[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!

[Mogul] New headlights and repaired cab

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 (Comments Closed)

Another week has passed and here’s the actual progress.

Since I was not able to get a second headlight which matched the already installed one, I decide to make two new headlights from stock. The parts are made on the lathe and mill.

To mount the headlight on the tender, I also made a small pedestal from sheet brass.

I also added the lettering to the tender and some detail parts like the re-rail frogs. Now the tender is complete and I can start the final tasks on the loco itself.

Now it was time to get the loco finished as well. First re moved the paint from the cab to fill in all the holes and cut-outs made by the previous owner. I started with scrwe-holes on the back. I soldered pieces of brass wire into the holes and filed them flush.

Some more work was needed on the larger cut-outs. Here I inserted larger segments of brass sheet. Once sanded smoth and painted, they will be barely visible.

Once all repaits to the cab were finished, I spend another sand-blast and painted the cab black on the outside and green on the inside. The roof got also repainted. And here’s the finished loco, fully assembled.

[Mogul] Progress on the tender

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


today I’ve the latest progress on the tender rebuild.

First I added some U channel to the front end of the tender body to add wooden boards which will hold the coal load in place.

The coal bunker on top was made from wood and is hold in place by a push-fit. This allows easy access to the receiver and battery inside the tender. The water hatch at the back was made from brass and copper, together with some Ozark parts.

While adding more details to the tender top, I painted the main body and mounted it on top of the chassis.

To model the coal, I used some decoration pellets which had the perfect size, but the wrong color. But this got fixed quickly with some paint.

And here’s the finished tender together with the loco. Still missing is the rear head light and lettering as well as some details.

That’s it for today, Gerd

[Mogul] Installing the RC components

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 (Comments Closed)

Hello, now the loco is ready for radio control!

It took me some time to figure out how and where I could place the servos for the radio control. Finally I found the solution by getting rid of the Johnson bar and turning the reversing-servo upside down.

The regulator servo is placed upright and is mounted in a self-made bracket, bend from sheet steel. The lever is sticking out from the back of the cab, but this is okay. It allows more clearance between the servo and the boiler. Left of the lubricator is the reversing servo, which got installed upside down. The third servo to the right is for the whistle.

As there was no space left for the receiver (the gas tank will take place on the firemans side), I moved him to the tender as well. The nine wires of the servos were wrapped in some heat shrink and led under the cab floor in-between the frame.

Here I installed some simple PBC with a 5-pole socket and I combined all red wires to pin 1 and all black wires to pin 5, while pins 2-4 are used for the orange signal wires. The tender got the matching cable with plug at the end.

To connect the cable with the receiver, I installed the typical plugs at the ends. So it’s easy to change channels if necessary. At least I installed the power switch and made a battery pack ready. Usually I install a charging socket as well, but I won’t carry the large loco to the charging station each time. So I made the battery pack removable by plug & socket.

Beside the Rc components, I installed a T-connector with whistle valve between the manifold and the pressure gauge. Unfortunately, I missed to take photos from the progress. I also swapped the pressure gauge to a 1/2″ diam. gauge. At least I installed a new safety valve. Well, this is the time for some first test runs I guess….

[Mogul] Water gauge, whistle & chuffer

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 (Comments Closed)

Well, now it’s time to make some progress on the loco.

On top of my list was the water gauge. These early Accucraft locos didn’t have water gauges and since I couldn’t get one in short time, I decided to build my own water gauge from brass and the spare glass tube of my Resita loco. The base was turned on the lathe from brass stock. Once the basic shape was given, I drilled all the holes needed.

The thicker part in the center was than milled to some elliptical shape. Next I made the threaded parts on the lathe and silver-soldered them in place. Once sandblasted, the parts are looking very nice.

The center part was calculated long enough to cut the single part into the top and bottom piece as well as the into the glands which will hold the O-rings to seal the glass tube.

To mount the watergauge at the boiler, I need some elbow, which was made the same way.

Before the boiler was mounted back on top of the frame, I decided to place the whistle inside the frame. Originally, I was looking to install one of these nice resonator whistles, but I couldn’t manage the space inside the cab. Then I remembered some old unused whistles from my 5″-gauge locos and the “short” whistle fits very nice into the frame. I just had to cut away some sections of the firebox shell.

Once the boiler was back in place, I started to add all the other parts. When the threaded section of the exhaust pipe cracked off, I decided to spend some more action here as well and made a homemade chuffer.

And now it’s time to get the RC components installed – see you next week ;-)

[Mogul] Fixing the tender body

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 15 January 2019 with 1 Comment


I couldn’t stop working on the tender so I continued with the tender body. I sandblasted the tender shell to remove all the paint. This makes any soldering action easier and allows some changes to the tender design. The paint was very sticky and it took me some while to get it off. Parallel to the sandblasting, I painted the tender frame, and let the paint rest to dry.

On the tender, I relocated the rear hand rails from the side, into the bend, just as on the front end. First I soldered new rails in place, afterwards, I snipped the old ones off and filed them flush with the tender shell. Before that, I un-soldered the tender brackets, which will get relocated as well, while my tender frame is narrower then the original one.

Another task was to fill in the holes in the tender shell. I mad small plugs on the lathe and soldered them into the holes. Then I sanded them flush with the tender shell on both sides. Once these are sandblasted and painted again, they wont be visible.

The fixed tender body does look much better now. As the inner parts of the original tender were no longer useful, I removed them and decided to install a wooden interior to the tender. But before that, I made two new brass sheets to cover the front deck of the tender tank. Here you can see the tender brackets back in place at a right angle to the tender ends.

As said above, the new tender interior is made from plywood. I epoxied two blocks of 1/2″ plywood at the far ends into the brass shell. Later I added the top from 2mm plywood.

The whole wooden part will be hidden by the coal bunker above, so I’m happy with this solution. At the rear end of the tender, I placed the air tank, which was originally located under the cab. I use several Colorado & Southern Moguls for inspiration on this project. There are still lots of details missing and paint off course.