The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Discussion on OO, and O gauge garden model railway design and construction. (scenery, track laying, electronics)
User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5165
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Mountain » Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:14 pm

This is a story of an abandoned garden railway which may one day be restored as it is decision time. Do I dig up the remains and restore it to its origional flat ground form, or do I push through and complete the project to get trains to run? It is a big decision to make.

The first experimental trials started in a different location closer to the house where about 10 feet of track was layed and around 25 to 30ft of trackbed. It was rather surprizingly origionally intended to be a 7mm narrow gauge affair after I converted a Hornby 0-4-0 saddle tank giving it a brand new home made plasticard cab and a longer chimney and painted it green. Also thirty little Hornby Jif wagons were purchased cheaply at £2.25 each being unboxed, which was a good price even in those days.
But as I had also tried SM32 in the form of a Mamod kit, and I was also into 00, I was stretching myself in too many directions for someone in their late teens to early 20's and my income was not a lot, so I decided to concentrate in 00, where the loco that I had converted had its cab removed and an old Triang cab was used on the little loco to convert it back to 4mm scale.

Those first early experiments revealed a fatal flaw when I tried a new Lima GWR railcar on loosly layed track on part of the new trackbed. As it was the first loco I grabbed for the trial and its motor is similar to other Lima models which could easily handle 10 Lima or Hornby bogie coaches, I loaded a rake of eight or ten coaches behind it and watched to see wat would happen.
Running in the one direction down the "Gentle" gradient in the field it zoomed down at great speed, but coming back up it didn't move. I tried it with four coaches. Nope! Finally with just a single coach in tow, it struggled up the hill. "What is going on?" I thought to myself. Surely it is not that steep?
I put my head to the ground and saw what looked to be a gentle climb was more like a 1 in 4!
From above it looked a gentle climb or descent... But at track level it was a different matter!

[To be continued].

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5165
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Mountain » Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:15 pm

A new more suitable location was found and permission was granted but this time it was intended for 00 gauge.

Work progressed but funds were limited, and to continue with the project would have meant buying a shed to be put at a lower level which was beyond my budget due to my other love of cycling which was also my means of transport... So progress was put on hold...
Years later my brother took over my Dads old workshop near the railway remains, and he used it as a dumping ground and it all over grew as brambles from a neighbouring field grew over and so the area remained a bit derelict, neglected and overgrown...
It is this very shed I am now going to be taking over for a future train room, and so I am cleaning the area around it ready to work on the shed (When my brother eventually clears his things from thwre, though I appreciate he is short of time... And I can't do a lot myself at the moment... But my nephew was up who likes trains even though he only has one which he made from a Smllbrook kit I gave him, and I don't think he has seen it run yet... Now he is helping as like me, we both want to have the shed so we can enjoy it for our trains (Or train in his case!).
Attachments
20211007_155650-1.jpg
20211007_155817-1.jpg
20211007_160054-1.jpg

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5165
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Mountain » Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:24 pm

Now while I will be (All going well) taking over the shed, the question I am asking myself is "What do I do with the remains of the old garden railway?
The shed which is full of stuff at the moment, will make an ideal railway room. Needs a bit of work, but nothing is impossible. :)
Attachments
20211007_160155-1.jpg
20211007_155658-1.jpg
20211007_155749.jpg

heda
Posts: 929
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:56 am
Location: Wimborne

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby heda » Thu Oct 07, 2021 5:38 pm

I am in two minds on this.
On one hand you will probably find yourself very busy tidying up the shed, building a layout etc with not much spare time to work on the garden railway.
The other thought, after you mentioned radio control trains the other day is they would be ideal for an outdoor set up, no worries about the track being dirty.
Maybe clear the old outdoor track bed off, don't do away with it yet, see if time / money / motivation are available and go from there.

Dave

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5165
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Mountain » Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:07 pm

Radio control would be useful, though track power is fine as long as it is not too large of a railway to keep clean.

Daniel
Posts: 1229
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:48 am
Location: Here

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Daniel » Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:58 pm

Yes, Mountain, three scales is a bit too much. You better get a fourth one so to balance the situation.
You are going to have, indeed, a full modeling range from 1/87 to 1:1 but starting the 1:1 scale shed diorama I would leave it for the warm months or begin with isolating the shed so you don't risk your health.

I'll follow this thread, of course.

Daniel

User avatar
Jules
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:56 pm
Location: Surrey, UK

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Jules » Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:19 am

Exciting projects! I too like the idea of keeping all options open … having seen a lovely garden railway in South Devon today, I’d definitely keep the garden railway on the backburner … with the weather changing now, I’d be starting to do a little work on it before it grows too cold in preparation for next Spring :). Over the Winter, maybe draw up some fun plans for the HeShedTrainShed :P … and work on what you can, when you can. Love the size of your Train Shed-to-be! I’d love to insulate my She-Shed, but that’s for another time.

heda
Posts: 929
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:56 am
Location: Wimborne

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby heda » Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:11 am

Another thought on radio control for the outdoor track. On a wet winters day you could run a train from the comfort of a warm indoors, watch it through the window. No track power to worry about. I'm almost tempted to try it myself but I've to many projects on the go at the moment.
Dave

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5165
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Mountain » Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:09 am

Thanks for the replies.
Daniel. I will be taking my time as it is a case of doing a little and then leaving it and coming back inside, and going back out again when I am ready etc. If I go full out at it I risk shutdowns so when I feel one coming on I will take a break for an hour or two. All depending on how I feel. I am not looking forward to painting as this is shutdown trigger but as long as I do a bit and then remove myself from the enviroment and then come back etc it can be done. It is the indoor painting that is the issue. The shed does have windows if they still open? Outdoors on a windy day works best for me. Fortunately my nephew is also enthusiastic. He has a little loco which he wants to see running.

Heda. I am thinking about radio control but it will also need track power to begin with as there are a few locos I don't think have the room, and apart from that, 12v track power allows visiting locos to run. I can convert one or two locos to radio control to pull some sort of track cleaning maintenence waggon. One of my little locos is pretty heavy as I overdid the weight on it (I had the weight about right and then I changed its chassis so it is heavier than it should be). This little 0-4-0 can pull a rake of ten 00 gauge bogie coaches, though it probably does not do much good for its motor.... If converted to radio control, in theory they should be easy enough to change to 3v motors which will mean it is easier to fit a battery or batteries for them as the battery size needed will take up less space.

Jules... My Dad insulated the shed years ago and lined it with wood offcuts over from his job, hence why the wood lining is made out of different sizes and lengths. It all actually looks good, but the inside of the sheds lovely white walls became blackened one day by an accident. My Dad was taught his carpentry the traditional way by older carpenters who would need to make their own furnature polishes and stains etc. My Dad made some lovely furniature polish for our own use and for family friends and neighbours, as he was on a role... But he decided to alter his secret mix of ingredients (Carpenters always kept their ways a secret with these sort of things. Even I never knew the mix) on one of his batches.
We heard a loud bang, and a few seconds later my Dad came staggering out of the shed towards the house with his face all black and his hair (What was left) still smoldering! I believe he went back to his origional mix again after that!
Another time before that when he was on a role with making his beeswax polish mix, he was on the hunt for containers to pour it into. Now my Mum and I were in the upstairs bathroom window looking out. I went to look as my Mum could not stop laughing. She was trying to wave at my Dad and say "No" but she was laughing so much she could not get the words out.
My Dad had picked up this container. He opened the lid and saw something brown and liquidy inside. Not knowing what it was, and not noticing my Mum in the window watching him (My Mum was laughing before he did this as she knew what would happen), I watched him take a deep breath to sniff the contents of the container, and with that he immediately dropped it in complete discust and dissbelief!
When my Mum has stopped chuckling away, she said she had been wanting to start a new manure heap and the best way was to start fermenting something as it will speed up the composting process, so this container had fermenting cats poo (As our old cat was not too well) and it was all liquidy and had been in there for at least a week... She had left it outside the greenhouse as she did not think anyone would see it and open it.

The shed used to have stable doors fitted to it and a sloping floor as it was used for keeping anpair of horses in it by the previous owners.
We did once have another corrigated iron shed leaning onto the side of the house which was removed to build a conservatory. It had an unusual hole in the side which was about two inches long by half an inch wide. My Mum used this shed foe milking the goats in when we first moved here and I later used it to keep my bicycles in. I had to duck a little to get in. The hole came from shrapnal as a bomb was dropped nearby and rhe shrapnel just missed a horse that was in there. Now this shed was small and low so it can't have had a big horse in it at the time? But what had happened was that someone was milking and needed a light and the plane above saw the light thinking there was something worth targeting. There is still a crator near a footpath where it landed, though it is about the length of a football pitch away. It is surprizing how the shrapnel hit the shed and went clean through the iron sheets. Those old sheets are much thicker then todays sheets. Actually the shed I am going to use has these thick sheets on them, and even though the weather exposed seaward side of the shed is brown with rust, the sheets look structurally ok, though I will need to get a closer look. The window my Dad put in on that side used to have sea views, though the neighbouring field has overgrown and the hedges have grown which is good as we avoid the wind.
Last edited by Mountain on Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
End2end
Posts: 5325
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby End2end » Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:19 am

Mountain wrote:It is the indoor painting that is the issue.

Have you thought about trying to "skill swap" with someone locally?
They could paint the inside and you could do something for them with your skill set.
Just a suggestion. ;)
Thanks
End2end
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

Daniel
Posts: 1229
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:48 am
Location: Here

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Daniel » Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:46 am

Well, it seems the shed could get the name "Pandora's"! :lol:

Magoo

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5165
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Mountain » Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:56 am

End2end wrote:
Mountain wrote:It is the indoor painting that is the issue.

Have you thought about trying to "skill swap" with someone locally?
They could paint the inside and you could do something for them with your skill set.
Just a suggestion. ;)
Thanks
End2end


I have a tall enthusiastic nephew with size 12 wellies who is in his late teenage years! :D

User avatar
Mountain
Posts: 5165
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:43 pm
Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: The Tale Of An Abandoned Garden Railway Which May Be Restored.

Postby Mountain » Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:01 pm

Daniel wrote:Well, it seems the shed could get the name "Pandora's"! :lol:

Magoo


I have heard the name associated with a box? But I can't remember what it means.

I need to nip out now as I have something to sort in the next village as a parcel I sent did not arrive... Will look pandora up later to find the meaning.


Return to “Garden Railways”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest