The AGC

  • Thread starter adverse camber
  • Start date
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,193
121
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Very nice lots of potential for Timetable Operating. When the first post about the Willow came up I was going to mention it. Had one in my last Garden, but a baby compared to yours. Got so fed up of the Leaves on the Line that one day the Chain Saw came out. No more Willow, never regretted it except for the nice cooling effect on a very hot day when sat beneath it. But those leaves, seamed to be falling off the thing all year. It did make Running the line a bit of a trial having to clear them before every running session. Truth be told I bet you do not miss your one now that it has gone.
 
Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
12,760
15
Pennsylvania, USA
After some years enjoying watching other peoples' pictures of them building their railways, I thought I would share some of mine now that I have finally (hopefully) managed to work out how to batch downsize the images.

The AGC (Atchison, Girdlestone and Creed) Railroad started life when we moved in 2010. There were two previous (smaller) railroads before that so I had some idea of what I was setting out to achieve.

I will try and tell the story as we go along.

We are fortunate to have a large (>1 acre) garden, and part of the deal for moving (like most men I was a little reluctant to be uprooted)_ was that a section of it, fortunately nicely hidden away from most of the rest of the garden was mine for trains.

The first thing was to clear the area, and then put up a shed to get all the boxes out of the roof!View attachment 248182View attachment 248183View attachment 248184View attachment 248185View attachment 248187

If I can make this post work I will continue with the story!

That's a shed ? I've seen living rooms that don't look that good. Chandeliers, cathedral ceiling, wow ! If your shed looks like it does, I imagine your railway should be stunning.....:clap:

Well I posted this before continuing along your thread. Truly a magnificent railway !
 
Last edited:
railwayman198

railwayman198

Registered
24 Oct 2009
1,804
1
East London
This is very impressive and it must be really satisfying to see it develop. I'm also admiring the lovely old flint? wall that makes such an attractive backdrop to the layout. I too have a few box trees. Those in the front garden have already been attacked by box moth caterpillars but those on the layout in the back garden are unaffected so far.
 
A

adverse camber

Registered
2 Dec 2009
187
0
East Anglia
With retirement looming and no weeping willow it was time for a little creative expansion.
This was much aided by attending a local auction at which the remains of a huge LGB layout in a now defunct shop were being disposed of. Prices at these auctions have gone up with the advent of bidders on line but that only works if you can put the item in the post. Does not apply to huge boxes of used flexible LGB track.. I only bought two of the 6 available, but they weighed about 40 kg each and I ended up with about 70-80meters of track for £250. The stuff us garden railroaders have dreams about.
OK some of it was pre-bent but could be straitened, and some of the rails had gouges where I suspect the track cleaner had stalled with it abrasive wheels running. Something I recognise from my own experience. But most of it was fine if a bit grubby. This combined with the space left by the willow tree was an opportunity not to pass up.

The plan

115681_573ca7535f769c9131d12c8c72c6d357.jpg

this was the existing area with all the buildings tucked up for the winter
The paving slabs on the left had settled over time and needed to be lifted about 3cm. The tree had been in the green area left center with the low hedge and track round it

115683_874b10bd1687e8a147bd30d48578fa0d.jpg

the tree stump is just visible as the dark blob in the centre half hidden by the hedge

115685_c59bca8233ea0352c351350196f3a019.jpg

the biggest problem was the drop of about 55cm from the track level down to the tree stump level. this was down this slope which does not show very well but the sleepers give you some idea of the drop involved. I wanted to keep the gradient down to a maximum of 1:25. Happy for it to be steeper than the main line as I envisage this as a branch logging line with tighter curves and gradients, running shorter trains.

115685_c59bca8233ea0352c351350196f3a019.jpg
115687_5c183fd9bc3fd455a1e054769fa7bb9e.jpg

another view of the slope down which trains had to run.

115691_c9580ace9171ab281f1d9aab0de5ec62.jpg

and from a different angle with the stump obvious now

115692_c3284083296c86409bcc109dd55095cc.jpg

for materials I had 2 rockeries elsewhere on the line which I was going to take apart and this pile of stone I picked up some years before in a car boot sale. Also visible are the upturned ends of some cast concrete bridges I made for my very first railway but have not used since. They are very heavy and have now moved house twice!

115695_dc8f7c42f6087a58639b07efe82d116d.jpg

this rockery is a pile of broken stone slabs with some bigger bits
 
  • Like
Reactions: mike and Sean.
A

adverse camber

Registered
2 Dec 2009
187
0
East Anglia
Work commences with plant clearance, most of these were moved to a vacant area of flowerbed hastily created away from the trains. and as always the biggest challenge is bot creating a track plan that allows for realistic operations and then actually making it fit in the space, particularly where there are points which always seem to me to be very inflexible just when you want to fudge things a bit.
115697_ac59b1a47164196c47f965de8f29aaf5.jpg

sorting put the access from the main line and into the sidings on the left which were going to be extended.

115699_e07e18a25afe152a8863427ada9495c6.jpg

the track roughed out. I was using some old R2 curves to set a minimum radius, though the final track would be flexi. with a drop of 50 cm I was going to need to travel about 13m to maintain the 1:25 gradient by the time I got to the bottom of the slope, where I was originally planning to simply join a double circuit round the tree stump area on the level...…..but it did not quite workout like that.

115701_f8e1d2dbef91417cbab983d32dffab69.jpg

Once again out comes the laser, and in go the grading stakes

115703_9b19ad38c43155799ecd27e33576f362.jpg

and then lots of digging. You can see the pile of spoil on the right of the picture.

I then realised that I had to get the top sidings and main line sorted to ensure that I started the down slope at the right point. It would also provide some stone from a dismantled rockery (not illustrated). so all the paving slabs had to be lifted, nd replaced slightly moved and 3cm higher. They are 2x2ft and very heavy. backache time

115705_4cab21f20da41ba3c63afa91b0d05be2.jpg

Slabs are just laid on impacted soil. It makes later lifting and movement much easier
Fortunately I had a few spare as I was extending the paved are a bit.
115709_daacfca5f8061dcc5e77438b086f7ab8.jpg

old ballast had to be moved and the area of half slabs made longer to accommodate the new extended sidings
The paving has been laid deeper beyond this into the area where the rockery (removed) used to be. This will accommodate a bigger town scape and possibly a fun fair

115711_4023981e8e14adaa642edec1bbb1f5ab.jpg
115713_6f09332e4b8066a6b3850ad0e6eaca3a.jpg

most of the slabs now laid, it was possible to sort out the level of the sidings and thus the gradients.
Removal of the rockey also provided the "mountain" round which the first descending curve would run.

115717_a456065a7317c463769d2bcd0ac679cb.jpg


Having carefully dug away all the soil to create the curve in the foreground I began, much too late to think about how this line would join the envisaged double circuit at the bottom of the slope and how this might work operationally.
If it joined the outer circuit it would have to move to the inner one to reach any sidings, and if there was a simple crossover then it would be impossible to have a train running round the outer circuit all the time without there being inevitable crashes.
No the line down the hill needed to join the inner circuit and run into the sidings while a train could be set running round the outer one without needing to be under direct control all the time. This meant that the descending line would have to cross over the top of the circuits at the bottom before joining them, and that meant a bridge. I was also beginning to think about access. All track and beds makes this difficult. Back to the drawing board.
You know it is sometimes best to have thought all this through before you start. I had only been working on this idea for about 4 years.
 
A

adverse camber

Registered
2 Dec 2009
187
0
East Anglia
About the wall.
we live in a house built in the 1960's by my wife's grandfather. It was built in the garden of a much bigger house (now our next door neighbour) which was lived in by her family since 1920.
A significant part of the bit of the garden that her grandparents took to build the house was the old walled kitchen garden of the bigger house. Many kitchen gardens have high walls round them and much of our boundary is formed by a brick and flint wall. In our part of the UK flint was a common building material hence the brick and flint wall. It is at least 200 years old and may well be much older as we live in a village with many old buildings one of which features in the doomsday book!
 
P

phils2um

Registered
11 Sep 2015
246
32
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Great looking RR in the works! I look forward to future installments. I too have severe "shed envy" like most of the others have remarked.

Phil S.
 
A

adverse camber

Registered
2 Dec 2009
187
0
East Anglia
back to the drawing board to see if it could be done, and out came the trust laser and the sticks to check the gradients
115841_c2290028b3867e08ad8221f722af9c21.jpg

the line of steaks on the left are the circuit round the old willow stump, the line skiting the soil heap are the descending branch line from the main. I decided with a bit of gradient fiddle it could be done, sill leaving enough clearance for the bridge. I reckon you need 30 cm to be safe (including the bridge deck) but can squeeze in a bit less

115843_91f8e6d66a16523d46a40c5c28920e31.jpg


at the same time to encourage myself and get a better idea of the slop I started ballasting the top siding area and putting it back on the main line

115845_fc11ff0a805dac44f98e64288ed53657.jpg

and finished building up the rockery area. I then covered it in soil in the hope the rain would wash it into all the cracks, in the end it did rain a bit but less than you would expect in winter and I had to do a lot of work with a stick and trowel to make this happen

115847_098db7cbd5338b1f3f7f43545f17fc3d.jpg

115849_403deb58cd290252610cd9ed98b2038f.jpg

Using the larger stones as a retaining wall I built the next layer down the slope and the edge of the lower circuit (partly obscured by the green tub). I decided to create a dry stream bed which I could use for access and to give some reason for the track to level off and because I had the bridge from a previous layout. the bridge on the left is the one crossing the lower circuit where you can just see the tops of the stones that create the deep cutting it runs though.

115851_dc8af09161faca6421c80a8fd4627c5b.jpg

better view of the bridges and cutting

115853_5ef6904c65807009e22e2ebd5e2df80d.jpg


To make sure I was getting reasonable gradients, now ballasted down to the second bridge and work has started on the bottom section of the branch line connecting to the bottom circuit, now being done from inside the loop rather than outside it as originally planned. This section is going to be a bit steeper than planned but with a shay and short train it should cope OK (I hope)


115857_1c80bd24c447e92cdfa34dde1f7f7fc0.jpg

there was still a big heap of soil in the center where the sidings where going to go

115859_fb5e6b54f1d4df81476638b49749afba.jpg

By far the most complex bit of track laying was going to be where the inner circuit and the descending branch line met at an R3 point and almost immediately beyond it there would be another point to the sidings.
I felt that there was no point in having two complete circuits. the track passing under the bridge could be single which meant I could use the bridge I already had, movement on the inner circuit would be from up and down the branch line, a reverse loop to turn the locos and enough room to act as a head shunt when needed. All this could be done while allowing continuous running on the outer line. The only down side would not be being able to run two trains in opposite directions on the circuits but that would not be very prototypical on the average logging line anyway!
115861_38b441b20e669f126ade104e94a300ad.jpg

Time to complete the branch line run to the bottom of the slope reduce the soil pile (lots of wheel barrow loads to another part of the garden, you can never have too much topsoil) and begin to stake out the sidings having sorted the point geometry
After consideration I found that a large bit of rock fitted quite nicely into the corner between the bridge and down ramp I had created so made a further small rockery here. You can see this just to the left of the spade stuck in the soil.
I also started putting the retaining wall (broken paving on edge) to make the circuit. This whole area was leveled off several years before by a sleeper retaining wall which you just see in places. This formed the outer retaining wall of the bottom circuit for 3/4 of its circumference.
 

Attachments

A

adverse camber

Registered
2 Dec 2009
187
0
East Anglia
The next ecit,ment was finding a whole lot of small garden trees cheap in local garden center. Not a great time to put them in but at about a pound each it was worth a punt. I am a gardener of the try it and see variety. For a project like this you need a lot of plants and since this is supposed to be a logging line that means trees. I put in about 40 of different types clumped according to species
you can see them between the tracks as it winds down the hillside
115993_82105040798ef4bb24bda975240eb07f.jpg

Hopefully these will get a lot bigger in the next couple of years. I know from experience that the fir trees (Xmas trees) though miniature can get very big so they are still in pots to limit their growth a bit.

115997_edaf715fee57df6724a0840a4b093fcc.jpg

another view of the trees

115999_98f674f546958e607a03909c45a4811a.jpg

and then time to add further ballast. To get the track geometry absolutely correct as the bottom of the slope it was going to be necessary to lay the track on both the branch connecting line and the circuit lines s the tolerances for the points were going to be tight
116005_1144d39a0b9e74a0b626d71381dfc01b.jpg

roughing out the position of the points to both the branch line and the sidings

116013_70551b062e5b24b13f012091d959140b.jpg

and finally track laying begins, starting at the top with the three sidings and their connection with the main line
In time I may replace the middle track point with a triple one to allow a run round from both inner and outer tracks, but I would have to buy one. It will be easy to replace if operating experience shows that that would be useful
116015_e4f866fd2069cd9e353866f4fa3209d9.jpg

Now track can start snaking down the slope. This is all flexitrack from my auction bargain bundle. I invested in a rail bender years ago. It only bends one rail at a time which means dissembling and assembling track, but the double rail versions cost arm and a leg.

116017_637b41aa197e0f215506aa318f65883c.jpg

Track now reaches all the way to the bottom and has linked up with the inner circuit.

116019_fc41acbcbb10b0b767368a2dfaab0e89.jpg

While her you can see where the there is the single section of track on the bottom circuit where it runs under the bridge. The rest will be double.
Need to sort out the exact position of the inner part as it has to have a point off it not only for the sidings but also the turning Y so it is a case of lay a short section of ballast and track, sort the geometry, put in the retaining stones (for the ballast) and lay a bit more. if you try and do all the stones and then the ballast and then the track (as you can for a long strait run with no linkages) you end up making mistakes and having to move it all.
116021_47ab62121af260d22ae6e7010556c220.jpg

All the critical point now in place on the inner circuit. You can just make out the ones for the turning Y on the far left next to the hammer. The exact position of the sidings has still to be resolved
 
  • Like
Reactions: trammayo
Sean.

MOTM

Sean.

Hmmmm
5 Oct 2017
778
54
61
Boston & Cocagne NB (not enough)
Personal question : how has the body been handling all that work .... Mine hurts just reading this..
 
mrcheddar

mrcheddar

American Railroads, Swiss Railways, Travel
15 Mar 2013
65
2
near Burgdorf
Very nice! I also use 1 to 1 scale sleepers for retaining walls. Those thing are heavy!
I like your long straight sections and wide bends. I have one of those Pola coaling towers. Apparently there where only about 2000 made?

I also have two Playmobile engines for visiting children. They don't want to go home once they get their hands on them.
 
A

adverse camber

Registered
2 Dec 2009
187
0
East Anglia
The body has been fine apart from a bit of back ache when moving all the heaviest rocks and paving slabs. Knee pads fitted into pockets in the front of my working trousers have been a great find. This sort of thing keep me fit.

I am surprised there were only 2000 coaling towers made. I have seen them on eBay from time to time and mine did not come with any suggestion of this when I bocught the kit. I know pola sometimes made a model and then produced it in a special limited edition with minor modifications. My pola turntable is one such, and I know they did this with a fancy motorised version of both the water mill and the sawmill kit.

I agree that playmobile for the young is fantastic. That and Lego were great favourites with my kids and my little granddaughter is already demonstrating that she is a chip off the old block. I have chipped up three old playmobile locos so they can run on DCC and have. A couple of radio controlled battery ones too. Only problem is the batteries don’t last long on such a long circuit and don’t do well on significant gradients.
Even if the wagons do get torn apart you can just snap them back together again
 
Thomas Lambo

Thomas Lambo

RC, wood craftsmanship & culinary arts
7 Aug 2016
116
0
Southern California
Wonderful layout, and amazing story over several years of evolution.

I love these type of long term projects (slow and sure). I'm doing the same thing with my GR build, now two years into construction.

Once again, splendid work and thanks for taking the time to share with us :)
 
A

adverse camber

Registered
2 Dec 2009
187
0
East Anglia
just had to finish shorting out the area at the bottom of the slope. This went pretty quickly though as you can see from the photos, some days were on the chilly side and tracklaying in subzero temperatures is not good as the track the ballast and my fingers all go solid.

116297_bd90a05bf91befabe10374e42b3c6623.jpg

Most of the track now laid. You can see the weed membrane sticking up round all the broken paving that retains the ballast. in the centeral area

116301_9e6330305db264291e307a34ab86d5c6.jpg

Still have to complete the two circuits and the turning Y, which is inevitably given the geometry going to have some fairly tight radius track.

116305_ea8d1d07c41fd1611df2e2d9f094f4d2.jpg

A couple of wet and cold weeks later and it is all done. The sidings are in, all the paving for the buildings has been laid, though these will not go out till it gets warmer, saw mill on the right, and a small town and station in the centre and on the left. Need to give the beds some thought, some will be trees but they will also need some ground cover. A friend want and Indian encampment which I think wounds like a good idea, just need to find the tee pees and Indians.

116307_2fe4034045e14433965ebfe146ae98fc.jpg

At last a decent image of the points arrangement at the bottom of the branch line. It is intended that all the shunting and manoeuvring can be done n the inner circuit leaving the outer free for something to round to keep things moving.
I am one of those people ho gets very cross when I see a big layout at an exhibitions with nothing happening on it. I firmly believe that visitors come to see trains moving about as well as admire the scenery.
You can just make out the last bit of track coming down the slope has a severe adverse camber on it. I have refashioned it once already. Logically making the inner rail tighter and very slightly shorter should sort the issue out but it does not seem to have done so. Any suggestions for sorting this problem gratefully received as it happens from time to time when track laying

116309_2a8fdd2de54723204efe4bd1ada27052.jpg

This shows the completed turning Y.
Now all that is needed is the return loop box and to wire it. Unfortunately although I have 2 boxes they are both in use at the moment and wont become free till I have completed my next project. I am far too stingy to buy one just to fill in the few month gap, so no use of the Y for now.

116329_e1e2663ed63139e1d97647e7faf6f4aa.jpg

looking up the side of the layout that runs parallel to the wall. This picture shows just how much gradient there is in the garden
On the left the area where the saw mill used to go being converted to a brewery

116331_f4b62da32a0a63eabe64a7a5237130f0.jpg


More details of the Brewery area, siding now in place and track back down on the main line. You can see a few piles of cut up thermalite blocks around the layout. These are cut to just fit inside the larger buildings. I had problems with these being blown over and damaged, all completely cured by placing them over the blocks that then prevent them from toppling.
116333_1eff9720e157deae25f297f03ba374cd.jpg

And the same area seen from the other direction.

Now all that is needed is the rewiring and some test runs but that will have to wait for the weather to warm up a bit. I have also got a few models to make, just taken delivery of a Ferris wheel for the fun fair area looks like about 400 parts so that will take a while to put together.
 
Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
12,760
15
Pennsylvania, USA
Your railway is shaping up nicely ! Looking forward to seeing some videos of trains running.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
22,275
107
Tamworth, Staffs.
I think the 'adverse camber' is the inner rail is too long?? - no-where for it to go, but up..
 
Riograndad

Riograndad

Model Railroading, boats and oil painting,
6 Jul 2013
1,540
56
64
Northampton UK
Great build all round,if I only had more space and a flat garden to work with:envy::envy::envy::envy::envy::envy::envy::envy:
 
korm kormsen

korm kormsen

Registered
24 Oct 2009
2,415
7
that is most impressive.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
14,193
121
70
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
View attachment 248598
This shows the completed turning Y.
Now all that is needed is the return loop box and to wire it. Unfortunately although I have 2 boxes they are both in use at the moment and wont become free till I have completed my next project. I am far too stingy to buy one just to fill in the few month gap, so no use of the Y for now.
Very nice build, looks like you have been motivated to work through the Winter just like I was when I started thencurtent Dunnybahn. For Cold Days I was wearing a Lidl Thermal WorkSuit kept me well warm on the coldest days in 2013/14. But unlike you I had a neat all wet Spring 2013 to contend with which put back work no end. Still I persevered as I could. Noting that you are short of Boxes, I still have 2 on my For Sale Pages if they are of any use.

LGB Track very short LGB 10040 Piece andSwitch Boxes still available UPDATE AGAIN - G Scale Central