A Garden Railway Pipedream: the odyssey continues

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by Dikitriki, 7 August 2013.

  1. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Well, the weather forecast for yesterday had looked promising, but at the last minute it changed & rain was predicted. Unfortunately the rain, which was supposed to stop around 2pm just carried on, varying from periodic dry intervals and light showers to pretty heavy rain.

    Undaunted, I was spurred on by Richard to run trains on the wet rails. The Black Five with Spoerer r/c & LNER coaches was used to test the circuit, adjust & correct a dip in the track by the loco yard & also test where recent ballasting had taken place nearby. The coaches, which had been serviced, tested & lubricated since the last running Saturday ran much more smoothly as a rake of three .
    My Bowande A4 had it's first run at Richard's. Every loco has rather different running characteristics & a large garden layout like this is ideal to test it out. I don't like to see locos going too fast, especially live steam without radio control, so erred on the cautious side, mostly. I found the loco had a powerful axle pump so needed quite a lot of water diverted back to the tender to avoid flooding the boiler. Great to see an A4 running through this garden line, despite the wet weather, producing plenty of smoke & steam !
    Later Jersey Lily made an appearance on the LNER coaches. She looked the part, well suited to the coaches, but proved a rather stubborn lady on the day, unwilling to perform as well as her audience would like. Perhaps she didn't like getting wet! She may have to be stripped & adjusted later...!
    ( I have to say drying out the wet locos & coaches last night & packing them away today when fully dry proved more time consuming than I expected, but it was well worth it.) Here's to the next time.:)

    Deano747, Peter Cross, jonte and 5 others like this.
  2. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Yesterday was a scorcher for our monthly garden railway extravaganza!
    The morning and part afternoon was devoted to DCC german outline operation, with long, snaking passenger trains, including impressive diesel sounds and Tim's loco featuring sound and smoke, (with a slightly odd perfume!)
    As the day wore on more folks sought shelter in the shade!
    I had changed the wicks on my Aster Spam Can while the german dcc was running, fully intending to test it on my rolling road before trying it out on the full track circuits. However Richard was keen to see it run, I guess we must try to keep something running for our public! Anyway, she proved more powerful than before, so needed careful regulator control & balancing of the water by pass.The water gauge was also very hard to read in the bright sun, so those are the reasons, your honour, that she didn't run too well! In an ideal world, meths fired locos in particular need proper rolling road testing before extensive garden running.
    Anyway, the Bowande A4 ran well with Mk 1 coaches on and later my Barratt Midland Compound (with new, adjusted Fosworks wicks),ran really well, with very little adjustment, for around 40 minutes with my three LNER coaches on. It's now a great advert for meths firing!
    Photos of the day were taken by both Allan & Richard, I hope they will appear in due course. Here's hoping for an Indian Summer...!

    Rob Pulham, 3 LINK and Keith Phillips like this.
  3. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    It was a good day! Sun, cold drinks, mates and trains. Sitting in the sun watching the trains go by. It was what I had envisaged when we started this journey, so thanks to everyone for all their efforts over the last few years.

    And the video....

  4. FuntleyWorks

    FuntleyWorks Western Thunderer

    We were only down the road!
  5. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    That's quite amazing - the German locos even sound right!
    @Yorkshire Dave will remember a hot humid day at Trier a few years ago when a BR23 took off out of the station and, with no exaggeration at all, shook the clouds. An amazing spectacle...
    Has the BR01.10 actually got three cylinders?

  6. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Nigel sent me some photographs from yesterday:

    A4 240819.jpg

    compound 240819.jpg

    marklin 240819.jpg

    scale length 240819.jpg

  7. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    great to look back on those hazy summer days...

    Bit of a contrast to this Saturday, 1st Feb, when three brave/foolhardy souls, including Richard, braved a cool winter's afternoon to test & run beloved G1 stock. I did wonder whether a record photo of us in thick coats & woolly hats be taken, for posterity, but amazingly there was no 'selfie stick' to be found!
    Anyway, Tim test ran his excellent DCC sound conversion of Allan's 80000 BR tank. We think Allan will be very pleased with the results. I ran my r/c Black Five, which has a rather old & primitive sound system, which I have fitted an optional sound off switch to (used off most of the time!) We talked about how much better the Black Five would be with a modern DCC system, worth converting really as the loco is a very smooth runner & looks great too. (Did somebody say 'Just like the real thing'?)
    Then I steamed up my gas fired Accucraft GWR Prairie. As Richard said it has proved a very reliable performer time & time again. Great to see it steaming well, despite quite a head wind at times. Live steam in the garden is brilliant, but we were all rather keen to get into the warmth of Richard's house after!

    Here's to warmer running soon!

    Last edited: 3 February 2020
  8. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Richard , i have just caught up on your great project , you have a tremendous layout that you should be proud of .
    I have had a garden layout albeit O gauge which at its highest point was 1650mm off the ground , scary stuff but never any problems , the downside of having a sloping block of land . This ran on inverted purlins which had the advantage of next to no sag between supports which were spaced at 1800mm .
    Pulled it down in the end due to never having enough time to run because of all the cleaning and rebuilt under the house , which is the upside of having a sloping block and now have very little cleaning.
    Cheers Paul
  9. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Thanks Paul,

    It's been good fun, and I'm looking forward to running this year. We have the viaduct to build across the bottom of the layout, and my wife should have more time spring and summer to undertake planting and general landscaping around the railway. It looks to have over-wintered well judging by the running a couple of weeks ago. There's enough of us to make short work of the first hard clean of the year, and it doesn't seem to get too dirty from thereon in.

  10. Alan Wright

    Alan Wright Member

    Hi Richard,
    I am a G1MRA member from Canada and I would like to get in touch with you.
    My name is Alan Wright G1MRA member #1478 and email address alannwrt@gmail.com
    Would you please email me.
    Thank you

    Attached Files:

  11. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad


    On my (outside) workbench today.

    Now ready for me to learn how to steam her:) That may have to wait a while as I have no source of gas cannisters with a suitable screw fitting in the current environment.:(

  12. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Richard, a good possible source for the loco gas filler that screws onto the gas canister is Mike Darby at 'Chuffed 2 Bits' in Warwick . Mike is on 01926 407784 & is still open according to his website. He also does mail order. If only this Covid isolation business was over & I could come over & help you get the Duchess running. Don't want to waste these sunny garden line running days!
    Mike also has a lovely Aster GWR Castle with matching coaches for sale Richard, which I know you as a lifelong GWR fan, in denial, will find irresistible!
    But seriously, is this long Covid isolation period the ideal time Richard for you to dust off that Aster loco kit (Merchant Navy?) and make a start? I suspect there will be plenty of W Thunder fans keen to egg you on if you set up a new Aster build thread.
    Good luck,
    Pencarrow likes this.
  13. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    It's the cannisters I lack Steve, and you can't mail order those.
  14. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    But a courier can deliver.
    isambardme and 3 LINK like this.
  15. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Simon, Steve

    I finally found someone prepared to ship me a box of 12 canisters, so hopefully by the end of next week I should be able to play trains properly:)

  16. isambardme

    isambardme Western Thunderer

    Well done that man! Weather permitting we might see some experimental Duchess garden running soon on W Thunder.
    simond likes this.
  17. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad


    With the recent good weather, and time to spare, Lady Dikitriki and I have been spending a lot of time in the garden, planning the landscaping and starting to create paths and rockeries. It's a great time to be outside as ours is mainly a spring and early summer garden, so it's great to see it all come to life.


    This Acer is in our holding bed. It's due to be transplanted shortly, I'm not sure where! To the left and right out of shot are a number of thriving box plants to go under the layout. These were kindly donated by Rob and Chris Pulham.

    The following 2 shots are of the rockery site. Our son has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting here, and getting rid of the grass under the layout was a fair effort. I did get some moans about lack of forward planning when laying out the line! There's also a path off left which will be in plum slate chippings when the quarries reopen.



    A couple of general planting.



    And a few of the railway in context:




    I have got to play trains shortly to ensure the layout is supported where it goes through the rockery, as we lost a couple of strategically placed bricks when the grass was removed, and these will need repalcing. We have about 4 tons of stone donated by next door following the completion of their extension 'for Richard's project'.

  18. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    More hard labour in the garden.
    The rockery base has been prepared, and a pile of hard core has disappeared from the drive.
    You will note the strategically placed stone in the top photo which supports the layout and removes a dip. We have in fact placed most of the stone in the 'small' area in the second photo, but it got too late to take a photo.
    In the meantime, I took a few more of the railway in context.
    If I was testing for level track, I had to have a test train - 80000 with 6 mk 1s. It was good to be running again, just a pity it couldn't be shared with my mates.
    And the Acer has been replanted. The holding bed now has 50 lavender plants in its stead.
    12 of the alpines and 12 house leek plants have arrived so we hope to plant out the 1/3 of the rockery tomorrow.
  19. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    The one rockery has had all its stone placed:



    Lady D and I had several 'debates' as to what I had in mind, and I found that if I did not exhibit independent thought, all went well:) Actually, when we returned to it this morning and rooted around in the rock pile, we realised we had more big stones (and some huge ones) than we thought, it all fell into place. We will do some planting after tea when it is cooler.

  20. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    And we have now finished off this part of the rockery:)




    Onto the next part...... Apart from sorting out an area that was really difficult to keep tidy, we feel that we are pulling the graden and railway together.