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Ridgemont Hills Light Railway

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Hi all, first post so be gentle! ;)


I has been a long time coming, since I was about 12 when my Dad announced we'd build a garden railway - that never happened... A couple of false starts, two house moves and several life changing events later, I am finally building my garden railway!

I have moved into a remote spot not a million miles from where I used to live and have absolutely fallen on my feet with my new home. First and foremost I had to think of the family and as an added bonus it has a great garden for a railway!

I decided to stick the drone up in the air for a decent over head photograph to draw the rough plans.



Doing a rough pace around the garden I should need approximately 90-95 yards or track to make one complete circuit, there will obviously be siding and loops and other goings on to complete the basic circuit. The next job is to work out the levels, I have a laser level to borrow from a friend and I can then work out what civil engineering needs to take place, excited!

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2nd post to bring up to date



I've gathered materials together for the starting of the higher section in phase 1. This section of track will almost be completely trestle construction and the limiting factor will be the boundary wall for my height. Having been out working things out, the height that I'm gunning for will allow for some ground level track and also cuttings to be dug, the more features the better!

Here we see the sleepers I bought a few years back for my last attempt (undocumented), they are laid out to work out the optimum locations for block pillars are going to be built.




I have company, an extra set of eyes never goes a miss! Give or take a couple of inches, the top of the concrete block stood upright is approximately where the sleepers will sit.




Next I have to order the blocks, dig the footings and get something setup.

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  • 2 weeks later...



I have to confess I am a little behind on the updates but they will all come in due course.


So I have worked out what the lowest point I can go, the boundary wall is only so tall and I want people to be able to walk past (public foot path) and not see the railway. Here is the mock up on the lowest part of the wall.






I was then able to laser over to the shed to work out the steaming area and I mocked up the basic platform. This decided that I would use the side of the shed to run the railway past and possibly introduce the tracks into the shed.




The following weekend I was able to employ the help of my Dad and a good friend. I had some blocks delivered and we were able to build the piers that make the main straight.






After this was done I was able to work out, with help from Dad, what radius curves I could get away with in the space available. 9' radius around the the steam up area and 8'6" at the temp loop end. Here is the section freshly cut out.



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With the platform position decided, I fixed it together and fitted it onto the side of the shed for the short term (until the line actually reaches the shed, levels may change). I made this out of wood that was donated to me from a friend who had these offcuts from building a garden shed and the thicker material was from a pallet I had delivered to work. Total cost £0.






Then it was time for things to progress from the sleepers to around the corner using the pieces I cut up in the last post. I bought some fence posts, dumped them into the ground and set about building the framework for the arch to sit on. Apart from the posts the arch was built again from donated wood as was the framework being a combination of pallet wood and decking board offcuts.

Here is the completed arch.







With the trestle now reaching the shed (steam up area), the level was off by 2 inches over 21 meters (69 feet), which could easily have been an error on my part of levelling the laser.




I had pre bent a piece of track to the correct radius to check clearances between shed side and corner.




For now that is all! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow the silence in here is deafening....




So things are now progressing away from the shed and towards the lift out bridge section. Single posts, twin rails and tongue & groove planking to span the lot.







So without further notice the bridge was measured, gap aligned and further progress was made in a swift fashion towards the ground....






And the bridge now laid in place.




and for now that is it! :D

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Hi, I am impressed by your plans and what you have achieved so far. I started my garden railway 14 years ago and it has given me hours of enjoyment. I was interested in the picture of the track you are using. What is it as it looks dual gauge?

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1 hour ago, spamcanfan said:

Hi, I am impressed by your plans and what you have achieved so far. I started my garden railway 14 years ago and it has given me hours of enjoyment. I was interested in the picture of the track you are using. What is it as it looks dual gauge?


Thank you for taking the time to read my posts and commenting. Thanks and I’m glad you have a garden railway. :nowinkclear: The track is Tenmille 32 and 45 mm gauge, the tricky part is going to be the points!

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On 22/08/2019 at 08:53, spamcanfan said:

A dual gauge garden layout is unusual but it gives you the best of both worlds. I look forward to watching the layout develop. Keep posting  the pictures!



Thank you, I will keep posting. I have engines that run on one gauge or the other so it made sense to put myself through the extra bother and expense for the sake of it.


I'll pop up another update tomorrow eve.

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With the bad weather coming it was time to get some protection on the parts of the baseboard that were not made of a 'marine' type of wood. I treated the timber with some creosote substitute and covered with roof felt. A little bit of thinking and research went into the next part...


The joins were sealed together with some roof felt glue/sealer so as to offer the most protection possible.










Some UPVC edging strip was purchased so that ballast could be ran from edge to edge if need be. I bought white because from my supplier it was four times more expensive to buy black! I had a tin of satin black paint I used to change the colour.




A small but subtle difference...




That continued onto the other side....




Next was to build the other corner using the same method and radius as the first...




My trusty little furry friend checking my work after covering with felt.




And for now that is all...

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  • 4 months later...
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On 20/08/2019 at 20:57, Ace said:

Wow the silence in here is deafening....


I read lots of threads, but I always remember what my mum said "If you can't say anything sensible keep quiet":D


Looks good to me :good_mini:

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  • 2 weeks later...

well we garden railers tend to hibernate in winter servicing our stock or building something more to run in the new season . building the railway outside tends to take a while too . Impressed that you are going dual guage wont be cheap  phil

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  • 1 month later...

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