Recent news

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 1 August 2019 with 1 Comment

Hello followers,

it was planned to exhibit my Hon30-layout during the 50 anniversary of the logging railroad of Abreschviller (France). Unfortunately, I’ll not be able to attend the show.

Never the less, my friend Bernd will be there with his modular layout which is build in the same manner as my layout.

Over all, all my logging railroad modeling came to a stop at the moment. I look forward to shoe you some new content after the summer break.

Until then, keep smiling and enjoy your model trains.

Gerd

[Garden Railroad] Veggi-Train

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 9 July 2019 with 2 Comments

Hi garden railroad friends,

who ever thought a garden railroad is nonsense… here’s the counter-proof ;-)

The first seed in my wifes raised gardening bed has grown fruits for the first home-grown salad, we harvested some lettuce, radishes and finger-carrots. And while there are some tracks right in front of the bed, the veggies got loaded to one of Ronja’s Playmobil trains to get hauled down the line to Ronja Springs.

Cheers, Gerd

[Garden Railroad]

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 4 July 2019 with 1 Comment

Hi folks,

as shown in my new video a few days ago, I finished the mainline on my garden railroad. Shay #7 got the honor to deliver the last section of track, including the “golden rail joiner” to close the loop in the upper garden.

I spend a lot of thoughts for the final route, but finally I discarded any plan which routes the track behind the garden shed. Weeds would overgrow the tracks very quick and there’s only bad access to this section. So I decided to cross the lawn in front of the garden shed. This reduced the track length of the loop by approx. 10 meters, but one can simple add another lap before returning to the rail station.

For the moment, this simple track layout gives me plenty of possibilities for real logging railroad operations. Never the less, I also have ideas to add another siding or spur track to place a logging camp, which will provide some more operation, especially for freight cars. And I still have some tracks left ;-)

[garden railroad + CFF] Romanian logging trains

Posted by Gerd on Monday, 1 July 2019 with 3 Comments

Hello,

a few days ago, I finished my garden railroad nearly by accident. I took me some while to find the final track plan, but once chosen, the tracks were laid within two days. I look forward to post a more detailed blog article soon.

Anyhow, here’s a new movie from my railroad, not only showing the new sections of track but also possible operations as point-to-point logging railroad.
Actually, this video is available in German only.

Gerd

[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

“Veggie Corner” and garden shed

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 28 May 2019 with 1 Comment

Well, this might not be related to “logging railroads”, but it’s an important step into further extensions of the garden railroad.

My wife asked for a raised bed for veggies and we also wanted a garden shed for tools and stuff in the back of the upper garden.

The raised bed is homemade from stock material from the DIY-shop. Once in place, I continued with the preparation work for the garden shed as well. Since the ground is not level, I made a simple foundation from concrete planters and slabs. I also paved the area beside and behind the shed to keep them accessible.

The garden shed itself was ordered at the DIY-store and was delivered in segments for fast and easy erection. Anyway, it took me and my dad a whole day.

With these two points finished, I can now focus on further extensions of the garden railroad. There are a few new and interesting ideas raising in my mind.

[LVLC] New Logcars (part 2)

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 21 May 2019 (Comments Closed)

Let’s continue with the logcars. Unfortunately, I forget to make pictures of the assembling part.

The couplers are screwed to pieces of thin plywood together with the cover plate from brass. This sub-assembly is glued into the pockets at the end of the center beam. the log bunks are also glued into place. all wooden parts were stained with thinned acrylic paint.

Once the glue is dry, the remaining hardware is installed with nails or Ozark-NBWs. The brake wheel and ratched were Ozark parts as well. With the trucks in place, the first car was ready to form a 6-car test train with caboose, freight car and Shay. The train-length looks plausible and will fit very well to my layout.

The following evenings, I assembled the other six cars. Still missing is the airbrush-weathering, which will be done some day in the future. With all new cars finished, I ran the first 12-car-train with Shay #6. Looks pretty cool in the long S-kurve.

 

[LVLC] More Logcars (part 1)

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 14 May 2019 with 2 Comments

Hello,

since the exhibition in Lille has passed, I’m back on my garden railroads. When I introduced my 3-truck Shays some while ago, I noted the need of mode skeleton log cars to run longer trains.

I spend a lot of thinking, using the same pattern from the first cars, or a different one. Finally I decided to make a new pattern based on cars build by Pacific Car & Foundry. The basic dimensions are the same, so I can run all cars together. As I already had 5 cars, I started a new batch of 7 to get a total of 12 cars. This allows two trains of 6 cars, which will fit into the runaround loop at Ronja Springs together with a Shay, caboose and freight car.

As usual, I used bulk-production and made all parts for all 7 cars at the same time/setting.

I first cut pieces from brass sheet for the coupler covers and trusses. Once the edges were cleaned with a file, I clamped a steel angle to the milling machine, aligned it properly and dialed it in relation to the spindle. Now I can simple drill the pilot holes with a center-drill by using the absolute coordinates from the center of the angle. The workpieces are simple exchanged and are aligned by the angle. So it’s very fast and easy to drill repetitive holes in multiple work pieces.

The cover plates above the couplers got some nails and screws added. They are soldered from the back side and filed flush afterwards. The short pieces of rail will become the stop blocks on the log bunks.

The timbers were cut on my table saw from scrap wood and finished on the band saw. the pockets at the ends will hold the Kadee-couplers.

The first setup gives a feeling for the new series of log cars. I still had some more Kadee archbar trucks and couplers on backorder. Once all parts are collected, I’ll start with the final assembly of the cars.