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The Dragon's Friendly Light Railway

sm32 live steam garden railway 16mm scale



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#1 vjoneslong

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:46

Good morning everyone! I too am a refugee from 'another place'.

 

I am constructing a 16mm to the foot, 32mm gauge garden railway. Construction has been ongoing for nearly two years now, but is fairly slow. The story goes that SWMBO and I bought a house (with big garden) which was cheap but needs much renovation. This means I swap between modelling and DIY. 

 

The garden that came with the house is rather long, and gently slopes away from the house. This gave plenty of scope for a railway. Here are some photos of the garden in the summer of 2015 as I planned construction.

33723032431_edbc404b8a_c.jpgIMAG0109 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33723033221_be0306f2fd_c.jpgIMAG0099 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33723036031_ed4d263dfa_c.jpgIMAG0101 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Construction started in earnest in June 2015. I decided on a squashed figure of 8, with the railway crossing over itself on the house side of the green house. This does involve some gradients, but I tried to slacken them out as much as possible. Previous incarnations of the line had involved "temporary" permanent way since we were living in rented accommodation. Therefore I decided that this time I was going to construct something far more substantial which wouldn't sink and shift as I had previously suffered from. I started by using the bricks I rescued from the knocking down of a party wall (to enable a larger kitchen), but have since moved on to the spare concrete bricks we bought for building work and the ubiquitous aerated blocks. Here are some photos showing my efforts from 2015 to 2016.

33811704696_9231998a8a_c.jpgjune5th1 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33811705476_cae8f9d0d5_c.jpgaugust20151 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33009255964_fbab89e39f_c.jpgjuly21st2 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33723090491_e6e4002926_c.jpgIMAG0311 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33811702896_55c3b9eab4_c.jpgIMAG0317 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33009256164_2f2584af67_c.jpgjuly25th6 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

By Summer 2016, interest was waning as I hadn't been able to steam anything. Therefore the decision was made to build an extra passing loop to enable end to end running to keep the interest alive.

33723082131_0978339709_c.jpgIMAG0054 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33723082371_1f976166c7_c.jpgIMAG0055 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33723082641_34c4eff200_c.jpgIMAG0079 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Track was laid, using Peco SM32 screwed into the bricks and blocks.

33723081671_c28d77b042_c.jpgaugust20155 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33723087081_51ac5c7a62_c.jpgIMAG0289 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33723085441_2f1796f6c7_c.jpgIMAG0117 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33696606522_ce54ff2df9_c.jpgIMAG0106 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Steam was finally raised using my Accucraft Lawley and Brandbright rake.

33723083741_000c7111c6_c.jpgIMAG0104 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Since then, some ballasting has taken place, and some planting.

33696606092_38bcfeed81_c.jpgIMAG0103 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33723085861_0b85aa9891_c.jpgIMAG0122 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33723084671_e2fe6061af_c.jpgIMAG0112 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33696607042_c308905342_c.jpgIMAG0113 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Before winter set in in 2016, I decided to make a push to construct the next phase of the line, which will include the main station, sheds, and the return of the loop. First job was to put the bridge in for the line to cross over itself.

33468728050_e8d6035f13_c.jpgIMAG0308 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33697163502_4eab7e7ed3_c.jpgIMAG0309 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

The last photo shows progress at the end of 2016. Now the clocks have gone forward and the ground is starting to dry out, I'm working on the track bed for the station, photos of which will appear tomorrow once I have gotten home tonight.

 

 


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#2 PaulRhB

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 10:57

Crikey, Garden railways are usually as bucolic and quiet as many of the real railways were on here and suddenly an influx of projects :)
Looking good and I like the railway crest :)

Edited by PaulRhB, 05 April 2017 - 10:59 .

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#3 vjoneslong

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:12

My narrow gauge modelling interest generally circle around the Welshpool & Llanfair, and as such my motive power and rolling stock reflects this, though I do have several freelance locos and stock as well.

 

Motive power started with the acquiring of a Campbelltown & Machrihanish 0-6-2, otherwise known as a Roundhouse Argyll.

33812435546_2bc15bcc53_c.jpgP1010747 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Next was a Pearse Ulysses.

33468871270_c8f009d45f_c.jpg2012-03-30 17.22.39 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Then the W&LLR obsession set in, as Countess arrived.

33468844500_277448d2d7_c.jpgP1040967 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Then a Accucraft Lawley appeared, and represents a joint purchase between myself and Swmbo. Nausicaa (as she is now named) is very special as she was purchased and used at our wedding.

33853417655_0b4cac264f_c.jpg2012-09-12 19.09.57 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33853605315_7905892924_c.jpgwedding1 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Next, a trip to the National Garden Railway show saw a Caradoc going for a song, and hence another joint purchase.

33468959080_2ace8ae833_c.jpgSophie1edited by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Then a Accucraft Joan appeared.

33697244892_a327c12ae0_c.jpgIMAG0097 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Followed by a Essel Engineering Chattenden.

33697245312_6e0ce3ce4e_c.jpgIMAG0382 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

And more recently, a brand new Accucraft W&LLR No 14/SLR 85.

33039809463_60b6f44e3e_c.jpgIMAG0455 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr


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#4 DavidB

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:15

Very nice indeed - I really love those large radius curves through the flowerbeds.  It's great to hear the story of how you have built the line too.  Looking forward to more instalments!

 

David


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#5 vjoneslong

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:16

Finally, I wish to share some recent videos of the line in operation. 


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#6 vjoneslong

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:17

Crikey, Garden railways are usually as bucolic and quiet as many of the real railways were on here and suddenly an influx of projects :)
Looking good and I like the railway crest :)

Thank you very much kind sir. The crest took many hours to create, but I'm pleased with it.



#7 vjoneslong

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:20

Very nice indeed - I really love those large radius curves through the flowerbeds.  It's great to hear the story of how you have built the line too.  Looking forward to more instalments!

 

David

Thanks very much. I always aimed to have as large as possible radius. These are between 6 foot and 7 foot. I do have one slightly tighter (maybe 5 foot 6) due to an error when building the track bed. I've decided to experiment with some gauge widened track in the not too distant future and hopefully that will reduce drag.

 

I hope to keep you all up to date. If it wasn't for the super rapid pace of Owd Bob and the McMullen Coal Company I reckon it would still be on the drawing board. 


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#8 Owd Bob

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:23

Lovely stuff Idris! and as usual up your great standards, i'm really glad to see another refugee seeking a nice friendly place to reside, i bet they'll be a few more yet to join us! and its all good stuff yet to see if they do!  believe me :yahoo: Really looking forward to seeing the progress on the Dragons Friendly this year.  :yes:


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#9 vjoneslong

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:42

Lovely stuff Idris! and as usual up your great standards, i'm really glad to see another refugee seeking a nice friendly place to reside, i bet they'll be a few more yet to join us! and its all good stuff yet to see if they do!  believe me :yahoo: Really looking forward to seeing the progress on the Dragons Friendly this year.  :yes:

Cheers Pinzer! I'm looking forward to seeing progress this year as well. I have set myself the target of getting the main loop done before the height of summer. If I keep chipping away at it it will soon be done. 


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#10 joppyuk1

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 12:56

I hope there's a branch of 'The Dragons Friendly Society' in the vicinity? A little known group dedicated to the late Oliver Postgate. 



#11 Narrow Minded

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 20:35

Great start to the thread Idris, and it'll be great to see this years progress on the DFLR :) 

(Oh, and we don't mention "The Other Place" :no2:



#12 vjoneslong

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 07:24

I hope there's a branch of 'The Dragons Friendly Society' in the vicinity? A little known group dedicated to the late Oliver Postgate. 

 

Oh most definitely. I have a small battery electric to finish somewhere which will receive the name Nog Bad the Bad. 

 

 

Great start to the thread Idris, and it'll be great to see this years progress on the DFLR :)

(Oh, and we don't mention "The Other Place" :no2:

 

Thank you NM. I'm hoping I have a productive year on the railway front.



#13 vjoneslong

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 08:58

A small amount of progress has been made. Sunday morning, Monday evening, and last night was spent putting the piers in to support the block work for the main station area. Because our nextdoor neighbours garden is slightly lower than ours, there is the potential for slippage at the end of the station. I decided that the best thing I could do was to dig down, place an old fence concrete fence post which was wedged between the current post and where his garden rises up again, and surrond it with a wet mix. That was achieved on Monday, and it was dry enough by last night for me to start the piers. The piers need another level of bricks on before the blocks, but I wanted to leave them to set a bit before putting the next layer on. 

 

33822129296_25791ec1e1_c.jpgIMAG0761 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33049892413_90b6019ea4_c.jpgIMAG0762 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

33019546514_6f1dfa1fa3_c.jpgIMAG0763 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Once I had put those two piers in, I started bringing the piers at the other end up to the next level. Here we can see the mainline swinging in to where the station area will start. Annoyingly one of the curve blocks has given way, so that will need rebedding. When Dad loans me his mixer again I intend to put some shuttering around the blocks and cast two concrete supports to help prevent the blocks from falling over.

33706964022_dd178c8868_c.jpgIMAG0764 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Its nice when everything is level!  :boast:

33478701320_6a6c1135ae_c.jpgIMAG0765 by Matthew Jones, on Flickr

 

Hopefully will make some more progress this Friday and Sunday.


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#14 Narrow Minded

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 09:13

Nice work there - and that's a WHOPPER of a spirit level :o

 

(I didn't know there was such a thing as "spirit level envy", but I've now got it!)


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#15 vjoneslong

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 09:20

I'm very glad I got it. It comes in really handy when marking walls for wallpapering. 



#16 Owd Bob

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 09:54

You can deffo' see the drop in the garden level now Idris, with those blocks getting higher up into the air. Have you put some in on their ends?  Cor! Blimey that is a big one! :o



#17 vjoneslong

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 10:28

You can deffo' see the drop in the garden level now Idris, with those blocks getting higher up into the air. Have you put some in on their ends?  Cor! Blimey that is a big one! :o

I ended up buying some foundation blocks. These are alot bigger than your standard aerated block. I cut them in half and use them (and in four for the curves). Takes a while to saw through them. They have ended up at all angles, on ends, on sides, upright, and back to front, to suit the angles etc. All will be hidden in time.

 

Thats what she said!  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:


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#18 Mike Storey

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 10:34

Very impressive progress. Owd Bob must be spurring you on! I don't know about spirit level envy, but I have certainly now got loco envy. I look forward to the progress of your line - looking interesting.

 

You are both shaming me into getting on with mine, now the soil is drying out enough. I have run out of excuses to start the heavy digging....


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#19 Owd Bob

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 10:58

Very impressive progress. Owd Bob must be spurring you on! I don't know about spirit level envy, but I have certainly now got loco envy. I look forward to the progress of your line - looking interesting.

 

You are both shaming me into getting on with mine, now the soil is drying out enough. I have run out of excuses to start the heavy digging....

Go on Mike get your gloves on, get out there and get digging...its not going to do it itself :fan:


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#20 vjoneslong

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 11:12

Thank you for your kind comments MIke. 

 

I wholeheartedly agree with Owd Bob. Get the gloves on and get digging. There is noting like a bit of healthy competition between railways for progress to happen!  :yes: Any problems or issues don't hesitate to ask. Someone has bound to come across the same scenario as you at some point and I'm sure will be more than happy to help. Good luck!


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#21 Narrow Minded

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 11:37

I'm very glad I got it. It comes in really handy when marking walls for wallpapering. 

 

One of the oldest tricks in the book, and I've used it many times when acquiring stuff for the railway - "It'll be just right for doing the (insert suitable household task here) darling!" :jester:


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#22 Narrow Minded

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 11:39

Go on Mike get your gloves on, get out there and get digging...its not going to do it itself :fan:

 

All the activity makes me want to dig part of mine up and make changes :scratchhead: It happens about this time every year! :drag:



#23 Owd Bob

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 13:07

All the activity makes me want to dig part of mine up and make changes :scratchhead: It happens about this time every year! :drag:

It's like we come out of Hibernation when just a bit of Sun or a single dry day finally turns up :sungum:


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#24 DavidB

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 14:44

Great to see how you get such a smooth and level trackbed Idris. Presumably this removes all of the packing and tamping that goes with less solid/well-laid trackbeds. I've never understood how the 45mm boys cope with the 'floating' track that some of them use - possibly something to do with the much chunkier LGB-style track, but I much prefer your method.

David

#25 Mike Storey

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 19:08

Thank you for your kind comments MIke. 

 

I wholeheartedly agree with Owd Bob. Get the gloves on and get digging. There is noting like a bit of healthy competition between railways for progress to happen!  :yes: Any problems or issues don't hesitate to ask. Someone has bound to come across the same scenario as you at some point and I'm sure will be more than happy to help. Good luck!

 

Well, now that you mention it.....From your pics, it looks like you have laid a continuous concrete bed for the continuous blockwork curve (prior to the viaduct blocks) with one side above ground level, but no sign of having used formwork (which is what I am dreading, having done this twice before). My usual method has been to dig down below ground level each side and use the earth as the former (or wood offcuts where needed, and pegged to get the level.) Am I right, and if so, how did you do that and still manage to get a good level? Was it a semi-dry mix or some other secret method?!









Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: sm32, live steam, garden railway, 16mm scale

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