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[Garden Railroad] More progress done…

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 18 June 2019 (Comments Closed)

Hello garden railroaders,

it’S time to share some hews from my garden railroad. First of all, I operated some trains with my 3-truck Shays. Since I finished the new log cars, I can run two full trains.

Last time, I extended the tracks on the left of the garden and now the rails have reached the raised garden bed.

The new stretch of track was tested immediately by the railroads president. The collection of horses is also happy to have easy access to the fresh and green northern willows ;-)

Later I added some garden bed edge stones along the line. That’s where we’ll grow tomatoes and zucchini.

The last idea was to lead the track around the garden shed and back to the wye. But in the meantime, I noticed that it will be difficult to keep the tracks clean and access to that area will be limited, especially when there are running tracks through the narrow pathway. Therefore I’m no looking for alternative routes. That’s one of the very special aspects on garden railroads, when it needs real track survey to deal with grades and space.

[MLC] New axle driven water pumps for Forney #2

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 11 June 2019 (Comments Closed)

Hello friends of the large steamers,

since the last bigger maintenance 3 years ago, I had issues with the boiler water feed systems on the Forney, so the loco was not in service for the past two years, resting on the dead track.

But a few weeks ago, I suddenly took the loco on my workbench and started to assemble the loco down to the frame.

As the original pump got lost, I simply build a whole new one. First I had to add new eccentric rings to the second axle. This needs to me to remove the whole axle. Finally everything was much easier than expected.

The parts for the pump were made from stock brass on the mill and lathe. The single parts for the pump body were soldered to a single unit. I use a high temperature soft solder which is strong enough for such tasks.

To have easy access for maintenance, the pump is hold in place by a single screw. Once loose, I can take the pump out of the frame to the cutout section in the bottom of the former water tank. Last task was to rebuild all necessary water pipes for the axle pump including the bypass back to the tender tank.

The first test run at home was very successful.

So next I headed for a local club layout on June 2nd for a long-term test run. The loco performed great for more than 5 hours and is now back in full operational condition. This makes me really proud, as the loco is already 36 years old, but still not tired.

Originally, I planed to rebuild the Forney for 1:7.2 scale as well as I did with my other rolling stock recently. But in the end, I can’t get warm with the 1:7.2 proportions on this loco. So I decided to keep here in 1:6 scale for the moment and gave her on loan to a sugar cane railroad.

[Garden Railroad] Unexpected track extension

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 6 June 2019 with 5 Comments

Hello logging and garden railroaders,

this week, I’m a bit late with the update, but I’ve some news on the garden railroad tracks for you.

I spend a lot of thoughts about some kind of a continuous run in the upper garden to have the possibility of “long distance” runs. I took the level and ruler to survey the mysterious hill starting right behind the garden door. At the end I was pretty sure that the hill isn’t that steep, and that I could lay tracks uphill with not more than a 4% grade. While I was waiting for the garden shed to be delivered, I used the break to extend the former dead-end tail track of the wye.

Right in front of the garden door, I placed a concrete slab which already starts the grade by 3%. From this point I use concrete bricks as on the other “in earth tracks”. I head to dig the tracks a bit deeper into the ground add some points, but finally it was no big deal to get up the hill. It will also add some typical logging railroad character.

While the new stretch of track looked a bit boring to me, I took some sand stones and created a rock-cut which adds additional character. Once there are some wild flowers and grass in place, this scene will look really cool.

I also had ideas for the further track extensions and I even laid part of them, but finally I rewind my ideas due to several reasons and will go to change the plan again. More on this during one of the next posts ;-)

Regards, Gerd