A Garden Railway Pipedream: the odyssey continues

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Dikitriki, 7 August 2013.

  1. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Hehe Mick, concentration is over-rated at times like these.
    I threw in the towel a couple of hours ago and fired up the stereo - proper 'play time', itch or no itch...

    mickoo likes this.
  2. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    The mixture of gauges didn't seem too obtrusive to me, but I was distracted not by the lovely Britania but the ugly supporting structure. However saying 'it's horrid' isn't particularly useful or productive so I've found an image of a garden railway that's absolutely gorgeous.

    rm august 71.jpg

    Though I gave away my copy in the late seventies it's one of those things that has stuck in my mind ever since.
  3. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    You're right Neil, it is horrid. It's also what I am desperately keen to avoid. In any event, my wife has made it abundantly clear that the railway has to be part of the garden, and not dominate it, as that one does.

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  4. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    It's a good job I'm not a moderator, as I'd have this thread closed and deleted:eek:

    None the less I am not (you! at the back of the class, stop cheering!) and the diversion is equally welcome :thumbs:

    On my recent, garden railways, trawls I found this, which in and odd quirky way I find appealing.


    Though I do find an elevated 'structured' railway just as appealing.

    I did note the footbridge in the clip, but for me the focus was on the 'Britannia' and to be fair they could of populated the line side with Barbie houses and I wouldn't have noticed ;).

    I did note the comment 'test track' above and thought it rather odd, but in hindsight garden railways do tend to fall into two categories, ones which are attempts to replicate scale railways in detail and ones which are.....in the bluntest concept...glorified test tracks.

    Steve cook has many post's on garden railways and all....excuse a broad brush...are glorified test tracks, and for want of a better phrase, better for it.

    I have a friend who models live steam G1, his focus is on live steam running, his locos are basically detailed but he cares not one jot, his focus is the garden and live steam and I think an awful lot of them are like minded. I've been to a couple of meets and it doesn't take long before you tune out the over scale rail and incorrect sleeper spacing ;) On the other hand, I admire those garden railways where effort is made to detail and blend the model with the surrounding environment.
    Neil likes this.
  5. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Just spent a good while trying to find this video as it's the sort of thing that I would aspire to if ever I get the chance..

    I was watching quite a few Garden railway videos a while back and came across this one, if you're looking for inspiration, it's just beautiful! But then the IOM engines are quite wonderful too...


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  6. Steve Cook

    Steve Cook Flying Squad

    Mickoo - I hope you watched the video on post 11, for me it was a game changer.

    That is a cracking layout JB and one of my often watched videos.
    In the next house I really would like to up my narrow gauge game.

    I'd just like to warn you two chaps that you are both on the danger route. I started where you two are and you know where its got me...
    Enjoy the journey and don't fight it too much :)
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  7. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer


    I did, and it is very evocative but as hinted above I like my engines to be full fat LOL. I already know resistance is futile and I've had a very soft spot for SAR steam and electrics for as long as I can remember, as well as logging and other 'heavy' narrow gauge lines and I do like the small Hunslets (without cab) from the Welsh slate mines (Slaters 16L02 kit).

    I found this yesterday and that was the clincher


    More here :thumbs:


    Being a keen photographer the photos were as interesting for the infrastructure as they are for loco modelling reference.

    I then 'wasted' the rest of yesterday collecting data and photos on NG/G16s and other SAR steam :rolleyes: but did come across one fascinating line which I'll explain in a new thread of mine, there's not a lot of info I can find yet but it looks like a goverment high value (Chromium and Rhodium) mining line that used even larger 2' engines built in the mid 70s to modern designs, an NG/G18 and even larger NG/G20 are referenced as well as some Mallet designs which I'm going to research today :thumbs:

    But yes, I'm already a lost soul, the only decision I have to make now is On30 or SM32 ;)

    Again, apologies to Richard for the blatant OT diversion :cool:
    Last edited: 17 May 2015
    ZiderHead likes this.
  8. Steve Cook

    Steve Cook Flying Squad

    Doesn't sound like a 'waste' to me Mickoo, I'm quite partial to a NG16 too although I've not had much luck searching out a Batch 3 Accucraft model yet. I'm hoping that patience proves a virtue :)

    Sorry Richard, a bit later than planned, but here are the results of the mock ups with Cliff's G1 components.
    Unfortunately, the sleeper units used for the photos on the previous page were the 90mm long ones. With another rail mocked up on the top using a pair of chairs you can see how much support there is.

    G1 vs G3 track2.jpg

    G1 vs G3 track3.jpg

    The finescale ones are even worse as you'd expect.

    G1 vs G3 track4.jpg

    I've just checked a pair of G3 Slaters wheels and they clear the chairs OK on the G1 track - there isn't a lot of clearance left though.

    Hope that is of some use to you.
  9. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Hi Steve,

    That is most useful, thank you. Plan A goes out of the window then! I suppose it was too much to hope for. I'm not sure what plan B is yet.

  10. Steve Cook

    Steve Cook Flying Squad

    I haven't come up with an elegant solution for the problem either yet Richard.
    As my requirements are for a much shorter duration than yours, I may forgo the elegance part :oops:
  11. This one do you :)
  12. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad


    We're still thinking about this, in spite of the Heyside deadlines!

    Allan has (mostly) completed his garden survey, and provided this first plan.

    plan1 lr resized.jpg

    The triangular objects bottom left are existing raised vegetable and fruit beds. The straight outlines represent part of the garden boundaries, about 75 ft in each direction. the steaming up area will be to the right of the raised bed triangles where the line will be about 3 ft off the ground. the minimum radius will be increased to 10ft by moving the line closer to the 3 apple trees where the line is on a viaduct. The total run is about 60 metres.

    After a lot of kicking around, the line is going to be G1 only initially, and will be built using scaffold poles, scaffold jacks and cable trays as shown in the latest G1 Journal, except where it is on the viaduct. This is mostly at the insistance of my wife who doesn't want to have a concrete structure/trackbed that might make selling the house more difficult at a later stage. So this should be a relatively quick to erect system that can be removed (albeit not without some hard labour) when we come to sell. We will have 5 regulars I think to help build it, so we are looking to be running within a year from first sod cut!

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  13. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad


    Final survery day today. We know where the baseboard supports are to go, the track plan is pretty much as in the previous post, except that the minimum radius is now 10ft, which has meant just a little realignment, and if the weather is good, we start next week.....gulp. The only thing I have to make my mind up on is what top surface to use.

    It will be double track G1 only and has a run of 62 metres. At it's lowest it will be 6'' off ground level, and it's highest on a viaduct will be 3' 2'' off ground level. The trackbed will be as flat as I can make it.

    Allan in charge:

    Brian doing what he's told with Clive in customary supervisory mode:


    And going round the railway from there: P1010278a.jpg




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  14. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    would love to see you on the trampoline Richard;););)


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  15. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    After he's cut the grass. :):):):)

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  16. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad


    After finishing the suvey, I walked the route with a tape measure and came to the conclusion that the railway would be too high off the ground, and that I would have great difficulty in blending it in with the garden. A brief consultation with my wife showed me very clearly that it would indeed be too high.

    What about instead of going round the ash tree at the top of the garden, going in front of it acros the flower bed. That would reduce the difference between the highest and lowest points. So, a deviation route was surveyed. This showed that if the layout was at ground level across the bed, everything would work out better, particularly when viewed from the house end of the garden.

    Here's the deviation route:

    Final Design.jpg

    And here's the height table:

    Final height a.jpg

    This shows that the maximum height above ground between points 14 and 15 (a 16 ft viaduct) is 2 ft, and that over 50% of the layout is at a height of 1 ft or less above ground. I will need a rethink about the infrastructure at ground level, but I think this will work.

  17. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad


    Well, a bit of a wet day, but the infrastructure components have started arriving......



    and cable trays

    No going back now.

  18. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    And so the work begins......

    The most important reference point was ground level in front of the ash tree where the return curve was to go. The curve had to be close to the tree to maintain a minimum radius of 10ft, and we knew we would encounter tree roots.



    The roots in the middle of the picture set the height of the whole layout round the garden. The roots are height Zero. The top of all scaffold poles will be Z + 1cm. The railway, once the jacks, cable trays and top surface have been taken into account will be Z + 6cm. There will be a separate concrete track bed either side of the roots, joined by a bridge section which will give 2cm clearance above the root.

    We have started to excavate the arc for the concrete track bed.


    The pegs mark the outer edge of the track bed, not the 10ft radius.


    We have also sited some of the scaffold poles, partly to see how easy it was, but also to see whether we could just drive them in rather than digging a bigger hole and concreting them in. We found it was not too difficult to drive them in, though doing so truly vertically was not so easy, and that, maybe we were lucky, but we did not encounter any buried debris on the 5 we had completed.



    All in all, a succesful first day.

    Last edited: 23 June 2016
  19. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Hi Richard

    Has allowance been made for the growth and movement of the 'datum' roots?

    Love the project and your typically high quality approach to it.

    isambardme likes this.
  20. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Thanks Dave,

    I'm not entirely sure what we will end up doing - there's a bit more excavation needed before plans are finalised. The aim is to have the concrete track bed stop some 6 inches or so short of the roots. Using the cable trays for support, and with the Hardie backer board as a bridge surface, we can carry a 1.5 metre gap, and that would leave a minimum of 2cm clear over the highest root. I would hope that this space would allow for growth and movement, but we would have easy access to monitor it and to trim the roots if necessary. We can dig the foundations a little deeper either side of the roots to try to ensure long term stability. The ash is a mature tree, but if someone can suggest any other/better approach, please let me know.