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Old 07-30-2009, 11:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Hello all,

This is a new thread so I can easily embed the pictures of how we are progressing (learned how to embed pictures). I have copied the information from the first post so others that see this for the first time will have a better understanding.

I have finally taken the plunge and started implementing my first garden railroad. I have been reading everything about them (including purchasing ten years worth of Garden Railways magazines) and listening to everyone on this site for great feedback, but enough was enough and it was time to move things forward.

It took some time to properly understand scale vs gauge but thanks to everyone here and Marc Horovitz I was able to get the concepts through my thick head!


So, how did I get started? I have been in N Gauge for about 10 years with an extensive layout in my basement however after attending a train show last January in Grand Rapids I purchased my first "G" Gauge set (before we go off the deep end I have a better understanding now ) Now I understand the reason they call it the (G)eriatric gauge as I could actually see the parts of the train up close!

I am a little bit of a crazy collector so I started to purchase the trains that interested me. I picked up some Lionel, LGB, Bachmann and USA Trains in addition to picking up about 200' of track. As I learned more about Gauge 1 I learned that not all scales look good together so I have decided that my primary scale will be 1:29. The main track loops (folded dog bone) will have a minimum radius of 5' with a slope of no more than 3 degrees. The mountain loops are 3' radius with slopes up to 8 degrees. These are for very select trains.


We have had to pick up Thomas and James (with five grand kids that love them they were a must!).


I did pick up the buy of a life time in that also acquired about 600' of Aristocraft track with two USA Train engines and about 20 USA Train cars for about $800 off from Craigslist. It was a company than had run them around the roof of their establishment and was selling them out of the warehouse.


Of course we had to pick out a name for our rail road and after Cheryl and I (Rich) discussed it she came up with C&RR Railroad. (It's Cheryl and Rich Reiffer).


I will keep updating it as we proceed so if you see any BIG mistakes let me know.

Thanks for looking
Rich Reiffer


So here we go!

This is the beginning of the garden railway without the track. These pictures were taken this spring.



The intent is to continue the train back around the rear garage.



This is early in the spring and as you can see I am going to have to figure out how to get all of the track around her nicely laid out garden



The back of the rear garage contains my wife's small vegetable garden (another thing to work around! What happened to railroad right-of-way!



So it's time to start the railroad!

The first thing was how do we add the main track in the front without bothering the existing garden? Simple, add more garden space!



We had to add all along the front in order to not disturb too many plants!



We decided to wire using 12 gauge pump wire in PVC. This is for control of the main two lines.



As we covered up the electrical wiring this is close to the finished product. We filled each PVC end with sealer to prevent water from getting into the pipe.



We needed to add more black direct to fill in so we brought in three yards worth! Looks much better with the new dirt.



We then used black aluminum drip edge and used several wooden sticks as a spacer. The "safe" edge of the drip edge is pointing up and is easy on bare feet.



We then put ground fabric cut to width (used a band saw) and put it down in between the drip edge. We used precut sticks to hold the drip edge apart in order to keep a "fixed" distance.



It took some time in Michigan but I found the ideal crusher fines (dust) to put underneath the track. This stuff is easy to work with and "sculpt" but yet remains in place (even during heavy down pours.



We then put the dust between the drip edge pieces giving some nice depth to the road bed.



We utilized a pressure treated 2X12 4' long with cedar strips cut to the right height between the tracks. We will add the final cedar strips covering the ties once everything is in place.



Another view of the work just getting started.


By July 12th here is what we had accomplishednbsp;

This is a close up of the "walk way" area. When i finish this walk way I will add additional cedar strips on the rails.



Close up of the main electrical connection (this section of track).



Another view of the electrical feed. Notice how we bent the wire down and then back up.



I used rail clamps from AML. These are VERY cost effective running about .80 each.



On each wire I added a wire crimp which then goes on one of the screws for the rail clamp. This gives a very solid connection.



To make the bends in the drip edge I used a cutter to make periodic slits and then bent the drip edge at each cut. I "smoothed" out each bend as I added the crusher fines.



My Grandson had to help! Of course it needs a good pat down.



As we moved along we had to test the track to make sure all sections are working! In this way we did not have to come back and "guess" where we might have a bad connection.



You can see the tracking heading up toward the back of the garden.



We used 4' diameter switches as we do not expect to run any large trains up the mountain. We are using extra wide switches on the main line so we can run something bigger!



This is a closeup of how the track looks in the bead with dirt coming up on each side.



Showing the double switch at the base of the mountain.



This shows the expansion up to the "mountain".



This is another view showing the access to the "mountain" loop.



The back of the "mountain". Same principle to lay the track as the main line but just narrower width. We simply cut our "measure" stick in two for these single lines.



Overview of the "mountain". As you can see it's not that high but there was only so much my wife would let me disturb!



This is the main line heading towards the back of the garden.



This is the main line heading towards the back of the garden.

Thanks all for looking. I will be posting step 2 of the garden expansion soon.

Rich
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default RE: C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Hi Cheryl and Rich.
Very nice and impressive garden railway project! This will become a beuatifull railway for sure. Keep us posted on the progress.
Good bargain on that USA Trains stock btw!

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Old 07-30-2009, 01:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Hi Rich,
Fantastic start. You've gotten a lot done in a short time.

You mentioned Grand Rapids a couple of times. Is that where you live? I'm in Kalamazoo and have worked on my railroad for about 5 or 6 years now.

Bob
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Bob,

Actually I live in Jenison (just outside GR). My cell phone is 616-437-7970. Call anytime and we should set up a time to see each others layouts.

Rich
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Beautiful garden!

I like your aluminum angles.
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Old 07-30-2009, 02:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Thanks for the feedback.

The aluminum angles are cheap to purchase (These came from Lowes and cost about $3.50 for a 10' section) and easy to install and it helps keep the main ballast within the boundaries required.

Rich
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Rich,
Yep, I know where Jenison is. I lived in Grandville for a year back in the early 70's. Yes, we should set up a time to visit each others layouts. My cell phone is 269-599-1217.

Bob
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Great looking RR. Looks well planned out. Later RJD
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Should this style of road bed only be attempted where there's no chance of frost? My son wants to do a small layout in the front of the house and this would be an easy way for him to build his road bead. we'd use the ladder method to construct the one overpass.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: C&RR Railroad - Our first garden railroad (with pictures)

Looks right nice, Rich. Roadbed and track plan looks great.

Have super time running trains...
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