Hi Guys, well I have finally got round to gettin back into the back garden and railway. I did a load of major reconstruction a couple of years ago but have decided to rip 90% of it out and start again. Some parts of the old track route will remain but not much. The new layout will be bigger though and will pretty much extend to the outer edges of the garden this time. All the perimiter fencing will be replaced, new pond and new patios etc.,. I'm demolishing and reconstructing as I go. The first reconstruction is taking place on the left hand side lookin out from the house. You can see the concrete block wall under the track bed.This was previously faced in timber ,now its gettin faced with stone and adjacent to it is the bed for a new pathway and what will be the side of the new pond. This stone walling will extend all the way towards the house and will  carry the double track mainline in a gentle curve bringing the railway to a station area right in front of my kitchen diner window. However loads of work before I'm there. All material ,sand ,cement timber has to be brought from the street at the front of the house and carried thru the house to the back garden as there is no other access.....so, hopefully I'll be a lot slimmer by the end of the job !! ...lol   

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On the right hand side of the garden the old fence is demolished and is being replaced, it will be topped off with flowerboxing. The railway on this side of the garden will probably be laid on torched on mineral felted external grade plywood tied to the fence.... however that plan may change yet ???   

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Hi Joe,aye its a big job for sure but I have the bit between my teeth. We've had the summer from hell here in Scotland this year,much of it cold ,windy and rainy, but hey ho ,sun'll shine again. I'll just get done what I can when I can before the winter frosts close things down till spring comes round again. Ye can never tell here with the weather though ,November could be better than July !!  . I have two grandsons ,one 4 and one 2,so I want to get the trains up and running ASAP so we can enjoy some shared quality time wi them. I've got three grandaughters too but they're more girly girls than tom-boys so I don't see them gettin all that excited about trains...but ye never know ! stranger things have happened !  thanks for the thumbs up Spence...  cheers  Davy 

Hi Guys these next 2 pictures show the direction I'm goin in. Some of the old track formation coming off the loco stabling area still bears to the right ,this will be re-hashed as the doubletrack mainline's new route will be tighter to the loco yard and a much longer straight run too.The new pond will extend a good bit more towards the house too.  

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That is really looking great......always wanted to create a garden layout like yours......like the idea of train running by the dining room and kitchen. Should look outstanding at night!

 

-Pete

"My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my trains at the price that I told her I paid For them!"

 

 

Hi Pete, am gettin there,but I have a huge job in front of me, still the good weather the last couple of days has let me push on a bit with the wall building. In the next two photos you can see todays progress.Up in the right hand corner where you can see the track pieces is the location of my turntable (still in situ and to be reconnected once the new mainline is laid. The main line will go straight to where the build has extended to date ,next job is to demolish the old formation and swing as gentle a curve as possible into a straight section along the front of the house window. Once I get the walling and track base finished to there I can start to lay track again and re-hash the sidings into the loco stabling area. The former patio in the forefront of the picture will be part of the floor of the new pond. Anyway,won't try to confuse you,I'll just keep posting progress pics as pics speak a thousand words eh ??   I think the forecast is for rain tomorrow ...ah well such is Scottish weather !!    Cheers  Davy 

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Hi Scotie, believe me I;m tired tonight that old trackbed formation is as hard as hell, could be doin with hiring a jack-hammer .however got on not bad with the big hammer and steel pinch. I'm almost thru though ,had to finish at 3pm due to torrential rain ,but got few hours at it while the sun shone. As soon as I get pushed thru I'll get the new wall foundation in and  the stonework rattled up. Old bones achin tonight though ... Never mind tomorrow's another day. this attached pic was taken just as the weather started to break this afternoon. Not the greatest photo but you can see what I'm workin towards.... Davy 

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One of my daughters took this pic of me today batterin away at the old stonework ,all the old stonework in the foreground has all to be demolished and moved this was the route of the old intended layout .However the priority for now is breaking thru it where I'm working in the picture to get the new formation built. 

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Matt and George, the track is PECO bullhead rail ,O gauge 2 rail. Nickel Silver rails and UV resistant plastic sleepers or "ties" as you guys in America call them.The track thats been down for a couple of years is as good as the day it was laid. The bulk of my G scale layout was also Peco G scale nickel silver track ,great stuff and far better than any other make I experimented with by far .   

 

Originally Posted by Davy Mac:

Matt and George, the track is PECO bullhead rail ,O gauge 2 rail. Nickel Silver rails and UV resistant plastic sleepers or "ties" as you guys in America call them.The track thats been down for a couple of years is as good as the day it was laid. The bulk of my G scale layout was also Peco G scale nickel silver track ,great stuff and far better than any other make I experimented with by far .   

 

Thanks. I'm hedging my bets on home layouts and looking for various alternative track brands should I have to build outdoors.

Matt Jackson
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Thanks for the interest guys, as for doin articles for the magazine Allan, feel free to use anything you want from what I'm posting if that suits you. I;m sure you'd make a better job of putting things into words/editing etc., than me. I have a general plan for the garden and layout in my head but nothing's definite other than the rail route must go to as near the extremities of the garden as possible. Believe me I'm as curious as anybody else to see how it pans out as I have only a loose general plan in my head. Great fun !! 

 

 

Hi Mike, the wood I'm using is pressure treated "tile batten"as we say in Scotland. Kinda wood strips used here for fixing tiles on roofs. They're about 1.25"X0.5"profile..... As for warping ......doesn't happen. The timbers are laid in wet cement .To stop springing or warping....before laying the strips I hammer nails half way in on the underside of them  leaving the nail heads exposed. A few nails protruding at various angles ensures that when the cement sets round them it takes a grip of the nails...result.. the wood is going nowhere. As for cold and frost ground-heave,again,doesn't happen because with the rubble underbase everything is well drained....nowhere for water to collect so no frost heave. Only 6.45 AM as I write this so too early to go hammering in the garden just yet....don't think my neighbours would appreciate it...lol. but I'll be laying timbers again today so I'll post method-photos  later on for you.

  

OK Guys, heres a section I've just done. The top stones in in the walling were all incorporated in the same batch of cement as the track base.So makes for a very strong over-all finish. OK first the timber was cut to the desired length then nails hammered in. Then the wooden strips are bedded in the cement nailed face down and then levelled.Then more cement spread and tamped in to shape,finally a few handfulls of fine crushed grey rock/rockdust is spread on top and tamped into the cement to shape. This gives a nice ballasted look to the track and also being tamped into the wet cement it stays put. (Incidentally the sand I'm using for the cement is is rough/coarse grade sand ,not fine building sand used for brickwork.When I finally lay the track more of this fine crushed rock will be spread and brushed in between the sleepers (ties in US-speak). See stage by stage pics attached.  

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Hi Guys,  Ace....thanks for the thumbs up.... don't enviseage any major problems,had a G scale layout for years so the only difference is that its an O gauge layout this time as opposed to 45mm. George ...as for power ...I have too many locos that would need chipped for DCC so I think it'll be straight DC. I'll probably use a radio control system to track though along the lines of the old Aristocraft G scale system. I think the German company Massoth make a similar unit.

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