you, that hasn't prevented us contemplating removable sections past the shed doors. Making the 30-foot 'viaduct' section past the blue car and round the corner removable/replaceable would be rather more of a challenge.

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Your layout is essentially how I built my layout, although I was working solo so it took longer. My layout required some redoing to make it lasting, but in the end that's how I got where I am.

I really like that tree line; It's like a real railroad where you have to follow the contours of the landscape.

Now that you've caught the outdoor bug can we expect more lines and videos? :D

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There'll certainly be more videos - we've a whole heap more to upload. But at the moment they're all in various whacky formats that need the kind of processing I don't understand (but that's OK, PW gang Chris does!). There are wagoncam (or should that be KelloggCam?) recordings of the full circuit, including some night-time runs with an alternative camera installation, and if they work out OK, also some 'chase cam' footage.

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We may need a mug shot of all the perpetrators. I had to tear out part of my roundy roundy, a mere 47 feet around, in order to get at a plumbing problem under the garden. Seeing this was very therapeutic. Now I am eyeing the back garden.

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Having read the saga of your plumbing nightmare, I was very impressed with the pictures of the scoping study for an underground railway. How far does the trench stretch? Could you have an underground connexion between front and back gardens? An outdoor rack railway perhaps? Cable-hauled inclined planes? Seriously, I wish you well with reconstruction. I enjoyed your relaxed approach to the design and construction of the original layout, and I'm looking forward to more of the same as the replacement takes shape.

You mention that thing of 'following the contours of the landscape', which holds an odd fascination for me. I was very taken with Danes Wood and the Dorking Garden Railway, both of which (to my mind) benefit from their 'challenging' terrain. I haven't got a fantastic earth bank like Andrew or all the variety of Fungus's garden, but those trees (and Mrs Grumpy) made a passable substitute.

You've set us a challenge now, though. Building a railway in a weekend is one thing; but photographing people is another entirely! I think most of the guilty parties will appear sooner or later as more videos become available. Assuming of course we all waive our right to anonymity...

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As Chris explained in post 8 (which took a day or so to appear, his first post so needed a mod check), he's had a very busy week, consequently no more videos yet. So here are a couple of train photos, before we get into the real business of the weekend.

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Its certainly an interesting layout. My only one qualm is the fact that if you get a derailment, your prized stock has nowhere else to go other than down!

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Doublecee, you're quite right. Which is why my 2721 class now has only one whistle. On the plus side, the damage could have been worse.

It's interesting to see the effects of laying track on an unprepared - and un-weatherproofed - trackbed: even in a week, alignment has suffered. The worst-supported section's started to sag already, and a couple of the curves aren't quite as sweet as they were. It'll be interesting to see how bad it gets. Most of the timber we used has been outside for years, so in theory it's as weathered as it's ever going to be. Certainly, the bits that have moved so far are bits of timber that hadn't been outside previously.

Today's main achievement was the drawbridge for the small shed door, made on very similar principles to the first one. I still need to make a better support for it when it's open, to take the load off the hinge mount.

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I love that last pic. Its a wish list straight from the late 70's.

In this weather, your track will expand and contract more then the timber to be honest, so you should leave 1mm expansion gaps where the rails and fishplates meet. This will also give you a nice clackety clack noise.

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Out of interest, has anyone worked out the needed expansion gap for nickle silver for a given temperature range? I spent a bit of time a while back playing with ali and steel rail and coming up with some tables for expansion gaps for different climates, but haven't gone on a hunt for nickel silver expansion co efficient. EDIT: Just found the thread elsewhere discussing it... ENDEDIT

Anyway, I've had some sleep and developed some photos. Camera decided it was going to break during the weekend which was a pain, but have a few.

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The level of civil engineering the PW Gang have to deal with!

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The reason any of this exists...

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Awesometreecorner

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Scary Bridge

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PW Apprentice

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We've tried to have no loco posed during photos, but camera been playing up. So, best make sure we have some locos looking like they are moving too!

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Thanks for asking TGB. The short answer is, all the plans have changed again....

It was a nice sunny weekend, but with most of the Weekenders tied up most of the time, not a right lot happened with the WR. On Monday, Chris brought his Hornby Castle for a run:

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