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dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Hm I can see an extension to the Shed coming up. Someone I know laid his Track in the floor with a grove cut out of Chipboard so that the Track was recessed thus allowing relatively safe walking over said track. You would probably need to double floor the existing Shed to achieve this effect if you fancied that option.
 

duncan1_9_8_4

Real Ale, Camping It Up, Traveling and the likes.
25 Oct 2009
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Really enjoyed reading this thread. The detail is amazing, and your garden is stunning too. Nice to see another small railway.
 

Revok

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Repost of update to this thread which was lost in server crash.

Nothing much has changed in terms of the railway track, other than a few more isolators so I can have two or three locos out at the same time. This works fine for me as I am very much of the roundy round school. All the buildings are now mounted on jackoboard, and underneath each board is wiring for lighting. There is a 3v feed to the station, and cabling running underground (protected by old hosepipe) from there to all the other locations that need lights.

Took advantage of the continuing good weather here to get out all my stock out on display and add some more photos.

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Revok

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Its been a while since I added anything to this thread, but I'm still around and playing with trains while i do my gardening routines.

Not a lot has changed trackwise, but the planting around the track has settled nicely, and the baby tears have filled out well. They do need a regular trim as they encroach the rails, but since the track isn't that big its not a huge deal.
I find I usually need to give the track a quick clean with the scotchbrite pole before i run the first train, but after that I get a trouble free day at this time of year.

Later, as the trees start shedding (especially the chestnuts!) things become a bit more problematic.


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dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
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Its been a while since I added anything to this thread, but I'm still around and playing with trains while i do my gardening routines.

Not a lot has changed trackwise, but the planting around the track has settled nicely, and the baby tears have filled out well. They do need a regular trim as they encroach the rails, but since the track isn't that big its not a huge deal.
I find I usually need to give the track a quick clean with the scotchbrite pole before i run the first train, but after that I get a trouble free day at this time of year.

Later, as the trees start shedding (especially the chestnuts!) things become a bit more problematic.


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All looking nicely settled in now, those Baby Tears will benefit from the shade of the trees though they come with a mixed issue of sap on the line. Track cleaning in those circumstances can be a real pain as can the leaf fall.
 

Edgar

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This is a nice railroad. I’ve enjoyed watching it mature through the photos. From starting with a log border to the variety of plantings. I’m also intrigued by your Americanized stainz. Are the coal tender’s axils fixed not to pivot?
 

Revok

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This is a nice railroad. I’ve enjoyed watching it mature through the photos. From starting with a log border to the variety of plantings. I’m also intrigued by your Americanized stainz. Are the coal tender’s axils fixed not to pivot?

I bought the Stainz second hand, it was someone elses unfinished project. The loco had been extended to include the tender, all as one unit. It looked good, but derailed on r1 curves, and wasn't even happy on r3. I tried various remedies, and with one pivoting set of wheels at the rear of tender I could make it run ok, but it had a completely unrealistic overhang at the back on any bends. In the end I took a hacksaw and separated the tender from the loco, and just fitted a pair of fixed wheels to the tender. As far as I could work out, the rear wheels on the Stainz would need some lateral movement for it to work properly with the extended tender, and I wasn't up for trying to figure a way to achieve that. I was fairly happy with how it looked with my rough and ready bodge, and left it like that! No one looks that closely anyway :) But always with the thought that one day I might revisit the thing and try to do a better job.

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PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Could do with a drop-plate, between loco and tender?

?unless the Fireman has a good swing, and can hit the fire-hole, at that distance!? :giggle:
 

Revok

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Another little scenic change in the layout. I bought the Pola kit of the American signal tower then found it didn't quite fit where I had planned to use it. So slightly changed the siding scene to include the signal tower at the expense of the water tower, which now resides further down the track. It probably looks better that way, so a 'happy little accident' as Bob Ross would say... (and yes, I'm a fan ).

Also got a couple of Pola farmers who are at the moment helping out clearing some land near the church, but at some point I'd like to create some sort of farm/rural area, probably where all the blue pansies are filling in space at the moment.

Still happy being a roundy roundy analog track power sort of guy after almost 3 years. I think I have kinda confirmed to myself now that my real enjoyment with this hobby is centered around trying to blend an attractive railway line into the natural garden. So much so (and I wonder if this is unusual), I don't actually need a train to be running much of the time, I enjoy simply looking at the landscape and the mini world therein.

I should add for clarity, I'm absolutely not knocking how anyone else uses their railway, just trying to explain what drives my one :)

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Revok

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Its been about 3 months since last time I added anything to this thread. I haven't really made any big changes to the layout over the summer, it pretty much works for me the way it is. But I did do something that significantly improved performance of the railway, so thought I would mention it here, because I genuinely was surprised by the difference.

I have a section of track (a couple of curves and a couple of short straights) which runs under a laurel bush, and for ages that bit has misbehaved. Locos would sometimes slow down slightly in that area. Not always, and if I cleaned the track it usually seemed to fix things. I thought it might be sap from the plant fouling the rails. Then last week while again cleaning the track I realised that if I pushed down on the track a little by pressing a couple of the sleepers, the locos ran thru that section better. So.... poor connection. My track, although not fixed to anything, is quite embedded into chicken grit ballast and hardly moves. But I lifted out the whole bothersome section, thinking I would clean and tighten the fishplates. To my surprise, in two cases the bottom of the overlapping fishplate had virtually disintegrated, with only the sides touching the rail. So there was the cause of my resistive connection.

And so to the point. I decided to replace all the fishplate connections on the problem section with piko rail clamps (no fishplates type). Locos now ran thru that part of the layout with no problems. I kinda liked the positive way the clamps held the rail, so I got another pack of clamps to join up the track to the points, since they are not embedded in the chicken grit and do move a bit. Since then, I have noticed I no longer get the odd stutter as locos move across the points. I'm guessing the lead in and lead out rails which are now clamped are holding everything firm and square.

After a couple of weeks where everything was still working well, I decided to completely redo the whole loop with rail clamps. It really did make a difference. I am finding now that I hardly need to do anything with the track other than a quick rub before first train of the day. Its not a cheap option at two quid per clamp, but I'd say its the best £150 I've spent on my layout!


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Bill Barnwell

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very nice, great detail, try putting some dielectric grease on the connections
 

Revok

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very nice, great detail, try putting some dielectric grease on the connections

Thanks.... after reading some of the threads about clamps elsewhere on the forum I opted to use coppa slip, mainly cos I had some in the shed already :)
 

Revok

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Really beautiful pictures !

and we see the new clamps !

Yeah, at the time I took those pics only selected (known bad!) connections were clamped, but virtually the whole loop has been done now. Still a few more to do, but I'm have never had issues there, so can't get motivated to rip up that bit of track!
 

JimmyB

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Thanks.... after reading some of the threads about clamps elsewhere on the forum I opted to use coppa slip, mainly cos I had some in the shed already :)
I always use a copper base "grease", and even when i move away from track power it will be the case as it helps protect.
 

Revok

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Well into autumn, and the predictable deluge of leaf fall from my neighbour's beautiful (but annoying) large chestnut tree. Managing to keep the track clear and trains running, but the leaf debris and muck attached to them does affect the connectivity, and I get a bit of stuttering on first runs. Its ok once I have given the track a good clean with the modified mop, but I'm finding it needs a bit more of a rub than earlier in the year.

I try to keep trains going all through autumn and winter, so decided to try the Piko Clean Machine to see if an hour of that looping would save me having to manually clean the rails at the back of the track where most of the leaves gather. (And being battery powered its a quick and easy way to get something running while I decide what gardening jobs need attacked!)

Must admit I quite like the wee diesel. It runs at a nice speed, and I get just over two hours on a fresh charge. Don't like the plastic hand rails though, gonna have to do something about that.

Ah, but does it actually clean the rails??? Not really a yes or no answer I'm afraid. What I have found is it does a very good job of making reasonably clean track even cleaner, but if you have a fairly tarnished bit of track it doesn't really fix that. I think you need to be realistic, the Clean Machine does not magically turn a dirty rail into a perfectly clean rail, but it does seem to maintain a decent track in good condition. In general what I am finding is that most days I no longer need to use the scotchbrite mop. After an hour or so of the Clean Machine I can usually run any of my locos without any further track maintenance. But sometimes I still get the odd stutter after the Clean Machine which needs me to manually do something. In most cases its a residual bit of bird poo, or something a bit gooey or sticky.

Here is mine on track cleaning duty


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Revok

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Thought I would update this thread as I finally got around to assembling the Pola fire tower I got for my birthday 3 months ago! A couple of big garden projects have taken up most of that time, but the recent week of incessant rain gave me the chance to sit at the bench for while.
I wasn't sure at first if this particular kit was gonna be robust enough for my railway, as romping squirrels have a habit of rampaging thru the layout, but in actual fact, once fully assembled it seems pretty solid. For a measure of protection I've placed the tower near a few small conifers so nothing squirrel/fox/cat size can get a easy run at it. Time will tell. Its stood for a few days now without being flattened.
Its an impressively big structure, definitely adds to the scenery. firetower01.JPG firetower02.JPG firetower03.JPG firetower04.JPG firetower05.JPG