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Resurrection of my Large Scale Garden Railway

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14 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Been meaning to ask.....What modelling scale is this closest to?  :shrug:

Well there's a question!


It's known as 'G' scale (G='Garden'), and given its origins - Lehmann of Germany - it sought to model European metre gauge railways to a track gauge of 45mm. Therefore all the locos, stock, buildings, figures etc were modelled to 1:22.5 or thereabouts. When  their market extended to other track gauges such as 760mm, the French 'secondaire' (60cm) network, and the US narrow gauge logging network, the decision was taken to keep the model track gauge at 45mm. This of course required a certain 'fluidity' in the scaling of the stock for those lines.  Consequently, depending on what stock you are actually running, you can be effectively modelling anywhere between 1:32 and 1:19! 


Still glad you asked? :D


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Next up, I went into full-on 'lumberjack' mode and rid myself of some particularly troublesome conifers - I'm pretty sure they weren't this big when I transplanted them from a small pot some years back:








One small beneficial effect of taking these monsters down - a realistic log load for one of my stake wagons:




Next, I had to get the roots up - easier said than done:




Looks a mess I admit, however the way is clear for the next stage...


Thanks for watching! :)



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Neat.  I have a feeling tat by making the engines self powered rather than picking up electrons through the rails you will have a much more reliable and easily controlled system that should help immeasurably with your enjoyment.

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21 hours ago, Ratch said:

Interesting project

Thanks, yes it makes an interesting change from getting bits of styrene into something reminiscent of a plane or a tank! Gets me outside in the fresh air, too, which can't be bad. So my doctor tells me anyway! I would readily admit that I am about as far away from 'modelling' as it's possible to get and still be posting on a modelling forum!

16 hours ago, Boman said:

Coolest project ever! 😍

Cheers, much appreciated!  :thumbsup2:

14 hours ago, ejboyd5 said:

Neat.  I have a feeling tat by making the engines self powered rather than picking up electrons through the rails you will have a much more reliable and easily controlled system that should help immeasurably with your enjoyment.

Thanks. Yes you're absolutely right - no need to spend endless hours cleaning the rail surface only to find that somewhere around the circuit some minute specks of dirt have gotten into the joints and created a continuity problem.


Anyways, the next step was to replace what had been there before, with something more stable. First, a quick flashback to 2007, and how the bridge looked in its heyday - and before the wooden supports started to rot away:






Some Celcon blocks were used to create a solid bridge structure up to the point where it crosses the lower line:




I had a fair bit of excess mortar at the end of this stage, so I made use of it by burying the rails to the diesel refuelling area to make them flush with the surface, like so:




I have a 'Shell' tank wagon which will live in this area when it's up and running, but a bit of testing can never go amiss:




Thanks for watching, and for your comments - always appreciated :)





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I then had to look at continuing the raised deck round the curve to meet up with the raised bed the other side of the rockery. This, I feel, is part of the real fun of outdoor railway engineering - pondering real engineering problems, and coming up with solutions. In this particular case, I found the answer on another (model railway) forum - a deck made from metal stud-work, the kind beloved of shop- and office-fitters. I sourced my stuff ('C' Section galvanised steel studs, 2.4m length) from my local Wickes DIY store:




I then cut the studs at points along their length to allow them to bend to the same curvature as the track that will be carried on it once complete:






... not too shabby!


Typically of me, I decided after cutting the metal that I would have a lift-out section to allow for access to the darker recesses of that particular corner of the garden. So, a hastily cobbled together plan 'B' resulted in this:




I had to relocate the supporting block that had been hidden away in the undergrowth for several years, but once that was done it started to look promising:






The structure was held together with 'blind' rivets, or 'pop rivets'. I managed to get a decent hand riveter from my local Machine Mart, as well as an extra couple of bags of rivets:




Having never used one before it took me a while to work it out, but I got there in the end:






It won't be winning any beauty contests any time soon, but I am well happy with it! It's surprisingly stable, I can't see any of my live steamers giving it too much bother.


Thanks for watching! :)




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Sadly the spell of hot dry weather with gentle breezes (perfect for spraying outdoors) was replaced last week with something more typical for us here on the South Coast :(


Consequently, progress has been somewhat limited. However, I managed to get the lift-out section of the replacement bridge sprayed with rust-proof primer, followed by some Halford's red oxide primer - which they don't seem to do any more!






I also managed to make some more progress in building the celcon bridge:




Not much, but it's a small step along the way.


Thanks for watching :)



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Today I finally managed to sort out the 'semi-permanent' section that crosses the hebe bush to the next celcon support. This process was not without its additional challenges, as I discovered to my cost that I couldn't use the C-section to complete the curve as it left insufficient clearance when crossing the lower line for the second time. My solution? A piece of off-cut uPVC cladding and a bolted on step to support it at the desired height:




Another whiff of the primers, and put in place:




Finally, the last hurdle was cleared with the aforementioned uPVC offcut:




Clearance looks ok:




The uPVC section will need painting; if I can I might try and find a slightly larger piece. But it's looking promising!


Thanks as ever for watching :thumbsup2:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought a pukka LGB girder bridge from the Bay of Evil for £24. In order to make it span the gap, I had to drop in a new celcon block pillar on the other side in place of the bricks:






Hopefully this bridge, in combination with a lump of the aforementioned uPVC cladding (still needed as the bridge is straight whereas the track is curved) should see us right! Unfortunately it's all moulded in one piece. No matter, I just need to take a hacksaw or panel line scribing tool to it, and do it that way. Sad to have to do something so drastic to a £25 model, but needs must and all that!


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6 hours ago, Kallisti said:

Just caught up with this thread, fascinating project, keep up the excellent and interesting work! :)

Thanks Mr Kallisti, much appreciated :thumbsup2:


6 hours ago, Mancunian airman said:

Developing into something worthy of your talents.


I do like the plastic girder bridge . . . . couldn't you straighten the track so as to keep the girder bridge ??


Keep up the good work, I 'll pop by again



Thanks Ian, also for the suggestion... You've got me thinking now! It all hinges on whether I can source some spare straight track, and successfully incorporate it into the existing track geometry, but I will definitely follow that up! Thanks again :)


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Well, having thoroughly investigated the possibilities of using the bridge as is, and a straight piece of track, regrettably I had to abandon the idea. The main reason was that the rearranged track passed too close to a brick wall buttress :( Ah well, not to worry - back to the original plan:




Just laying them loose in the location where they will eventually ply their trade:




I was then able to measure and mark the required lump of uPVC, and cut it out:




A quick clearance check with my longest item of stock:




I'm happy with that! Next step is to modify the bridge girder sections slightly to take away the plastic toy-like look on the side nearest the track, then I can glue it all up and prime it all ready for painting etc::




Obviously a few ejector-pin marks to take care of also, but nothing outrageous :)


Thanks as ever for watching!




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The bridge progress has rattled along a fair bit during yesterday. The rest of the riveting was applied to both sections. I also fitted some additional strips of styrene at the base, to hide the rather ragged appearance resulting from my unceremoniously parting the sides from the deck:




Next step was to glue these girder sections to the replacement uPVC deck. I used Gorilla glue for this, it's really weird stuff as you have to spray one side with a fine mist of water, and apply the glue to the other side before bringing the two pieces together:




The glue expands as it cures (about 3 hours at room temperature), so I ended up with lots of little splodges of foam-like plastic which needed the attention of a scalpel to remove. Tedious, but doable, and the bond appears to be pretty effective!

The resulting bridge structure looks like this:




A bit of Halford's car body primer sprayed on:




I'll set that aside for a few days and ponder what to do next on it.


Thanks for watching! :)


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My turn to catch up with your project.   What a charming looking layout.   I really like garden railways as there's a nice element of realism brought to them by the natural setting.   Not a railway modeller/enthusiast myself but do like your approach to solving problems ... very creative.


Just checked my Flying Scotsman model (upon which you kindly commented recently) and it was built to no known scale other than it had to fit on a particular shelf in my house.   Just checked the bit of track she resides on and they're 42mm apart so she just might look right at home on your layout!


Keep up the interesting work.





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Thanks Frank, you are most kind. I'd love for a model of that calibre to grace my line, sadly many of the curves on it would be too tight. I guess the nearest gauge to 42mm is Gauge 1, which is actually a track gauge of 44.45mm and would equate to a scale of 1:32 for British Standard Gauge stock.

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More progress to report, of the bridge-building kind. It all started off, however, with my deciding to move up into the jungle a bit, to do a bit of clearance of the old 'Waters Edge' branch:




The overgrown, and frankly unwelcome Lonicera was also toast:




The biggest headache, however, was clearing the countless weed seedlings that had sprung to life since the rain we had following the 6 weeks or so of sustained dry weather. Those weeds really do catch you out if you turn your back on them for even a second!


Next to be cleared was the approach to the pond bridge:






I was about to dig out some soil for a celcon block track bed, when I noticed that the wooden deck that spans the pond was looking in an even more dodgy state than I had thought. Fortunately, I had enough C-Section studwork to make up a replacement. Well, if an idea is that good, why limit yourself to applying it only once!


The old bridge:




I started assembling the C-section replacement using the old bridge as a guide:






Finally, the replacement back in place across the pond:




Yes, there is really a pond in there somewhere! Don't believe me? OK just for you...




I chanced my arm and did the same to the new pond bridge as I did to the curved one:




Finally, for now - the painted bridge in place with the tracks temporarily reinstated:




I am officially all out of red primer! :(


Anyway, thanks for watching and of course your comments! :thumbsup2:






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No progress today, but here's a cab-view video clip of a test run across all the recently replaced bridges:



Apologies again for the clutter which will be attended to hopefully soon :(



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2 hours ago, JPuente54 said:

@clive_t, nice video, made me feel that I was on it. Great progress on this project; will definitely be keeping watch on it!


Thanks Joe, much appreciated.


Thanks very much @ejboyd5. Actually, I will be less worried about leaves this year since I converted my Schoema Diesellok to battery power. No more electrical continuity problems to resolve :D  Larger twigs might get lucky and bring it down, but for the most part the weight of the loco means they just get swept aside.


Here's another video I made of a full circuit run yesterday, for the amusement of my grandchildren - held their undivided attention for a full 3 minutes! Trust me, that is a long time for them... This time, the camera angle is from the guard's PoV:



Edited by clive_t
lost a quote so did a mention instead
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Loved it! It really reflects the work that you have put into so far. I can hardly wait to see how it will look when it is "finished(these things aren't finished so much as reach a state of completion)". I look forward to your next steps.


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