A new garden railroad

f2shooter Oct 31, 2013

  1. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    View attachment 58698 View attachment 58699 View attachment 58700 View attachment 58701 View attachment 58702 View attachment 58703 View attachment 58704 View attachment 58705 Afternoon all,

    I've just begun the outdoor G scale version of of my CBAM&J Railroad. This road already exists as an HO layout in the middle bedroom of my house where it has been slowly progressing the last 3 or 4 years. The G scale version came about as a result of a couple of things. My dad has been building and operating his Grannyville RR for the last 15 years or so. I've enjoyed working on it and operating the variety of equipment he uses. Railroading is only a part of what we model. We do a lot of R/C planes, helis, cars, boats and even a couple of tanks. In short, we enjoy things that go. The Grannyville taught us that outdoor track power was too maintainence intensive and he has gone to all radio control and battery power. A good friend of his passed about a year and a half ago and his wife gave nearly all of his railroad stuff to my dad. It took 5 pickup loads, a Suburban crammed full and my mom's car to move it all. I took over a Christmas train project that Bill had been setting up as part of a gingerbread village in a large local hotel and conference center. I decided then that I needed my own outdoor setup. I was planning to start next spring but I think my Dad wanted to build something new but didn't want to expand the Grannyville any further. It's already quite large. He helped me load all the track he'd inherited and several cars and a 2-4-0 Bachman loco. The track wasn't new but everything else seems to be. There's quite a bit more. A contracter was called and the next day he'd completed a 16x20 foot concrete block box complete with a stucco finish. I'd considered doing it my self for about a minute and am glad I didn't try it. This crew completed in 8 hours what would have taken me weeks and they did a much better job. I've spent considerable time putting about 40 tons of dirt in it and getting it level enough for track. I'm waiting on a rain storm to help the dirt settle a bit and that will be here in an hour or so. The plan is to run two spurs to locations in the yard mostly using trestles along with at least one passing track, a yard and two towns. It will be some time in the making I hope but the first circle should be operational in November. The nice part is I finally figured out what to do with a large part of my back yard which has been mostly cleared but unused the last decade or so. I'll post photos and commentary as I go, all input is welcome.

    Rick H.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2013
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Looks like a few dollars worth of cinder blocks! It will be some good fun to see those proposed trestles.
     
  3. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Looks like a great start. What did the contractor work cost you? Looks like they did the hard part...
     
  4. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    Contractor charged $2700 which I thought was high and was a good bit higher than budgeted but I don't doubt that I haven't kept up with construction costs these days. Two loads of dirt (42 yards) were another $400 and I rented a Dingo to move the dirt from the front yard to the back. Had to rent it twice as the first load of dirt just wasn't enough. Total is about $4300 now but most of the big spending is over for the time being. It rained this morning but when it dries out I'll probably put down at least a loop of track and probably a siding. I need to sort out which buildings will be coming here and which will be staying on the Grannyville. I will also be running a spur over to my deck where I will have a pair of covered storage tracks. I won't leave the locos out much more than an overnight if that but will likely leave the cars out as it will be a covered storage building over the tracks.

    Rick H.
     
  5. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    View attachment 58787 View attachment 58786 View attachment 58788 View attachment 58789 View attachment 58790 View attachment 58791 Much progress is being made. I put down the first half circle Friday. Sunday we built the second half over at Dad's house and brought it back here. Started putting down the rest this morning. I thought I would have 2 half circles using the supplied 18 pieces of 14' curved track I purchased but either it isn't bent quite right or more likely I didn't locate something correctly because the very last section of curve goes past the line I planned for the short (5') sections of straight to connect the two half circles. This turned out much larger than expected hence the short straight runs. I have 4 turnouts, 2 for a curved siding, one to depart the circle for a yard and a line to another planned section, the other to storage tracks to be located under cover on the deck area. I didn't build this for track power but hooked a transformer up anyway and tried running a little Piko 2-4-0 but there is poor track connectivity. I then got out an inexpensive battery powered loco and hung a couple of Napa Valley RR cars to it just to run something. One of the curves has a lean for some reason and there is a small elevation change in one spot. Nothing is perfect the first time around I guess. I'm sure I'll fix these but the CBAM&J is a class 2 road after all. Hopefully photos are attached. Back to work...

    Rick H.
     
  6. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    A full circle of track is down and some sidings are partially complete. I need to add a curved siding but the parking tracks will come first. I got two Airwire 900 recievers and a T5000 in yesterday. Looking for batteries next week. Pictures in a day or so.

    Rick H.
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Moving right along! I am certainly curious to see how your scenery will be done.
     
  8. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    So am I. A lot of that will be done in the spring, most of the Grannyville buildings are up for the season. I am thinking of putting an herb garden in here but not sure yet. I was able to put my Piko 2-4-0 on batteries today getting the Airwire reciever installed along with a 2000 mah hour lipo pack. It was during this work that I discovered it wasn't a Piko at all but an LGB loco. Guess I just never looked at the bottom but Piko makes something very similar. I put it on the Grannyville and it pulled a consist of 10 cars for about 30 minutes without missing a beat so I'm happy with it. I mentioned earlier that the CBAM&J is only possible in G scale because after one of my Dad's railroading buddies passed, Dad was given most of his equipment. Problem is, he put most of it up without cataloguing it. There were several Eggliners some of which are being used on Christmas trains again this year but I also found to my shock a Doodlebug, an Alco, a gas turbine self powered car, an A-B-A f-unit set, and half a dozen heavyweight passenger cars, all NIB. There's also an SD-45 in NSX colors stashed in a box somewhere but it apparently needs some work. Pretty much any of this I can use is available to me so there's going to be some mighty fine trains running this line. I'll make sure I get a few new photos tomorrow and get them posted. Not a lot to see.

    Rick H.
     
  9. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    View attachment 58871 View attachment 58873 View attachment 58872 View attachment 58874 The CBAM&J is finally operational. Attached are some photos of the 2-4-0 pulling a small consist. I know it says Pennsylvania but give me a few days and it won't. It hasn't been all that long since the Pennsy sold this loco and paint wasn't at the top of shop priorities. It's been running constantly for about an hour and a quarter and shows no signs of slowing. I plan to see what kind of duration it has at about a scale 25mph while watching my boys whip up on Tennessee. If it's still running at dark I'll put it back on the parking tracks. Jake the dog will be in charge of security. As you can see the landscape looks a little like Stephen King's Blasted Lands but by spring it will be civilized. Town planning is in the development stages but a city planning firm has been engaged to help the new city council plan for basic structure with an eye toward expansion. There is also a Christmas railroad to be set up in a few weeks. I'll post a few photos of that when it's up and running. I should add that the bridge track will either become a trestle bridge or possibly a steel bridge but it's working pretty good for a temp structure. Just about time to add ballast. Yippee!

    Rick H.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2013
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Trains running! That is always such a good feeling, no matter what scale.
     
  11. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    A small garden RR is on my bucket list. Your thread is pushing it further to the top of the list. Good job!
     
  12. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    Hey that is awesome. I've given thought to a garden railroad, but I changed my mind after I saw the price tag on some that equipment.:headspin:
     
  13. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    The train was still running after 3 hours and 45 miinutes. It was beginning to slow a little with the lap times going from about 57 seconds to about 65 seconds. I know it's not a race but it helps to quantify a few things to determine how long I can run this rig consistently. It is by far the longest single running session I've ever had. This loco is amazingly smooth and quiet. Got to give the folks at LGB credit. You know, this stuff is a bit pricey and more has been spent on this railroad so far than on the last 3 cameras I bought (how I make a living) put together. If I had had to buy all this and start from scratch it wouldn't be here. I mentioned that most of it came as a gift from the estate of a railroading buddy. I would not have begun without it. I'd rather have Bill around to model with but I don't get to make that choice. Keep your eyes open for deals like this. Not to sound ghoulish but I've recently purchased 91 HO locos and 135 cars, a few buildings and 100 feet of track from a lady whose husband passed away some years ago and spent less than $150 total. She has a lot of brass stuff that is naturally priced quite a bit higher but there are deals around if you keep an eye out. I wish there were some people located closer to me that were interested in G scale but so far I can't even round up enough HO guys to start a club here.

    Rick H.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2013
  14. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Rick, looks like your railroad is coming right along. Looks great! Since there's such a large drop from your bridge track, I would suggest guardrails (in the track, or as part of the bridge) to protect against the inevitable.
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Keep looking. As time passes, new folks move in or start up. It has taken many years of people persisting, but things in my vicinity are now very slowly beginning to move in both N and HO.
     
  16. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    I know, it's not exactly in the mainstream these days. It doesn't involve the use of a tablet or some kind of gamebox. Mine doesn't anyway. I know what you mean about the bridge. I'll add some siding and will definitely have something in place on the trestle system. Was running the train a couple of days ago, a gust came through and knocked the entire train over except the engine. It was on the cirlce so no damage but yikes!! I started doing some figuring on the bents for a trestle. Found that the 2-foot sections of cedar were about $1.49 each. Added it up an then bought a table saw from Lowes. Got come cedar fence boards that I'll just cut myself. Total cost including a few mistakes will still be less than buying pre cut wood and I'll have the saw when I'm done. I'll have a few more trestle sections on this line before I'm done.

    Rick H.
     
  17. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    It's been busy on the CBAM&J the last couple of weeks. Management decided some more motive power was in order and found a U-25 that CSX apparently forgot they had. A few phone calls were made, funds exchanged and now it has a new home. It'll be needed what with upcoming construction and all the development coming in the next town over. Seriously though, this U-25 had been stored in a box (along with the long lost Thomas) in my dad's basement for 7 or 8 years and was available so I put the other Airwire unit in it a couple of days ago. I think this is a USA Trains loco but am unsure. It had been modified for batteries some time back but using a different speed control, nicads and an Airtronics 2 channel radio. It worked but everytime a tree got in the way the thing stopped. That radio is in a boat now. Anyway, the View attachment 59269 View attachment 59270 View attachment 59271 View attachment 59272 engine didn't fit into his plan and got boxed up. It took a couple of hours to clip out all of the old wires and set up the new system but the new battery pick fit perfectly underneath. I'll get the plugs put away at some point and the two holes in the side filled and probably do a repaint to make it look like it was rode hard and put up wet. It's a good bit faster than my 0-4-0 and with 2 motors runs a little less than half the time but still looks good for a two hour run. I guess I'll have to go grab some of the heavyweight passenger cars and see how they run around the circle. I know, won't really look right but for now it beats having to spend more $$ on more cars. The passenger stuff didn't sell when we tried to, it's NIB and I like them which is what really counts on this road. A few photos attached. Time to get the Christmas train stuff out, have to put that one up right after Thanksgiving.
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I remember when those U boats came out, the hobby shop in my vicinity at that time had one prominently displayed. Even though I was not a G scaler, I had eyed it for a super detailing and display model.
     
  19. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    bents.jpg I've been waiting for a cold wet Saturday to spend a day making bents for the trestle bridge from the mainline to the parking tracks. Today was it. Dad and I had spent some time converting several cedar fence boards to 2 foot lengths and took about an hour converting all of that into 2 foot strips. Ended up with quite a pile of lumber and dust on everything! It'll take another day just to clean all of the planes trains and automobiles. Anyway by dinner time we had 16 trestle bents built. Because I'm dumb enough to count things like this after the fact, each bent has 19 separate pieces of wood and 70 nails for a total of 304 parts and more than 1100 nails. All I can say is thank goodness for power saws and nail guns. In the next day or so I'll spray them with a darkish color brown stain and start on the upper sections. Hopefully we'll have the bridge in place by weeks end.

    Rick H.
     
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow. After counting all the nails and parts, quite a project! Those bents do look sturdy.
     

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