First G Scale out door Layout!!

dmiller Jun 3, 2009

  1. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Update

    Well, It has been a couple weeks, so I thought an update was in order.
    I have been running the layout for friends and family, and have compiled a list of changes/modifications already of things I want to alter on the layout.
    Some are for convenience, others, practicality and ease of operation. In anycase, here are a few things Ive learned so far..........

    I need a way of carrying rolling stock from house to yard. 2 or 3 in hand and arm takes a while, invites damage, and is just a pain in the b----. I will be working on some basic trays, that would stack , for storage and moving this fall.....when nice weather goes away.

    Also, a carrying tray for the engines......For this one, I would like to have them stored on a board, or tray, on track, that I can just set down on a siding and connect, and just run them on to the track, vs, getting down on hands and knees to set all the wheels on the track. I will put a siding on, for this purpose as funds allow.

    Track cleaning.....hasnt been a big problem so far, but as time goes on, and more time elapses between runs, I could see issues cropping up. For now, what I use is a modified Swifter sweeper handle, with 3m scouring pads glued to a ply block that velcroes onto the Swifter. Just a couple passes around the track, then clean up with a swifer cloth, and Im good to go. If I have just run the train, ie, night before, I just use the cloth, and all is good.

    Seating........I need to add to the landscaping, areas where people could sit and watch. That was in the original scheme, but after having some viewings....would really come in handy, especially for the older relatives.

    Im sure more Ideas will come as time goes on................

    D
     
  2. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Early Fall Update ;-)

    Well folks......
    Its been a while, so I thought Id put an update out there on the work my wife and I have been doing on the layout. We have been running the trains....and I thought a couple modifications were in order.
    We have added some more landscaping rock....(3+ ton) and have relocated the main line. In some of these shots, you can see the slight bend/s curve just after the lower bridge....this realigns the track to the outer edge of the landscape area....in preparation for the spring, where Ill put some switches, and an 30 deg. crossover to an inner loop for the sunny end of the layout. This will allow fully 2 independent trains running.....without worry of speed and all.

    Also...We put a small siding on to facilitate loading the engines, and rolling stock on the tracks. This helps in getting two trains running now......and gives me an escape route when the slower steamer gets caught!!

    I have also done a lot of modifications on the grades, and layout for drainage....hopefully now the rains wont wash away too much of the dirt and sub roadbeds on a few areas of the layout.

    I did learn that the Aristocraft wide switch needs some modifications.....as the flanges on the cars and engines ride up just a bit......and run pretty roughly over the switch. If I cant get it modified satisfactorily, I will need to go to a different switch/turnout unit for the crossovers....

    So far, its been a lot of fun, and some of the neighbors really like coming over to enjoy our labor!!

    Darryl
     

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  3. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    A few more

    Here are a few more ..........by the way......the dog....is really ambivalent to the train!!! She just likes the flowers!!!! lol

    Also, these pics and watching the steam loco really brings to light the different scales I have........I really need to find a source for 1:20 scale passenger cars / coaches from that era to match the Spektrum Consolodated.......

    D
     

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  4. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Trestle finished!!!

    I have been really busy the past few weeks with my daughters wedding, but now that its done,( last weekend) I still had a couple days of vacation available to work on my trestle portion of the lay out. I was really getting tired of looking at the temporary structure I had rigged up.....so this has been a welcome project for me.
    I finished it up today.....adding the cross pieces...and I really like the way it came out!!! I used all old pressure treated lumber from a deck I took off the house......and used some water repelling deck stain for the finish. Here are some of the pics!!!

    Darryl
     

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  5. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You have a great looking railroad going on there! Very nice. I really like the trestle.

    WOW, the dog does not chase the trains?? :) which of course is a good thing.
     
  6. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks

    Matt,
    Thanks, My wife and I have spent a lot of time on this project this summer, and it has been a great deal of fun!! The trestle is a focal point for that side of the layout......and I enjoyed building it.

    We have been prepping for next season already, by getting ready for the water feature that will go into the shady area. The local Mega lumber yard had their pond supplies on sale, so I picked up a couple preformed ponds and water fall items to use. We will move some dirt this fall.....but not put anything in till next spring. I have to lay it out so I can have a mill pond, and mill.......probably one of the only structures we will put in. There may be something else, small, and unobtrusive, as we still want this to be a garden area with train, rather than train layout with plants.

    We should be able to get some more rock this weekend.....one of the landscapers in town has a pile I can pick from for free!! To me, FREE is good......so we will get what we can and use it somewhere.

    The dog is old.......(12 + ) and is much more interested in the rabbits and ground squirrels inhabiting the area!!! The train just gets in her way! lol

    Darryl
     
  7. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    This is one project that turned out very well and should be used as a model here on train board on how to build a outdoor layout. Everything was done right from the planning, to surveying, making sure proper drainage was installed to that wonderdful trestle that was built. I can't wait to see after the water features are installed
     
  8. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    Any plans for winter operation of the layout per chance?
     
  9. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Winter ops

    DragonfyreGt,

    Winter operation.........yes, I will plan on running some this winter.......but it will depend on Mother Nature. If we get as much snow as we did last winter......a good portion of this layout will be under 2+ feet of snow!! Thats just because of where it is, in relation to the way the yard lays. When we get big snows, a HUGE drift forms right over the south end........Id be shoveling for a while to clear it out!!! lol But, we will see..........a Christmas Eve running would be fun, especially if I can get my Christmas engine repainted.........

    Where in Illinois are u located? Friends and guests are always welcome to stop by and run their own equipment.

    Darryl
     
  10. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    I'm all the way up near Chicago. But I tend to take road trips to car shows all over IL. So maybe sometime during the fall or winter, I might stop by.
     
  11. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Autumn on the G & G!

    Boy, the time sure flies!!! Last time I looked it was late summer, and now its already November!! Once I finished the trestle, after the daugthers wedding, we just didnt have much time or inclination to get back outside to the garden to work. Plus, we have had constant rain over this past few weeks, and it has really taken its toll on the plants and landscaping of the railroad. My wife and I couldnt even get into the garden to work on anything for much of this time cause it was just to muddy!!

    This update brings several changes........and preparation for winter and next season.
    The biggest is a name change for our railroad to the G & G. Since my wife and I are Grandma and Grandpa.......its only fitting!!! So welcome to the G & G Scenic railway!

    I have put a few pics on the post to show the changes from summer to Fall/winter.
    Any of the marker flags indicate where we put more plants or bulbs. We were finally able to squish 150-200 bulbs into the ground....and our bare root plant order arrived....so we had to get them in as well............walk on me plants, irish moss......and creeping phlox, to name a few. Hopefully they will take hold again in the spring, and add some color and texture to the landscape. We were also able to move some of the other plants/bulbs around to better fit the layout. It all looks pretty brown and beat up right now, but next season, hopefully, will bring a nicer looking garden railroad.

    The rains have really hurt the ballast.... Not sure If I had mentioned before, but I have to this point only used the crushed fines we have around here......a white/yellow limestone. The intent was to get the base roadbeds in, and operational...and to eventually find a more realistic colored fines to make the decorative roadbed. That search FINALLY came to reality, when I stopped at a stone outlet 60 miles away, and found they have exactly what I wanted!!! A grey, crushed fines.....plus a lighter reddish fines..........which I will mix together to form the decorative ballast for the road beds. I will be waiting till spring on this, though, as I dont want to repair, then repair again.......but I really am looking forward to this change!!!! One of the Pics shows a small area where I put a sample of the gray down.

    The rains have also washed rock dust/dirt into all the rail joints. Those that I have left with only the brass joiners.....and no mechanical, ie, screwed connection, have caused some problems electrically. I spent some time a few weeks back identifying those bad joints, and then yesterday got them taken care of, with either Hillmans clamps, or screws in the joiners.........hopefully now I will be able to run with only cleaning......not cursing!!
    I will also be repairing my Aristo switch.......to overcome the short in the rail, and the plastic area that needs to be ground out to let all the wheel flanges roll smoothly. Two issues ago in Garden RW. had the article I needed to do this.....so I finally resubscribed.....and have already paid for the subscription with some plans and how tos.......so it was definitly worth the money!!

    One last thing......
    DragonFyreGT............after spending time a few weeks back, prepping for running the train for family in COLD wind, sprinkles, and snow........I think the answer to the winter time running question will be NO!! lol That was one misserable day out there!!!! ( I also was grilling brats/burgers in the cold/rain too, but thats another story!)

    I have some video of the layout I took with my wifes digital.....it is rough now, but I am going to edit it a bit.....and try to figure out how to get it on here...if anyone has anysuggestions, let me know.......right now, I am going to open a Youtube account, and hopefully post a link.

    Regards and Happy Runnings!
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2009
  12. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Video

    Ok, so not sure if any of you all would like to see this......but here is the link to a video I made of the layout.
    Thanks for looking!!

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZIfkOudEXc"]YouTube- G & G Scenic Railway[/ame]

    Darryl

    EMD Trainman: Here is a working link to this great video > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZIfkOudEXc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  13. N7CZ

    N7CZ TrainBoard Member

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    Good stuff, Darryl! Did you have to custom build the trestles? Also, what is the power on that train? It is SWEET! Thanks for sharing this video! I loved seeing your layout!
     
  14. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Bob,
    Thanks, the video was kind of a whim! Last Garden Scale magazine had some info, and I thought Id give it a go. It had been a while since I did any video editing.....wasnt sure If I still had the right software!!

    The Trestle was custom.........I used old green treated lumber from a deck I had. All the bents are actually identical......some are set further into ground than others. I just used deck stain for the finish.

    As of now, I run all track power. It is less than 200 feet total.....so the power has not been a problem, and cleaning so far, not too much hassle. I do want to construct some type of battery operated cleaning car this winter. I have a couple old Bachman steamers that I intend on using for this purpose.

    Thanks for looking!!!!

    Darryl
     
  15. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    great video work! :thumbs_up::thumbs_up::thumbs_up: Three Thumbs way WAY Up. Top That Ebert & Roper.
     
  16. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    WOW, so cool!! Great video there!:teeth:
     
  17. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Christmas on the G&G!!!

    Well.......what a busy time for us all! Last minute shopping.......cooking.....friends and family around. What a wonderful time of the year!!

    Ok, this post if for DragonfyreGT.........your the one who asked about winter ops....!!

    I finally had some down time, and took an afternoon to clean off the tracks, and take the Christmas train outside. (at least part of it).

    I had not run my trains outdoors in the winter as of yet, so this was a totally new experience!!!! Getting the snow and ice off the tracks.....making sure the inner rails were clear from ice chunks....etc. It took less time than I thought, but if the weather keeps up.....I doubt I will do this again this winter!!! At least it was relatively warm! (27 degrees, no wind). The only damage was when I trimmed the manual switch machine off my one aristocraft switch!!! DOH! (anyone got a manual aristo switch machine laying around???)
    Other than that.....all went amazingly well......and my oldest, trusty Bachmann 4-6-0 rain remarkably well!!! Better than indoors!

    Here are a few pics I took.......trying to take advantage of the dimming light........I did get video...but unfortunately, my editing program has vanished after a computer rebuild, and I cant edit any longer......I may put some raw footage up on utube for the heck of it.

    Notice the "non scale" snow!

    Merry Christmas, and have a safe and Happy New Year!

    Darryl and Joan, (G&G)
     

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  18. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Spring Clean Up on the G and G

    Wow.....It has been quite a while since I posted anything on the G and G layout! Last I new it was winter, (before Xmas) and I tried some Christmas trains....that was a cold evening!!

    Spring has come around a bit earlier than usual....and My wife, Joan, and I have finally been able to get out and work on the garden and trains. I was very curious to see how the winter would affect the layout, track, landscaping, etc, and I have been pleasantly supprised that, other than some minor ballast repair, and minimal track cleaning, the layout weatherd quite well!!!! It took a while to get the leaves out of the nooks and crannys.....they are still in some spots.....but the majority of the bulbs we planted have come up, and are looking great right now.
    The bare root stock we tried to plant has given us mixed results......some Irish moss did ok, but none of the other items survived. I would not go that route again, and would default to potted varieties....more expensive, but also more reliable.

    I have started putting crushed fines down in some areas for the remainder of the track....Ill finish it up later in the spring/summer. The quarries here dont have a lot of the fines right now......they make it in the fall.......for the farmers, (ag lime) and in the spring.....all the park districts, etc get what is left for the ball diamonds. Who would have thought I would be competing against the little league teams for rock!!!
    Luckily, I found enough for another project yesterday.....and used the left for the trains. I still need some more.......but that will have to wait a week or two.

    I made up a track cleaning apparatus.......and have posted a pic or two. I will finish it off later, but for now...it does pretty well....and the battery power lasts forever!!!
    It is powered by a USA motor block..and A123 cells. Nice speed, and good power. The cleaning pad is a sanding pad from the home improvement store.

    Here are some more pics of the running this evening.....the second time out for my Xmas Present from the Wife........the SD 70 Mac engine......what a gal!!

    Here's to a great Spring and Summer to come!!
     

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  19. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Spring pics

    Here are a few more pics........

    D
     

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  20. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    dmiller, it has been quite a while since you last posted here, but I must say I'm excited to see you back with new photos. Great job on the video by the way. I edited your post and put in a working link to your great you tube video, hope don't mind I did that for you. Also grooing and other work such as eat pictures, are you going to be doing other work? I know you were planning a pond or some kind of water based theme for your layout if I remember right.
     

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