Just started small layout

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Portsladepete

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Work started on digging the lawn up! Have ordered some paving blocks to carry the track, these will go into the necessary trenches, (back garden lawn is the extreme opposite of flat). If it goes to plan, ballast will be added as the only means of fixing the track.
Not sure if I should put some in before the blocks to make it easier to get level? B47F0662-FB8E-4E7C-B20B-F806E1CF6AA0.jpeg
 
ebay mike

ebay mike

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Work started on digging the lawn up! Have ordered some paving blocks to carry the track, these will go into the necessary trenches, (back garden lawn is the extreme opposite of flat). If it goes to plan, ballast will be added as the only means of fixing the track.
Not sure if I should put some in before the blocks to make it easier to get level? View attachment 267922
Whatever you do Pete, don't forget about a weed membrane.
 
KentKeith

KentKeith

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Welcome to the site, there are many, many ways of track laying.

My way, for instance, is to use Celcon (aerated) blocks. They are light to handle, can easily be cut if necessary and easy to nail the track down:

TerminalLoop-34.jpg
 
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Portsladepete

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Portsladepete

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Looked at those blocks, unfortunately having to economise, hope the ones I am getting will be ok. Your layout is rather special by the way.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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Looked at those blocks, unfortunately having to economise, hope the ones I am getting will be ok. Your layout is rather special by the way.
The cheapest blocks tend normally to be the Concrete ones and boy are thye heavy. As Keith says the Celcons thoigh a bit more expensive are much easier to manage and cut nicely with a hand saw. Try that with Breeze or Concrete blocks! I did once find a range like Celcons that that were pure white and came in much longer lengths plus they were somewhat cheeper in the longer form. But that was way back in 2000 when I was building my lone at Hemel. I sourced them from a builders yard just outside of Bovingdon Herts. Never found any in Cambs where I now live.
 
Ralphmp

Ralphmp

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6 Jan 2010
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The cheapest blocks tend normally to be the Concrete ones and boy are thye heavy. As Keith says the Celcons thoigh a bit more expensive are much easier to manage and cut nicely with a hand saw. Try that with Breeze or Concrete blocks! I did once find a range like Celcons that that were pure white and came in much longer lengths plus they were somewhat cheeper in the longer form. But that was way back in 2000 when I was building my lone at Hemel. I sourced them from a builders yard just outside of Bovingdon Herts. Never found any in Cambs where I now live.
Jon, was that E H Smiths in Bovingdon? Have used them for many years for house projects and tools and have always found them a good supplier.
 
ebay mike

ebay mike

Retired, but still hoarding. (GOF)
6 Dec 2011
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Norfolk - edge of nowhere.
The cheapest blocks tend normally to be the Concrete ones and boy are thye heavy. As Keith says the Celcons thoigh a bit more expensive are much easier to manage and cut nicely with a hand saw. Try that with Breeze or Concrete blocks! I did once find a range like Celcons that that were pure white and came in much longer lengths plus they were somewhat cheeper in the longer form. But that was way back in 2000 when I was building my lone at Hemel. I sourced them from a builders yard just outside of Bovingdon Herts. Never found any in Cambs where I now live.
I think they were Durox blocks Jon. I used them when I built an extension back in the 80's.
 
ebay mike

ebay mike

Retired, but still hoarding. (GOF)
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I had forgot Mike, oops, where do they come from? Garden centres?
All over the place - Wilko had them - they're like a blanket and you cut to shape and size. Only expensive if you go to a garden centre or somewhere like B&Q. I saw some in Poundland not long ago. Other possible sources B&M, Poundstretcher, Home Bargains. QD.
 
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Portsladepete

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Cheers Mike, wife is the gardener, and non railway shopper!
 
ebay mike

ebay mike

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Gizzy

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I had forgot Mike, oops, where do they come from? Garden centres?
Whatever you do Pete, don't forget about a weed membrane.
I would suggest you get a good quality heavy duty membrane Pete. If you measure up how much you need, then you can buy it by the metre at any Garden Centre....
 
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Portsladepete

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Well, now have membrane, and horticultural grit thanks to you all for advice, now heavens have opened up, which is what happens when I take up outdoor pursuits. In fact ex colleagues still try to find out where and when I am going on holiday, so that they can book other times and places!
My apologies, should have warned you! Anyway, looking forward to more trench digging, very pleased with the little Stainz, it has the split motor housing by the way, think that means it’s more difficult to take apart? No intention of doing that unless it gets terminal pneumonia . Really impressed with other’s layouts, I am still resolute in my “one engine in steam” layout, the lack of space is saving me from myself, that doesn’t stop me from appreciating superb layouts, almost with no envy at all.:shake:
 
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Paul M

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Really impressed with other’s layouts, I am still resolute in my “one engine in steam” layout, the lack of space is saving me from myself, that doesn’t stop me from appreciating superb layouts, almost with no envy at all.:shake:
Having a postage stamps of a garden myself I know exactly what you mean. To make your line seem longer put a couple of largish plants on some of the bends to hide the train at various points. Also, as someone suggested on this forum, take it slow, makes each circuit seem longer
 
palstig

palstig

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That's the weekend type David
I made enquiries at my local stockist and they said they only come in a pack of 3.....
 
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John Le Forestier

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I came to this thread hoping to see a discussion of a small layout plan. All I've read about is some kind of proprietary product. Frankly, gentlemen, that is disappointing, and even false advertising. I would far rather see a track plan to learn what the O.P. is up to. Anyway, I have something a little more constructive than all the forgoing to contribute here.

I will never build a model railway at or near ground level. My own is about 39 inches (I'm tall) above ground on benchwork. The benchwork is supported on columns made of concrete blocks, because we have ground dwelling wood-eating insects here, otherwise cedar posts would be adequate. At present my benchwork top surfaces are for the most part made of preserved wood, which being high and usually dry, resists the insects somewhat. However wood warps and twists, so I when things need replacing, I have shifting over to plastic timbers, which are a bit more costly but trouble free. I'm buying them in fairly small quantities at a time, so the cost hasn't been indigestible. I now have an elevated, bug-free, warp-and rot-free railway. I wish I had done this in the first place, decades ago.

The reasons for elevating my railway in the first place go far beyond bugs, rot, warping and twisting. It's all about the view of the trains, accessibility to them, and the drastic reduction of maintenance. I don't have to weed the track. I don't have to deal with washouts, freeze ups, or shifting right of way. I hardly clean the track, or maintain it at all because I use onboard battery power. I can see the sides of the trains; I'm not merely looking down on their roofs all the time. That was very important to me as I don't have the property to step far back from the trains to see the sides at ground level. I can reach my trains without bending, and that is the biggest benefit of all, no matter what one's age.

I have contrived various means of having plant material and other scenic features at my chosen 39" height, but that is another subject. Suffice it to say it can be done, and done brilliantly. Again almost weed-free.

Since I operate my trains like a real railway, delivering the goods and passengers, I'm not merely watching the trains go 'round and 'round, which after a few minutes becomes a crashing bore, and along with all the other follies I've eliminated, explains why so few garden railways get sufficient exercise. That's mighty expensive equipment to just leave sitting on its shelves because getting the railway in shape for operations is just too much work. I say stop messing around on the ground. Eliminate all the drudgery and build a railway that delivers the fun you deserve and want!.

If you, Mr O.P. are planning to run trains at ground level, and especially if you are planning merely to have them run in circles, I implore you to rethink those decisions.

You'll thank me some day.

And for heaven' s sake, next time you begin a thread, don't mislead your readers! Make your title match your content!
 
FatherMcD

FatherMcD

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13 Mar 2014
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I came to this thread hoping to see a discussion of a small layout plan. All I've read about is some kind of proprietary product. Frankly, gentlemen, that is disappointing, and even false advertising. I would far rather see a track plan to learn what the O.P. is up to. Anyway, I have something a little more constructive than all the forgoing to contribute here.

I will never build a model railway at or near ground level. My own is about 39 inches (I'm tall) above ground on benchwork. The benchwork is supported on columns made of concrete blocks, because we have ground dwelling wood-eating insects here, otherwise cedar posts would be adequate. At present my benchwork top surfaces are for the most part made of preserved wood, which being high and usually dry, resists the insects somewhat. However wood warps and twists, so I when things need replacing, I have shifting over to plastic timbers, which are a bit more costly but trouble free. I'm buying them in fairly small quantities at a time, so the cost hasn't been indigestible. I now have an elevated, bug-free, warp-and rot-free railway. I wish I had done this in the first place, decades ago.

The reasons for elevating my railway in the first place go far beyond bugs, rot, warping and twisting. It's all about the view of the trains, accessibility to them, and the drastic reduction of maintenance. I don't have to weed the track. I don't have to deal with washouts, freeze ups, or shifting right of way. I hardly clean the track, or maintain it at all because I use onboard battery power. I can see the sides of the trains; I'm not merely looking down on their roofs all the time. That was very important to me as I don't have the property to step far back from the trains to see the sides at ground level. I can reach my trains without bending, and that is the biggest benefit of all, no matter what one's age.

I have contrived various means of having plant material and other scenic features at my chosen 39" height, but that is another subject. Suffice it to say it can be done, and done brilliantly. Again almost weed-free.

Since I operate my trains like a real railway, delivering the goods and passengers, I'm not merely watching the trains go 'round and 'round, which after a few minutes becomes a crashing bore, and along with all the other follies I've eliminated, explains why so few garden railways get sufficient exercise. That's mighty expensive equipment to just leave sitting on its shelves because getting the railway in shape for operations is just too much work. I say stop messing around on the ground. Eliminate all the drudgery and build a railway that delivers the fun you deserve and want!.

If you, Mr O.P. are planning to run trains at ground level, and especially if you are planning merely to have them run in circles, I implore you to rethink those decisions.

You'll thank me some day.

And for heaven' s sake, next time you begin a thread, don't mislead your readers! Make your title match your content!
John, I find myself in substantial agreement with most of your design decisions in relation to my own plans. I had been thinking about a 36" height, but perhaps I should at least try 39". I would be particularly interested in a thread relating to your plant and scenic features that you mentioned. Thanks, Ken
 
Jasper

Jasper

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I came to this thread hoping to see a discussion of a small layout plan. All I've read about is some kind of proprietary product. Frankly, gentlemen, that is disappointing, and even false advertising. I would far rather see a track plan to learn what the O.P. is up to. Anyway, I have something a little more constructive than all the forgoing to contribute here.

I will never build a model railway at or near ground level. My own is about 39 inches (I'm tall) above ground on benchwork. The benchwork is supported on columns made of concrete blocks, because we have ground dwelling wood-eating insects here, otherwise cedar posts would be adequate. At present my benchwork top surfaces are for the most part made of preserved wood, which being high and usually dry, resists the insects somewhat. However wood warps and twists, so I when things need replacing, I have shifting over to plastic timbers, which are a bit more costly but trouble free. I'm buying them in fairly small quantities at a time, so the cost hasn't been indigestible. I now have an elevated, bug-free, warp-and rot-free railway. I wish I had done this in the first place, decades ago.

The reasons for elevating my railway in the first place go far beyond bugs, rot, warping and twisting. It's all about the view of the trains, accessibility to them, and the drastic reduction of maintenance. I don't have to weed the track. I don't have to deal with washouts, freeze ups, or shifting right of way. I hardly clean the track, or maintain it at all because I use onboard battery power. I can see the sides of the trains; I'm not merely looking down on their roofs all the time. That was very important to me as I don't have the property to step far back from the trains to see the sides at ground level. I can reach my trains without bending, and that is the biggest benefit of all, no matter what one's age.

I have contrived various means of having plant material and other scenic features at my chosen 39" height, but that is another subject. Suffice it to say it can be done, and done brilliantly. Again almost weed-free.

Since I operate my trains like a real railway, delivering the goods and passengers, I'm not merely watching the trains go 'round and 'round, which after a few minutes becomes a crashing bore, and along with all the other follies I've eliminated, explains why so few garden railways get sufficient exercise. That's mighty expensive equipment to just leave sitting on its shelves because getting the railway in shape for operations is just too much work. I say stop messing around on the ground. Eliminate all the drudgery and build a railway that delivers the fun you deserve and want!.

If you, Mr O.P. are planning to run trains at ground level, and especially if you are planning merely to have them run in circles, I implore you to rethink those decisions.

You'll thank me some day.

And for heaven' s sake, next time you begin a thread, don't mislead your readers! Make your title match your content!
Well, to each their own. Some people like having a train just go round & round & round, especially if they're doing something else at the same time, like weeding or socializing or drinking beer.

And who knows, there may even be people who prefer to look down on their trains' roofs, though I will say I'm with you on this one: I am building my first layout a metre above ground, which is very close to your 39 inches. Although I'm a rather short guy, my reasons are similar to yours: seeing the sides, ease of handling, ease of maintenance.

I found the bit about your building method interesting, although it has made the thread title even less adequate. (A problem to which I, in turn, have now added.)
:D