[Exhibition] Trainsmania in Lille (France) May 3rd to 5th 2019

Posted by Gerd on Saturday, 13 April 2019 with No Comments

Hello friends,

here’s a quick reminder. My Hon30 modular logging railroad “Waldbahn Eusserthal” will be on exhibition during the “Trainsmania” in Lille, France from May 3rd to 5th 2019. As before, Bernd Irion will join me with his layout Waldbahn “Grand Rommelstein” as he did last year.

Maybe we’ll see us on the show ;-)

Regards, Gerd

[MLC] Shay – Re-gaugeing the other way

Posted by Gerd on Wednesday, 17 April 2019 with 2 Comments


after I checked my other 5″-gauge rolling stock for useability in 1:7 scale as well (and they will look great, promised), I couldn’t wait to get the re-gaugeing started. Usually, re-gaugeing means the change of wheel-gauge on a loco, but in my case, I just cut the cab down to change the scale, which will transform my “out of scale” 30″-gauge 1:6-Shay into a “plausible scaled” 3’gauge 1:7-Shay.

Since the height of the armrest was already correct, I just head to lower the roof of the cab. So I removed the cab from the loco and spend a visit on the table saw. The rood was then mounted to the base with stripes of flat steel bar and screws.

The front windows got resized as well. The window on the engineers side more than on the fireman side. The photo below is missing the window frames and glass, which got installed later.

To fit the cab back to the loco, I had to do just some small changes. The pressure gauge was relocated, the bell rope was switched to the engineers side and the fake whistle at the cab got relocated. Last important detail were the half-size windows on the side of the cab.

And there she is, my “new” Shay in 1:7.2n3 scale. And I’m very happy/proud with the result.

Next I’ll re-scale the logging caboose. Photos and report will come the next week.

Cheers, Gerd

[MLC] Measuring and calculating on my Shay

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 16 April 2019 with No Comments

Hello my friends,

when I looked at photos of my 2″-scaled live steam Shay in the past month, I interfered with the proportions of my loco, compared to typical Shay locos. To match the already existing rolling stock of my railroad, I build the Shay in 1:6-scale, as my back-in-time Bear Creek Lumber & Railroad was designed as a 30″-gauge railroad

As reference for my loco, I used plans published by Al Armitage in Nov/Dec 1988 issue of the Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette. These plans were showing a freelance 3′ gauge 14ton T-boiler Shay, based on typical Shay-components. On such smaller Shay designs, the basic dimensions and proportions were mostly the same, equal for which gauge they were build, especially on gauges between 24″ and 36″. This allowed the company to use standard parts for most of their locos. This means, a 30″-gauge loco in 1:6 scaled should have a length of frame of 125cm (49.2″). Due to different reasons, my loco was built with a frame of 100cm (39.4″) length.

As I’ve long-term and deep interests in Shays, I may see proportional differences much more difficult as others. And of course, Lima in Ohio build Shays to nearly each size by customer request. But my Shay couldn’t convince me in her toy-like appearance, compared to “real” Shays.

A few days ago, I got the mentioned issue of the NG&SL gazette into my hands and found the drawings. I did some measuring and calculation, until I cam to the result of “7”. Within a few micro-seconds, this result started a chain-reaction.

I immediately opened an Excel sheet and entered some typical dimensions and proportions from the plan and the same from my Shay model (column MLC). The block in the center shows the prototype dimensions related to the scale of 1:6 and Excel calculated the matching with my loco in percent. I did two columns for different tolerances (10% vs. 5%).

Next I did the same (right block) but related to a model in 1:7 scale, representing a 3′-gauge prototype. The correct scale should be 1:7.2, but for the first overview, this would be enough. As the Excel shows clearly, my loco has much more common with a 1:7 scale Shay than with a 1:6 scaled Shay.

So if I would cut down the cab by 4cm (1.6″), what would my loco look like in the smaller scale? Fastest way to get a first idea was Photoshop…


On the left, my loco as build in 1:6 scale. At the right the same loco with lowered cab roof to represent a 3′-gauge loco in 1:7.2 scale. The first look might be strange for some of you, but for me, this looks exactly as a Shay should look like, which ich working hard in the woods on step grades and handling heavy log loads.

And it took less than 24h from the initial idea, to the first result. But that’s a post for tomorrow…

[Garden Railroad] Grass is growing at Ronja Springs

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 9 April 2019 with 1 Comment

Hello folks,

since I missed to post an update last week, here’s the latest progress on my garden Railroad.

Last year, I did some experiments with some cheap artificial grass on my layout which was not the beet one. This year, I found a new material with nice grasses which looked much more promising. So I overhauled the area at the water tower and I was very impressed by the result.

Finally I ordered some more of the same stuff and added it all over the station area. I added some more sand stones here and there as well a pile of rails and some sticks. Maybe I’ll use the same technique for the grade to the upper meadow.

The grass border has to additional functions. Dirt and gravel will no longer be washed away by rain, but the integrated drainage let water run of the baseboard.

Step by step, Ronja Springs turns into a well detailed “outdoor shelf layout” just as it was in my imagination when started with the project ;-)


[LVLC] Log run with Shay #7

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 26 March 2019 with 4 Comments


after some while, I have a new video from my garden railroad for you. New Shay #7 headed out into the woods to haul a load of logs down to the saw mill.

With the new 3-truck Shays in service, it would be great to have more log cars. The capacity of tracks at Ronja Springs allows log trains with up to 10 cars. So it’s time to enlarge the roster by some more log cars, let’s say up to 20 skeletons at all.

Cheers, Gerd

[Garden Railroad] Completing the wye

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 with 1 Comment

Since the wye at formerly “Strawberry Hill” turned out as some runaround and shunting station for logging railroad operations, I made use of good weather and finished the tail track. First I set some lawn edge stones along the fence foundation.

From a friend, I got two concrete window lintel and used them as base for the tail track. As the new tail track was a bit lower, I had to relay the bricks for the wye as well to bring them to the correct height. The tail track rests 1/2″ lower than the entrance turnouts of the wye, to avoid runaway trains.

At least, I ballasted the new track with dirt. While the access to the lower turnout is very bad, I installed a switch through with rods and levers. Now the wye is complete and can be used in full operation.

The tail track holds the maximum length of log trains (cars only – approx 7′). It can be used as loading spur, logging camp or just to shunt trains for the trip down to Ronja Springs. I’ll add a bumper to the end of the tracks soon.

[LVLC] New Shays at Ronja Springs

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 12 March 2019 with 3 Comments

Hello Shay-lovers,

one year ago, I got the chance to buy another Shay for my garden railroad, a Bachmann Spectrum Class C 3-truck Shay. Once arrived, I re-lettered her several times for different railroads and swapped between wood and oil burner multiple times. And I was never sure how to add this loco into my existing Louise Valley Lumber Co.

The final solution was found, when I simply bought another Shay in early 2019. There was a bargain offer for a LGB/Aster “West Side Lumber Co.” Shay 12 which I couldn’t resist. 500 of these locos were made by Aster in Japan for LGB in 1996. The loco is entirely made from metal (brass & steel) and runs just great. When I compared the model to plans of WSLC #12, it shows that the model is closer to 1:20,3 scale as I thought.

Referring to many logging railroads in California, my free-lance Louise Valley Lumber Co. switched to oil burning locos in the 1930th. Instead of rebuilding the old woodburners, the LVLC simply replaced the older Shays by 2nd hand locos from other railroads. So the new locos got lettered for the Louise Valley Lumber Co. and got road numbers 6 & 7. Both are equipped with Deltang receivers, powered by LiPo-batteries. The two new Shays will represent the “modern” motive power on the LVLC. Now I can run either the old-time woodburner, or the modern oilburner.

Both new locos will get an airbrush weathering soon as well as some typical detail parts added.

Cheers, Gerd

[CFF] Romanian railbus

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 5 March 2019 with 2 Comments

The last week, I showed you the logging railroad by Tobias. Afterwards I had a look into old photos of my first logging railroad and realized, that I’ve lost my original principles in modelling logging railroads during the last years.

Back in time, logging railroads meant to do something wired, outside of rules, eras and scale art, it was more some kind of “cheeky”, “crazy” and “rebellion”. Well, and then I found a LGB railbus in the classifieds of eBay…

Being “cheeky”, it had some analogy with the railbus used on the Moldovita line and in the next second “crazy” took the scepter and I bought the railbus. Once arrived, he came in contact with my “rebellion”… First I cleaned the gear boxes from old grease and replaced the electric stuff with Deltang and battery. As my layout features 4′ minimum radius, I locked the swinging gear boxes in place.

I added new coupler mounts to the frame with my own CFF-couplers and some rail guards. The body itself got only a few changes. I removed all the lettering and installed some compartment for the battery with bull’s-eye windows.

After just 2 days, the new railbus was ready for first service. Now I’ve a battery-powered loco in addition to my live steam Resita. Maybe I’ll build another steam loco with battery power as well? It would round the roster very nicely.

BTW, the railbus is very strong and can haul 4 loaded log cars up the hill with ease. The railbus at Moldovita was also used to haul log trains along the plain sections of the line.

AND I’ve to admit that I had so much fun kitbashing this railbus. Maybe my “logging railroad rebellion” just needed some refresh ;-)

[Waldbahn Gazette] Logging Railroad “Horský Dolina”

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 26 February 2019 with 1 Comment


today, I’ve another issue from my “Waldbahn Gazette”, featuring the amazing “Waldbahn Horský Dolina”. I found this railroad some years ago in a German model train forum (Stummi-Modellbahnforum) and this layout was a great inspiration for me to build my own logging railroad in the garden. The layout and rolling stock is built by Tobias and he wrote the following in the forum:

In an unused corner of our property, I build a small “operation layout” for my garden railroad trains. As I’m interested in logging and industrial light railroads, I decided to build a logging railroad. The scale is defined as G-scale, running on 45mm track and uses rolling stock in scale between 1:22.5 and 1:19. While the space was limited and the layout mostly planed to test new rolling stock, I used R1 curves, which I might not do again on future layouts.

Based on the topography of the garden, the railroad hauls logs from a high plain down to the sawmill/reload station. Especially on the lower station, the space is limited, so there are only a few tracks and trackside structures. The station only features a runaround track, a long reload siding as well as the engine shed and a short spur at the end of the line. Leaving the lower station, the track runs uphill in a big loop with a 1:10 (10%) grade. The first loading spur at the top of the grade got abandoned some while ago.

The new loading station is designed for future expansion of the railroad. As seen on some logging railroads, I like to operate trains from this station, which pushes empty log cars to the final loading places in the woods.

Well, here are some photos and a track plan. More photos and build logs are posted in the origin forum thread at Stummi-Forum (visible without login).

Early spring is here

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 19 February 2019 (Comments Closed)

Hello logging railroaders,

after my drift into the Colorado narrow gauge world during the last weeks, it’s time to return to my favorite logging railroads. The good weather outside motivated also to take the “Louise Valley Lumber Co.” out into the garden to do some operation.

While I was shunting trains in Ronja Springs, I got the idea to switch the scenery. I moved the factory building to the left end, close to the future sawmill area, while the spur at the right was decorated as storage siding. In combination with the logging theme, I like this arrangement very much. I just have to find something between the water tank and the station building. Maybe a freight depot?

The regular logging operation brought several train loads of logs from the upper end of the line down to the mill. I used the wye to shunt trains “in the woods”. I ran all my LVLC locos. At the end of the day, the model train also delivered the first ice-cream in 2019 to the customers ;-)

So the start is done into a new logging season!