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jimbob

Jim's Garden Railway

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Not had a Meldrew moment for days but just had Raj from BT on the phone to me to confirm my engineer will be coming Wednesday morning. This would be the engineer that was supposed to come last Wednesday afternoon but didnt come because they changed it to Friday without telling me and which took me over an hour to cancel as the door fitters disconected it themselves and reconected it which did not cost me the £125 BT wanted to charge me and it works ok then. No says Raj you wanted a phone line moved. Arrrrrgghhh.

Think he got the message and hopefully canceled the call.

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Got a bit depresed whatching other peoples videos of there garden railways. Went back outside with a sigh and climbed back into a rose bush to try and sort out some track work. Had to redo the base board as it was a bit wonky and do you think the track would go back right, not a hope. Its in the worst place on the line for access and did consider abandoning it in the "new era" but decided to keep it. Still l've bodged a temp curve in there but l will have to do it right asap. The gap year is ending for a short time. Two weeks work covering for someone on holiday starting next week and working tommorow as well. Still it will pay for the point motors l suppose.

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Don't get depressed Jim, be inspired! That's what the forum is about.

My layout isn't perfect by any means but it would be much worse if it were not for the other layouts here and the advice offered by other members.

Determine what you want and do things one step at a time even if it means a completely fresh start in order to get things right.

We're all behind you!

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Although l try l know my limitations. I am also honest with myself and all l wanted was a train set in the garden! Anyway feed up with standing in a rose bush l've decided that a resizeing of the base boards along that section is in order so they will be swaped over with some much narrower ones else where on the line. They were originally used in a couple of places where clearances were tight due you existing bushes etc. A bit of carefull pruneing over the last two years means l can now, with the larger base boards, make that into a four track section. All sounds so easy. Weather forecast bad for tomorrow but have some inside things to do. Back at work just for the day doing my old "TV stars" round, customers include Mrs Meldrew (Anete Crosby) who though l've not done the route for over two years remebered me and had a chat and Bella Emberg who those of a certain age might remember playing Wonder Woman in the Russ Abbott show in the 80's.

Arr the star studded life l lead......

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Not quite as predicted the baseboard swop round is going well so far. Well they came out ok going back is a bit more frought. All the narrow ones are 6ft in lenght but the wide ones vary between 5 and 7 ft in length for reasons l dont remember. Dont know if its London pollution but some of the track l'm taking up (been down about 3 years) is very tarnised and a bugger to get clean. The only plus side is the sides look like l've spent hours weathering them.

Bought some point motors for the station from Hattons. Ordered 17.00 yesterday arrived 11.00 this morning on the cheap Yodell delivery. That will give me something to do when it rains.

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Well not much progress to report here due to various reason (see elsewhere). To do list getting bigger as well. The baseboard rearangement is almost complete although l seem to have a 32inch gap which wasnt there before..... just need to connect them back together and level them up and will start track laying.

Within the shed l've found a problem with the station canopys, they dont like being in the sun and some have started to fall apart, may have to fit blinds to the windows. Although they might not look the part l've got some surface peco point motors to fit as well, none DCC at present. Also sitting there is a large bag of ballast waiting to find a home. But first things first l need to strengthen up the supports under the other station as the baseboard has developed a sag in the middle.

Then theres the new junction so l can have cont running, the back scenes and the remoddeling of the far end loop for double track plus the new fence to go up.

And they wonder why l've got high blood pressure.

Still plenty of time to do it in.

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Take it easy Jim and get some photos up! Would be nice to see what you've been up to and what still needs doing. I've just visited your Photo Gallery to remind myself of how it all used to look - there's some nice photos there.

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New frame work done to level up station baseboard, thought it was going great until l realised l hadn't taken the lip on the edge of the floor into account and it makes the whole thing about an inch to wide. Will give it a jiggle tomorrow and hopefully be able to move the whole lot over a bit.

Second revolation of the day is that the shed is not level, not by much but enough to make fly shunting possiable with free running stock!

(bp 144/86 high)

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Well jiggled new support into place with the aid of large hammer style jiggler and we are now on the level again. Would have done more but the warm wet weathet has bought the vampire midges out and l am sweetmeat for them.

On the subject of size l reckon l have around 275 feet of running line which l think is around 4 scale miles (rubbish at maths as well so stand to be corrected on that).

Neighbour has lent me a 1958 book on model railway. I was supprised how little the techniecs have changed, of course OO was looked down on and not suitable for gardens. Some interesting fact though, the tightest prototype curves on BR would be a 9ft radius in OO and at a scale 60mph a loco travels 1ft 2in in a second.

Not a lot of people now that.

BP 154/94 time for a sit down l think!

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Work free week so pushed on with the re build. Six modules now connected up and ready to lay track on them. I'm reusing the old track and spent a restfull hour in the sun cleaning them up with some very fine wet and dry. Supprised how bad some was but all cleaned up ok. Trying out soldering track into 6ft length, on the straights any way, to improve power flow. Just about to start track laying and it started to rain, stopped, started again then stopped, gave up and came in for the day! The aim is to get an operating layout, if not all operational, at least runable by the end of weekend.

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Braved the vampire bugs tonight and laid 30ft of double track. Discovered that 6ft lengths of ftrack may not be a good idea as(1) there awkward to move and (2) when you do move them the get caught in every plant they go near.

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Perseverance Jim, that's the way to do it!

Running by the weekend? Doesn't it rain where you are?

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Well rain did put paid to much today but did manage a bit outdoors before then. Yes the weekend is, if the weather man is to be belived, is a tad optimistic. Forcast for tomorrow is more rain so doing a morning back at work. What l should be doing is finishing of the station canopys but not at all happy with the way they turned out. There Airfix/Dapol ones but whilst they give the look l wanted they just dont fit together right, there very fiddley and are well, just not up to scratch. OK a lot is my model build skills or lack of, but they look a mess, and after building 20 of them even l should have got the hang of it by now. The main structures alright it the roof that gives the problem they all seem to differ in size !

As l needed more inside work to do the point motors finally made the trip from the house to the shed. Now although l've got some seep motors to hand l soon discovered that (1) l dont have the patience to lie on my back under the low base board and fit them (2) bad planning means that a couple of points are right over the cross members. So l've go with the peco surface mounted ones. Sprayed grey the look a bit like power points, not for the pureists but they do for me, or will when they go in.

Made a small start on the 4 track section but rain stopped play.

Trains running by Sunday? We live in hope.

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Well the biblical rain storms predicted held off until late so l now have a complete line again ! Tadah! OK so it not fixed down yet and the track disapears into a bush that needs a No1 haircut before a train goes anywhere near it but its sort of done. Of course the four track section is still only 2 track, a new board to complete the loop for continues running , with junction, still has to be started and the track round above bush needs to be doubled and probably widend as well but if the weather hold l could have trains running by the end of play Saturday.

Still a long way of finished article but its getting there.

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Civil engineers handed back possession of line to the operating department and first complete curcuit completed at 11.30. It was undertaken by battery powered 08 as DCC not wired in yet.

Long way to go yet but getting there.

Out for lunch but will try to get some pictures up latter.

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Hi Jim great news to complete the first circuit and see the first train run around the layout after doing all the hard work to pay off, looking forward to seeing pics and a video of the big even, I will have to get moving as well, slow going.

Wroke up to a perfect fine morning after it raining all day yesterday.

Tony from down under ;)

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Retreated to the shed as its raining again and made a start fitting the point motors. Peco surface mounted ones so easy to do. Sprayed them grey so they don't stand out so much and pleased with the look.

Now the awkward bit wiring them in. As l have a lot of them l'm using Hornby switches but could not get them to work, dug out the old instruction for Hornby point motor and of course the wirings differant!

Thought l got it but can only get them to pull one way now. Geting myself all confused over black becoming green red becoming black or was that red to black and green to red, arrrggghhh.

Will try again tomorrow. Need to get a wiggle on as working a couple of days this week though.

ps no pics as to wet to run anything although it now main beam sunshine here so bodes we fot Tuesday.

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Five out of eight point wired up and working, well all but the double slip one which works but doesn't throw the point over properly. Its a bit sticky and in a awkward space so may need to be re set a bit. Would have pushed on but ran out of green wire. Plenty of the rest l could have used but trying to do "Proper job" for once.

Why not have DCC controlled points l here you cry, well quite simply l'm to tight to pay out for modules when l had the switches lying around !

DCC will come, probabley on the out side ones when l get that far.

For anyone using Peco points with Hornby switches in the future the green wire fron the peco point needs to turn into the black wire on the Hornby side and vice versa. As the point wires arn't very long l just changed colours over at the first junction/join and everything was hunky dory.

I have enough switches to finish this bit but will change to normal (cheaper) switches for the next lot.

Question for anyone who knows, l have some used seep motors to use up as well, if l used Hornby switches again would the same wireing change be needed?

Still no pictures and doing a couple of days work from tomorrow, anyway need to tidy up first , all things come etc....

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Early finish so last of the point wired in and working, well sort of, the double slip still want throw over all the way. Even tested some old Dublo and Triang colour lights and they worked!

aaa1.jpg

 

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