A beginers Garden Railway or how I built one of the Dunnybahns

dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
I go back a long way with Garden Railways and as there are a few new Members plus beginers to Garden Railways I thought it appropriate to show how I built one of my previous lines. It was quite small but designed for proper Operation.

Here is the Track Plan, note that the points are all R1 but the Main Line Loop is predominantly but not excluseively R2. Note quite a few non standard lengths are shown, these were made up with Standard Lengths and off cuts to taste. If you are clever with a measuring stick you will see that the line is not very large in Garden terms.
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Construction started in September 1999 just after I had bought a Cement Mixer. The line was gone by the end of the next Summer as moved House in December 2000. But it did get some running with my LGB Stock and had a few photo shoots with other stock that I purchased as will be seen later.

Note the Granite Paving in the Centre for the Mountains. These were obtained after some Road works, the least said about them being the better. The Brick walls had been in place for some time and the Shrubbery had outgrown its interest, in truth it was becoming a complete pain and as SWMBO had left 5 years previous. As the House was now mine there were no complaints from the resident Lady of the House. That is her to the right, my lovely Cross Rotti German Shepheard now sadly in the Dog Kennel in the sky, but she did last to 14 years and is well remembered by all who met her. Note the grotty old MDF being used for shuttering. All the Soil had also been sifted to clear out Carp and any Stones etc to be used in Conctete Baseworks. Lots of Rubble in place as well. Bamboo Sticks show approximate lay of Railway to the left.
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First pour of what I call CarpCrete, 3 Parts Ballast 3 parts Carp Stones etc 1 Part Cement.
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Right hand side has had a pour of Track Base, this is Rowlands Mix 3 Parts Sharp Sand, 1 Part Peat and 1 Part Cement.
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Loads of bags for different types of Carp. Some good for use other stuff for base work.
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First base now going in at the rear. Note the fill or Earth to the rear of the MDF Shuttering.
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More to come later.
 
MTheStrong

MTheStrong

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28 Oct 2009
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Great story I am looking forward to the next instalment.
 
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Paul M

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Brilliant, just the sort of guide anyone can use!
Dare I say it, with the unfinished mountains, you've finished the episode on a classic cliffhanger:giggle::clap::clap:
 
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dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
So here is the rest of the saga, probably the shortest build story ever!
In the last instalment I was pouring Concrete. A similar process of Shuttering was carried out for the Gradient that was the R1 Incline to the Top Sidings via a short gap shown here filled with a small trestle. This was built using sticks that I bought at a boot sale for Fire Starting Kindling! Was all at around 1/2 square and quite rough, ideal for a trestle. It had been slvaged from a rather larger one that had been demolished by Sheeb's digging a nest during her pregnancy. That was replaced with a Concrete Viaduct another story. Some of the cross bents were smaller Timber I believe. Having completed all the Concrete and I laid out the track no clamps or bonding usd on this short life line. The track was not held in place as being mostly standard LGB there seamed no point. However for a longer life line I would probably have ballasted with Rowlands Mix 3 parts Sharp Sand, 3 parts Peat and 1 Part Cement.
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The remaining holes were all filled with Well Sifted Earth and planted out with varying small growing plants. At the front of the pic below is a Cotoneaster that had been grown as a Bonzai and was still in its pot. Tje Small Conifers were similarly treated but with the bottom cut out of the pot to allow some element of root spread. Al was then fitted out with Weed Barrier and mulched with a very small Alpine Grit.

Many of the edges have had the "shine" taken off them with Concrete Strata made with 2 Parts Sharpe Sand, 2 Parts Building Sand and 1 part Cement. Coloured in my favourite way with Azalia Plant Food wetted on. Other off Rocks and Boulders also added to the scene.
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Note below other odd plants with their labels still showing, should have recorded them for you! Sheeba gets her nut in the pic here.
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Finally a Year Later after having bought a Bachman Shay in the US I gave her a run with some LGB Disconnects loaded with Elderberry Tree Logs.
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As you can see even after only around a year the plant life has all thrived and softening the look of the line.
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The Concrete Viaduct on the other line that replaced the Trestle can be seen in this picture, gives the impression of a very nice long run. Sadly the two lines were never joined though if I stayed in the House who knows? I think that point in this view may have been a R3 one meaning my Track Plan is a little astray. Quite likely the one in the High Level Siding as well, ooops memory.
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In Operation the two sidings to the left (Fiddle Yard) would have a Goods Train, a Passenger Train, a Mixed Train and a Railcar (well actually an LGB Tram sans Pantographs). The first train a Mixed would leave and run to the Through Station. Do some shunting and prepare to run up to the High Level propelling its Consist. It would be at the end of the Station by the R2's that form the Continuous run at the bottom of the plan.

Next the Hauled Passenger would arrive allowing Passengers to Transfer to the Mixed for the short hop to the High Level.

Railcar would arrive and again passengers transfer. It is assumed that the Railcar was passed by the Passenger at an unseen loop further down the line as the the Railcar is a stopper and the passenger a fast.

The mixed would then depart to the High Level.

The Passenger would then depart to the "Fiddle Yard".

Derisory shunting would be carried out in the High Level followd by the arrival of the Railcar. Bit busy up here now.

Goods would arrive at the Low Level Station.

Railcar would depart to Low Level followed by the arrival of the Passenger again.

Goods carry out some shunting and move out of the way to the R2 Loop at the bottom of the plan.

Passenger runs round and departs after the Mixed has arrived from the High Level.

After a short pause the Railcar departs. Some more shunting is indulged in at the Low Level followed by departure of the Mixed.

Finally the Goods Propels up to the High Level with any Wagons for that location. Shunts and departs to the Low Level, runs round and heads of back to the Fiddle Yard.

With careful planning of the Fiddle Yard there should now be 2 Trains with Locomotives on the Through Line and the Railcar with a train with the Railcar on the other siding. A little shufling about with the Locomotives and Trains by use of the Continuous Run and all will be ready to repeat the Timetable for another Day in the little world that was this Railway.

Sadly this the end of this little saga as no more pictures were ever taken before it was dismantled. But rest assured all the Stock and Track with the exception of some the R1's have been used on my Hemel Line and my current one in St.Neots. Though I imagine further buyers of the property would be somewhat confused by the varying Gradients and Trestle that was left behind. The House was sold at least 3 times after I left at the last count.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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Nice story, well told and plenty of detail. I suspect you enjoy planning and building the layouts as much as using them, or maybe equal measure, Thanks for taking the trouble to document this.
 
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Paul M

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Nice story, well told and plenty of detail. I suspect you enjoy planning and building the layouts as much as using them, or maybe equal measure, Thanks for taking the trouble to document this.
That's a good point Idlemarvel, you could spend ages and a small fortune making up you layout and have great fun doing so, but if it's no fun to operate, it'll soon get boring. I suppose the moral is good planning before you start
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Thanks guys, your comments make it worth my while to make the effort to do such posts.
 
Capt. Jack

Capt. Jack

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Thanks for sharing this story. Always looking for new and better ways to go about this garden railroading..
 
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Thomas Lambo

Thomas Lambo

RC, wood craftsmanship & culinary arts
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Nicely done, and thanks much for taking the time to share the details of construction and railway operations.
 
Nordmij

Nordmij

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Great thread plenty of info here, loved the video of the setup. Think the spaces provided for the storage of drinks is an inspiration to us all. God made me think back to Sandy mid eighties.........
 
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ron grinter

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very helpfull to me. im doing my first build. it will be very similar to this but on a bigger scale.
brilliant
 
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ron grinter

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if theres any one near to me in gloucester. id like to get in touch to
share some ideas as im completely new to this fantastic hobby.
 
S

Sarah Winfield

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20 Jun 2016
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Thanks for your posts, it might help me as I progress.

What dimensions is your railway please?

Thank you,

Sarah Winfield
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,638
263
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Thanks for your posts, it might help me as I progress.

What dimensions is your railway please?

Thank you,

Sarah Winfield
Soory Sarah that one is long gone and dimensions not recorded. But it would be R2 Dia plus another 2 tracks joined by points and the width of 2 brick courses which would add around 8 inches if that helps.
 
S

Sarah Winfield

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Thanks for your reply.

Your article and pictures are helpful.

Sarah Winfield