My garden railway, somewhere between the Harz and the Severn Valley.

Tomclarke7802

Registered
31 Aug 2020
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Kidderminster
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Hello all.
I thought it about time to start a thread of the railway in my garden. Having always wanted a line out the back of the house, last years lockdown proved to be an excellent opportunity to get one built.
The biggest problem with my back yard is the height difference, there are 3 levels, with a rise of 2ft 6in between each, to have a decent running length I’d need some serious civil engineering.
FE79A0D4-3C38-470F-91A8-874B6E32B120.jpeg
The “spiral” rises at an average gradient of about 1 in 28, which although not ideal, would prove a decent enough challenge, especially for the live steam locos in the fleet, this was completed in June 2020, and in hindsight I would‘ve done it slightly differently to ease the gradient.
The main structure was made of treated timber, some thick substantial lengths used to try and slow down the inevitable warping. The track bed was finished with “stockboard” which is 12mm thick recycled plastic, slightly flexible, and very easy to cut to shape and screw down.

Initially the plan was to run one track of 32mm and another of 45mm up the spiral with separate loops at the top for each gauge, it soon became apparent that the 45mm track was more robust and suitable for playing with my 6 year old son, so the 32mm side has been temporarily shelved with a view to running a loop of duel gauge track on the top level in the future. Double track 45mm lines run up the spiral now, one of R1 curves (mainly for the little’un to run his small stuff) and one of R2s and R3s.
Around the middle (grassy) level of the garden a loop of track has been laid to allow trains to descend the incline and carry on around in a circle without intervention. There is also a station with small loco shed here too, immediately apparent from the lounge window.

B7AFDC06-D2F2-441A-BC9E-7634D7F6D131.jpeg
6763D33B-4C94-4825-8B9E-12D1A68EC5DA.jpeg
Excuse the name on the station building, it was secondhand, although the boy enjoys it!

40FAC1F9-D24C-4B17-88FF-803A627FEA83.jpeg
Adjacent to the bottom patio is the “station” for the outer of the two lines, with a big enough loop for reasonable length trains, the underside has been converted into storage for garden stuff a d paint.

Both inner and outer routes converge to the left of the last minute and plunge into a tunnel under the rabbit hutch!

4B1292B0-5618-42CC-853A-AC17EDA58B76.jpeg
The lines emerge under the last leg of the spiral, the inner line splits to form a line for the spiral and a line for the continuous loop.
E6063042-B333-4014-9905-2D17EB6F05C7.jpeg
Around the first corner, and the spiral climbs onto the “viaduct”, just a false facade to give the impression, made of concrete and brick, due to a cock-up of calculations, the lower half of the spiral required the track to be packed up on wood to maintain a constant gradient. You can see how much the line needs to climb here.
5716FD00-EB38-48A8-B6EA-D92F04C4E413.jpeg
Some ballast has been laid since the last photo, Spreewald is nearing the top of the climb in this shot.
57852964-C408-4B90-9974-2ED98A50FC6D.jpeg
On the top patio there is a triangular junction and a double track loop around the perimeter. Here 99222 is passing over the junction.
C95387E8-90FE-4091-9446-F393E08CC7ED.jpeg
a snapshot before the inner loop was laid.
44F7B821-A054-451F-B79A-E8841E680EED.jpeg
From the other direction, the fence in the background is my favourite…
C4A16691-5C91-4651-87AD-179ACC686049.jpeg
…as it borders the Severn Valley Railway.

That’ll do for this post and I’ll add another of the top station, some more overall shots and some stock photos too in the near future.
Im always on the lookout to meet like minded people, I’ve not been doing 45mm for long having ran my live steam stuff at the Paddock Railway at Hampton loads which is 32mm. If anyone fancies a play at some point please drop me a line, I use DCC for the layout although it can be relatively quickly swapped for 4 separate analogue sections.
hope you enjoy the photos.
regards
Tom
 
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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Hello Tom,
Welcome to the Forum, looks like there is no hope for you? Just like the rest of us!
Watch out for the dodgy humour..

Enjoy your trains!
PhilP.
 

playmofire

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23 Oct 2010
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A great layout and a great choice of locos and rolling stock, and it's nice to see Thomas creeping in, too - a Rule 8 railway.
 
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Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
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Welcome to the forum Tom!

And that is one impressive railway too....
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Welcome Tom, lucky you in sight and sound of real steam. Was my objective for my last move with many options including 7VR, Worth Valley and West Somerset. But I chose to live near a friends Swiss Garden Railway which gave much fun while we ran Timetables on it.
 

Paul M

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Great looking line
 

KentKeith

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24 Oct 2009
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Fantastic!
 

mike

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Hello and welcome to the madness
A great set of photos ,
 

Anglian

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Great looking railway Tom. Welcome to the forum. Keep the photos coming.
Trevor
 

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
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Welcome to the GSC Monkey House... great railway pics, and nice to see another TL45 "Pfiffi" here in the UK! A few folks on here have them, but not all that many I think - did you get yours direct from Germany as I did with mine?

Very envious to see the 99-222 also, I have a couple of Harzbulles but that particular one has eluded me so far.... ;)

Jon.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Welcome to the GSC Monkey House... great railway pics, and nice to see another TL45 "Pfiffi" here in the UK! A few folks on here have them, but not all that many I think - did you get yours direct from Germany as I did with mine?

Very envious to see the 99-222 also, I have a couple of Harzbulles but that particular one has eluded me so far.... ;)

Jon.
My Pfiffi came from Glendale, was a rubbish runner what are yours like? Mine is battery ooerated now and a great little beast and runner. Very emotive to me as I had a superb run behind her on the Selktalbahn on a Steam Railway Tour
of East Germany including the Harz.
 

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
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Tom, welcome to the forum, and as mentioned, a nice set of photos :)
 

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
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My Pfiffi came from Glendale, was a rubbish runner what are yours like? Mine is battery ooerated now and a great little beast and runner. Very emotive to me as I had a superb run behind her on the Selktalbahn on a Steam Railway Tour
of East Germany including the Harz.

Never had any running problems with either of my TL45 "twins" on track power - both Pfiffi (6101) and Fiffi (6102) have been fine, both with the Zimo decoders. I think we've discussed the pickup problems with yours before, JonD?

Jon.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Never had any running problems with either of my TL45 "twins" on track power - both Pfiffi (6101) and Fiffi (6102) have been fine, both with the Zimo decoders. I think we've discussed the pickup problems with yours before, JonD?

Jon.
Yes we have, just wondering what Tom’s one was like as a new member to the forum.
 

FrenchChuffed

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I will echo everyone else, welcome to the mad house, sorry forum. There are a few people not too far away from you with a similar affliction.
 

Tomclarke7802

Registered
31 Aug 2020
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5
32
Kidderminster
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Welcome to the GSC Monkey House... great railway pics, and nice to see another TL45 "Pfiffi" here in the UK! A few folks on here have them, but not all that many I think - did you get yours direct from Germany as I did with mine?

Very envious to see the 99-222 also, I have a couple of Harzbulles but that particular one has eluded me so far.... ;)

Jon.
Hi Jon,
It was a visit for a SVR colleagues stag-do to the Harz a few years ago that spurred my interest in G scale so a “Pfiffi” was always at the top of the list. This one appeared on eBay last year and was snapped up immediately, shipped from Germany and luckily pre-brexit so no import charges were made.
It’s the Zimo decoder fitted version, it runs really well, provided the track is reasonably clean. I find it performs better on DCC than on analogue, on the latter it seems to stall on the slightly mucky bits slightly more regularly.

Thanks for the comment R.E. 99 222, it’s the pride of the fleet, I also have 99 7235-7 which is the loco I rode behind on the Selletalbahn, using the shelf on the rear of the bunker to hold my bottle of Pilsner as we charged up the hill out of Eisfelder Talmuhle! 8DA6100E-1937-498E-AF01-0D3B4DE7562B.jpeg
CA8C98AA-4F70-4F81-A1B4-F05A33058650.jpeg
I’ll stick some more photos up later this afternoon, thank you to everyone for your kind comments so far.
All the best
Tom
 

Tomclarke7802

Registered
31 Aug 2020
17
5
32
Kidderminster
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My Pfiffi came from Glendale, was a rubbish runner what are yours like? Mine is battery ooerated now and a great little beast and runner. Very emotive to me as I had a superb run behind her on the Selktalbahn on a Steam Railway Tour
of East Germany including the Harz.
Mine runs reasonably well, nice and smooth on DCC power, it’s short wheelbase does seem to find where the track needs a clean before anything else of mine, and more so on analogue power, but it’s certainly not “rubbish”, a quick pass with the track rubber does the trick 99% of the time
 

Tomclarke7802

Registered
31 Aug 2020
17
5
32
Kidderminster
Country flag
Some more photos for you, as I try and explain the route to you…
55016D09-1C04-44AC-BBAE-36D15AE8D7C3.jpeg Here my son Teddy is helping me lay the track at the top station, you can see the opening in the shed where the railway enters for storage, currently boarded up until a time I can find someone to build me some neat little doors for it. Currently stock is manhandled to the railway.
1E9EB6B2-9C78-4D5C-AE95-5CB63A0E3BEB.jpeg
the current layout of the top station, including crossovers to the inner loop. The idea being trains coming up the hill from the bottom can run continuously in circles without intervention for a while. Plenty of loops gives scope for running round and the sidings and shed roads are ideal for storing trains.
21170D2B-0D42-4CA4-AFCE-35469B919775.jpeg
the other side of the top station with the boarded up shed opening. The inner loop of track around the top patio was added after this shot.
9D8D9CCC-ADE6-4E97-9BED-5729B435263F.jpeg
a “pre-ballast“ shot of the viaduct showing four consecutively moving trains. The little 99 5001 can run around the bottom level in continuous circles.
4D4F400B-9E86-467D-9626-983970D7FF09.jpeg The bottom stations, the Corpet is making its merry way around the bottom circuit, the GM 4/4 (a home-respray) and “Heidi” (in the middle of some cosmetic alterations to make it No.14) are the entirety of my Swiss motive power fleet.
99 7235-7 and “Spreewald” are awaiting departure from the outer station.
65F6444F-B42F-4F44-928B-BE56A4D84E9E.jpeg
Thomas and Percy join forces around the top inner circuit, this circuit can be switched to analogue control at the flick of a switch and is completely isolated from the rest of the system by insulated fishplates in the middle of the crossovers.
71B8A2C5-9382-4B9B-B306-D1CF3EFF9FFD.jpeg
“Pfiffi” also runs around the inner circuit at the top, the signal box was secondhand and very rough from the local model shop, ”Bugs Bunny” is the resident signalman!
9EB9DBD3-2C19-4962-A09C-F42395073D4D.jpeg Trains pass adjacent to 9466 on the SVR, the full size loco has stayed for a few weeks after the Autumn steam gala but I haven’t been lucky enough to have a footplate turn on her as yet. I did have the privilege of “Pitchford Hall” though, that was awesome!
D1ACB27B-2914-408B-9597-6D587E700134.jpeg
Most DR G scale layouts have a 99 201, and I’m no exception, seen with some of those cheap and cheerful “Newqida” coaches, with a little weight added they run reasonably well.
50EB9598-44B1-444E-8C37-C63E5D8A80AF.jpeg
99 222 was a special edition weathered version, which suffered from a few problems when I bought it secondhand last year, luckily it was only a fraction of the cost of a new one. It’s motion mis-aligned, buckled and tipped the loco over, tumbling off the layout onto the concrete below.
Andy Spencer of “amazing little trains” was able to fix the loco, find the source of its problems (bent axles, stripped gears and far too much slop in the bottom end, it’s previous owner really hasn’t looked after it!) and then I cleverly masked and resprayed the top half of the loco in satin black. At least it hid the scratches!
595D3E33-000C-4C0D-8D50-DECB96D8E477.jpeg
99 6001 is the mainstay on the layout, standard LGB with Bertram Heyn numberplates to enhance it somewhat (thanks to this forum for the recommendation).
the coach behind her is one of a handful I have resprayed, the HSB have a number of clerestory coaches and I have made representations of these with these standard LGB models and “Troeger” transfers, so far I have produced a “caricature” of the IG-HSB Salon coach seen here, and a couple of loose representations of coaches from the green traditional train, these can be seen in a few of the photos I’ve posted so far.
52C33EEE-245A-4F0E-8F52-BBF683891183.jpeg
Spreewald is a vintage 1970s era model, fitting DCC was a challenge and a half, but eventually it’s turned into a really reliable performer.
FBD486F1-90CA-4E05-B20E-C8C63FF519A1.jpeg
Some trains do need doubleheading up the hill, Spreewald and 99 6001 join forces, the “prairie“ comfortably hauls 3 and a half coaches up the spiral, anything more and assistance is needed.
BF6A984C-BD6C-4EE2-9C6D-2B118EC361F3.jpeg Obviously the 2-10-2s are the more powerful of the fleet, able to handle 4 and a bald bogie coaches, although here 99 7235-7 is making light work of this train.
This “Harzbulle” was a later 99 7222-5 but I have re-positioned the safety valves and changed the number plates for new Bertram Heyn ones. 3CAE94E6-2772-4655-9A2A-95A913A99A19.jpeg
“Heidi” was owned by a friend of mine, it had a few issues, namely missing detail and broken motion, another more complete one became available to him so I took this one off his hands. Re-numbering to No.14 is ongoing, and has so far included the fitting of a Westinghouse air brake pump and removal of front footsteps, it will receive single red pinstripe lining (In the post!) and new numerals (not sure where to source these yet).
9E07AD4E-F888-4C32-83D5-26FD35B16055.jpeg
one final shot of today, with 14 heading up the spiral between the greenery.

all the best

Tom
 
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dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
20,713
4,056
73
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Country flag
Some more photos for you, as I try and explain the route to you…
View attachment 291066 Here my son Teddy is helping me lay the track at the top station, you can see the opening in the shed where the railway enters for storage, currently boarded up until a time I can find someone to build me some neat little doors for it. Currently stock is manhandled to the railway.
View attachment 291067
the current layout of the top station, including crossovers to the inner loop. The idea being trains coming up the hill from the bottom can run continuously in circles without intervention for a while. Plenty of loops gives scope for running round and the sidings and shed roads are ideal for storing trains.
View attachment 291068
the other side of the top station with the boarded up shed opening. The inner loop of track around the top patio was added after this shot.
View attachment 291070
a “pre-ballast“ shot of the viaduct showing four consecutively moving trains. The little 99 5001 can run around the bottom level in continuous circles.
View attachment 291078 The bottom stations, the Corpet is making its merry way around the bottom circuit, the GM 4/4 (a home-respray) and “Heidi” (in the middle of some cosmetic alterations to make it No.14) are the entirety of my Swiss motive power fleet.
99 7235-7 and “Spreewald” are awaiting departure from the outer station.
View attachment 291069
Thomas and Percy join forces around the top inner circuit, this circuit can be switched to analogue control at the flick of a switch and is completely isolated from the rest of the system by insulated fishplates in the middle of the crossovers.
View attachment 291071
“Pfiffi” also runs around the inner circuit at the top, the signal box was secondhand and very rough from the local model shop, ”Bugs Bunny” is the resident signalman!
View attachment 291081 Trains pass adjacent to 9466 on the SVR, the full size loco has stayed for a few weeks after the Autumn steam gala but I haven’t been lucky enough to have a footplate turn on her as yet. I did have the privilege of “Pitchford Hall” though, that was awesome!
View attachment 291076
Most DR G scale layouts have a 99 201, and I’m no exception, seen with some of those cheap and cheerful “Newqida” coaches, with a little weight added they run reasonably well.
View attachment 291072
99 222 was a special edition weathered version, which suffered from a few problems when I bought it secondhand last year, luckily it was only a fraction of the cost of a new one. It’s motion mis-aligned, buckled and tipped the loco over, tumbling off the layout onto the concrete below.
Andy Spencer of “amazing little trains” was able to fix the loco, find the source of its problems (bent axles, stripped gears and far too much slop in the bottom end, it’s previous owner really hasn’t looked after it!) and then I cleverly masked and resprayed the top half of the loco in satin black. At least it hid the scratches!
View attachment 291077
99 6001 is the mainstay on the layout, standard LGB with Bertram Heyn numberplates to enhance it somewhat (thanks to this forum for the recommendation).
the coach behind her is one of a handful I have resprayed, the HSB have a number of clerestory coaches and I have made representations of these with these standard LGB models and “Troeger” transfers, so far I have produced a “caricature” of the IG-HSB Salon coach seen here, and a couple of loose representations of coaches from the green traditional train, these can be seen in a few of the photos I’ve posted so far.
View attachment 291074
Spreewald is a vintage 1970s era model, fitting DCC was a challenge and a half, but eventually it’s turned into a really reliable performer.
View attachment 291080
Some trains do need doubleheading up the hill, Spreewald and 99 6001 join forces, the “prairie“ comfortably hauls 3 and a half coaches up the spiral, anything more and assistance is needed.
View attachment 291079 Obviously the 2-10-2s are the more powerful of the fleet, able to handle 4 and a bald bogie coaches, although here 99 7235-7 is making light work of this train.
This “Harzbulle” was a later 99 7222-5 but I have re-positioned the safety valves and changed the number plates for new Bertram Heyn ones. View attachment 291075
“Heidi” was owned by a friend of mine, it had a few issues, namely missing detail and broken motion, another more complete one became available to him so I took this one off his hands. Re-numbering to No.14 is ongoing, and has so far included the fitting of a Westinghouse air brake pump and removal of front footsteps, it will receive single red pinstripe lining (In the post!) and new numerals (not sure where to source these yet).
View attachment 291073
one final shot of today, with 14 heading up the spiral between the greenery.

all the best

Tom
Dont worry too much about having that 99 201 on your line, I have one as well my justification being that the real Harz had a couple in NWE days No’s 31 and 32. Ordered in 1909 and in service 1910. In 1920 one got involved in an accident and both were withdrawn being sold to Bolivia possibly being in service up to 1970 with 4 others that were bought new.