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Trevor

The Great Wakering Flackwell Heath & Whitefield Railway

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Hi Everyone

I started construction of my layout in 1980 and the first experimental section is still running today. The layout has featured several times in Hornby and Model Rail magazines. I have noticed many questions about construction techniques, suitable plants can you have points outside. All these problems I have solved and the layout works as good as the best exhibition layouts. This year I will be having an open day for the 00 society and all those interested in garden layouts.Details will follow in due course. Should you have any questions please ask and I will endeavour to answer them. Here are a couple of pix''s to wet your appetite on what is achievable.

Trevor

Gt Wakering Whitefield & Flackwell Heath Railway 1.jpg

Gt Wakering Whitefield & Flackwell Heath Railway 2.jpg

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Hi Trevor and a warm welcome to the forum.

I've seen articles and photos about your layout and even have a couple of videos somewhere so it's a pleasure to have the opportunity to be able to learn more about it and about your methods of construction. The first thing that always comes to mind is just how long does it take to clean the tracks before a running session and what do you use in order to do that? Even on my part completed single track line it seems to take me 10-15 minutes or so to get down to ground level and clean the rail tops and brush away any debris but I'm only talking about 50 or 60 feet of trackwork!

I'm looking forward to learning more about your railway but as it's just gone midnight I'll leave any further questions until a better time of day.

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I'm really pleased you have joined the forum Trevor. As the inventor of Rubbercrete, there is so much experience you could share, if it's not already out there. I would really like to attend your open day, but I am sure that you are in a different part of the country, so a booking at a nearby caravan site would probably be needed. Do you have a firm date yet?

Welcome again.

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Hi Trevor welcome to the forum, those pics are pure awesome, it proves that HO-OO scale can work outside, love the town and that tunnel, will love to learn more on how you solved the issue with points outside.

My layout is half in under a pergola and out side as well, a bit far for me to come to your open day be interested in seeing some video on your layout in action, that is where I get a lot of ideas from and forums as well, my layout is slow going will get there.

Tony from down under ;)

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That looks fantastic........very much a garden layout rather than a model train in the garden. I'll be happy with the latter but I have the utmost respect for those who can pull off such an integration of "real" and model scenery so well.

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Hi Trevor, IanR, gee you have to be quick, I found the same link last night, should of posted it then, never mind , will have to agree with IanR pure brilliant, was so good I watched the link a few times.

Trevor do you have any more video links on you tube as that is all I could find.

Keep the pics and video flowing.

Happy modelling Tony from down under.

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Hi All

I will try and answer your questions as they arise. Firstly the open weekend will be either the second or third weekend in July - details will follow in due course. Cleaning the line, I normally plan to run 3 days consecutive each month from April to October this gives me 21 operating days per year sometimes more. I wait for a 3 day dry weather forecast and we can expect to get at least 1 such period in each of those months. Stage 1 is cutting back plant growth apart from the first one each year this would occupy about 1/2 hour. Secondly vacuum the whole track bed with a powerful vacuum cleaner. Thirdly track clean with abrasive rubbers depending on how long since the last operation decides which grade to use. Check all points and crossovers for debris in the frogs and point mechanism. The control panels are then plugged in a double unit for the 2 main lines, a separate unit for Gt Wakering harbours station to allow shunting whilst 2 main line trains are running but this section also has cab control from which ever main line the train is entering the harbour station from. Lastly a unit at the bottom of the garden to control the fiddle yard/ through station and eventually the engine shed. I then run round each track a track cleaning vehicle all points are then checked for operation and lubricated as necessary in total about 3 hours for 2 persons. I then have 2 -3 days of running from say 11.00 to 21.00 the garden is fully luminated with over 30 lights mains and 12V circuits all LED's. The control panels have between them 15 25 way cable connections to the railway for the many isolating sections,points, signals and uncoupling rails. The video link was put on by Mike Wild of Hornby Magazine but I am working on a video which includes a cab ride around the layout which will be on utube but not until this Autumn.

Here are 2 more still pixs showing the lifting bridge across the path and the bridge across Gt Wakering Creek

GW & FH R Lifting bridge accross path.jpg

Bridge accross pond.jpg

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G'day Trevor, well your railway has certainly matured from the first time I saw it in 1998. Have you found that heavy frosts play havoc with your track ballast, only I was talking to Ron Turner up in Diggle who said he'd been talking to you about it.

I know longer have an outdoor railway due to the weather extremes finally getting the better of me. On mine it was an above ground railway and although the structure eventually failed the track work was as good as new. I tested the theory of the Peco code 100 streamline track being resistant to ants by angering bull ants which really bite hard. The track suffered no damage whatsoever although I didn't have a look through a microscope for microscopic bite marks.

I see that Hornby magazine has uploaded to you tube videos of your incredible railway (I don't know how else to describe it) so it will be nice to see one of your videos of your railway. I can say that a Sony AS100V action cam if placed in a bogie well wagon comes within the loading gauge for OO. Like all modern cameras these days it has everything on it but the "kitchen sink".

Roy.

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Really nice layout. And once again proving to those who doubt, that yes it can be done.

How long is the mainline run on this layout, or did someone else ask this already?

Is it the standard wood planking underneath the track, or masonry?

ok, I am off to watch that video again after having posted it to one of the american sites. They all still think I am nuts for being into garden railways, but I keep sharing beautiful videos with them anyway. :lol:

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He didn't tell us there was another video on youtube as well:

Is there a track plan anywhere online?

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If those video's aren't enough to get us all out in the garden laying track then I don't know what is!

traingeekboy said:

Really nice layout. And once again proving to those who doubt, that yes it can be done....

Proof for the sceptics indeed! It's also encouraging to read in a Hornby magazine write up that Trevor's railway has been under constant development since 1980 so all those of us who fear we might 'never get it finished' can rest easy knowing there's still plenty of time.

I sense it's going to be a good summer!

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traingeekboy said:

Really nice layout.Is it the standard wood planking underneath the track, or masonry?

It's a sort of masonry. On the Model Rail Garden Expert DVD Trevor confessed that he didn't invent the "rubbercrete" but pinched it. It was originally invented to be used as an insulated trial for piggery floors. It was a wonderful insulator but it didn't have a lot of abrasion resistance. On a garden railway you don't get any abrasion because the track takes all the abrasion. The "rubbercrete" is made from a mixture of cork and rubber chips mixed with cement and an SBR glue. A sort of up market PVA. It looks like cement but behaves more like hard rubber and you can plane it and hammer track pins into it and it all holds firm. So the track work is laid directly onto the "rubbercrete".

I hope you don't mind me writing this Trevor.

Roy.

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Trevor, I bought some time ago a Hornby magazine and with it came a free DVD showing some of the railways featured in the magazine over the past 12 months and one of those railways was yours.

My question is how did you make the metal uncoupling ramp at Great Wakering Station?

On the DVD you were shunting using the Model Rail Sentinel shunter which you modified I think by permanently attaching a shunters truck to it and giving it extra long pick ups to help it over point work at slow speed. Well lets face it it only moves at a slow speed.

I look upon your railway as the very best of a ground level garden railways and Ian R's railway as the very best of a high level outdoor railway. I have not seen a better railway in OO or any scale that come close to either of these railways and both are DC controlled.

Roy.

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So glad you joined the forum, as I always found the lack of online material on your GR a little frustrating, because its such an inspirational layout.

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I am putting together a set of comprehensive construction instructions its taking longer than I though as I am searching for some old photographs. Should be posted next week.

Trevor

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Trevor, have you ever heard of Softfall/Softrax rubber as used in public parks and daycare centers for kids to play on. There are companies over here that make it but I've only found one so far that supplies for D.I.Y as most seem intent on providing a team to do the job for you. http://www.softfall.com.au It seems to be the ideal track bed for an outdoor railway and also seems similar to yours. Your track bed is great but over here I can't find anyone who supplies cork chips. Like your ingredients it's done in a "wet pour" process.

Roy.

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Hi

I will be placing a track plan and construction details on line as soon as I am able. My wife's other hip needs replacement so at the moment time is very limited. However you will see under open day that the railway will be open on July 25th and a new video of mine with a train camera ride ( shot last summer) is under preparation.

Trevor

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G'day Trevor best wishes from us all to your wife (Janet?) for her hip operation. My mum has just had a second hip operation which replaced the first artificial hip which was 44 years old. The doctor told her that the biggest enemy of replacement hips is weight gain. Mum did the post operative exercises for her first hip replacement for 44 years and when she visited the doctor who did the operation, he asked her to raise her leg. She did and almost kicked him in the face. She told him that she was still doing the exercises and he was very surprised saying that most people only do them in post recovery in hospital and then don't worry about them after that.

We also all look forward with great anticipation to your cab ride video of your stunning railway running through your beautiful garden. Is the garden your work of is it a joint effort with your wife or do you place the plants where your wife knows where they will look their best. A friend of mine once said 'never ever dig a hole and plant the plant you have bought because you're bound to put it in the wrong place and if you don't replant it in the right place you will never hear the end of it'.

Roy.

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The main line is three & 1/4 scale miles round. The base is a reinforced concrete beam on piles with my rubbercrete topping (three mixed grades of cork one of fine rubber chips cement and SBR) This is screeded on against side forms at a depth of 1/2 ins. Stainless steel pins are used to fasten the track down.

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