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In-Side Layout Construction

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Early Stages

Railway construction started on the 2nd to last week of December 2006, the builders finished up the shed in the morning & I had one wall lined that night & trains were running the next day! I decided to have the Railway elevated about 8 inches to clear the bottom plate of the shed when exiting outside, also to hide all the wiring required. The base board is off cuts from the wall lining, being only 10mm it needed ribs to surport it, an extra bonus  with the elevation is the sound it creates when the train enters the shed!!

Above Left; Looking to the East Tunnel Portal, Above Middle; looking toward the West (Hole yet to be cut) on both shots you can see the baseboard construction very basic but sturdy. Above Right; Eastern tunnel portal, I decided to use a slide just behind the portal with a peg & hole method to hold it up when operating. The Western portal is of the same method, we recently decided to add another loop on this section mainly as a storage siding & a 'Put On & Take Off' siding for when visitors come to run.

Above 4 Pictures; From start to finish, extra base board being put in place to take the loop, Getting the exact measurement before the cut was made for the new turnout, Turnout in & half the loop laid, Loop completed with the Garrett on the ore train for a try out. I used manual turnouts as a safety measure in mind, if you change a turnout manually you remember it longer that you have done so & when we run 2 train operation we don't want any head ons or nose to tails!!


At long last I am under way with some Scenery, the first job is to tackle the rock face which measures 12m x 400mm. I must admit that scenery is not one of my strong points, hopefully the result will be a quite good looking rock face to break the long flat 12metre wall! As I wasn't looking for perfection I decided not to go with the rock moulds & make seperate rock clusters! I needed a quicker method as I didn't want to do this longer then I had too so decided on the polystyrene coated with gib plaster option, so down to the Mitre 10 store I go & got 2 sheets of 50mmx1200mmx2400mm. I then set to & split them into 400mm strips & glued to the wall with an exterior PVA glue & wedged in place until dried. After drying I attacked it with a cooking fork taking chunks out of the flat surface to rough it up to make the appearance of a rock face. (What a mess this process was!!) 

Above Left; This shows the Poly that has been roughed up & the first coat of plaster being applied, this was done with a wet-ish solution of plaster put on with a paint brush. Above Right; The second coat is now being applied, this was coloured with oxide pigments. Now this is the dark coat & will form the shadows of all the recesses of the rock. (Or thats the plan!) Below Left; The final coat has been added, now on to the ballasting & some greenery on the rock face!

Above Right; This shows the Ballast grading Plant layout!! 1st; was to sift the crusher dust & take out the coarse stones, what was left in the sieve throw-out. 2nd; put remains through a finer sieve & save whats left in the sieve. Doing it this way gives you a nice uniform size to ballast with, for securing the ballast I used a 50-50 mix of water & PVA glue with a wee bit of dish wash liquid, a tried & proven method in all scales! Below Left; The finished result of the ballasting! Below Right; The rock face & track has now had some bushes added, this could be an on-going project!! I am happy with the result! But I also know it could be better, as scenery is not my thing but you just have to give it your best shot!!  


South Yard & Loco Depot

Construction is under way of extending the main yard & building a new loco depot, it was decided that the yard might as well be lengthened to maximum train length. While that was on the drawing board I realised that we haven't got a loco depot & there was plenty of room in the centre of the shed plus it would be great to lift it out & display it at shows or gatherings etc. With all this in mind construction begins!!!

Above Left; Start of the extension to the South Yard, I wanted to keep the display cabinets as I am running out of display space so decided to build around them. Above Right; More bracing in place as you can see by the different timber used it is built from off-cuts that have been hanging around in the garage for years!!

Above Left; Top board is in place, I used 9mm 2nd grade MDF saving $20.00 a sheet. Above Right; East end of the yard with the track in its final position, the back shunt where the caboose is will be used as a caboose/guards van siding.

Above Left; At the West end you can see the turnout branching off to the left to the loco depot, the loco yard is all 10ft dia so big locos can use it. The yard is only made up with LGB 8ft turnouts which most rolling stock will get round. Above Right; The permanent baseboard of the loco depot being constructed, bottom of the picture is where 2x2.4m modules will be built as lift outs!!

Above Left; Here is the underneath frame work for the loco depot module. Above Right; This is my take on how to conect the modules together, there is minimal side play so the track when down should remain lined up!! This is a shot of the 2 modules & Below Left; is a shot of the permanent base board mounting set up. Below Right; The 2 modules sitting in place waiting for there permanent base to be built!

Below Left; Its amazing what a clean up can produce!!! The sub base was made from 2x4 with cleats on the outside to keep the modules in place, we are looking East to West!! Below Right; We are now looking west to East, this gives some idea of the length & width of everything.

Below Left; Close up of the cleat arrangement, note that I have left a gap between the sub base & module this is to save squashing the ole fingers & ease of pick -up. Below Right; The sleepers have been cut to 8mm x 10mm x 88mm & glued to the MDF base board. 

Below Left; Once the sleepers are dried I coated them with poster paint as I want them to weather like the real thing. It was cheaper to bring in the propper track spikes fron the States then to buy pannel pins from the local hardware store. Below Middle; Next road was the inspection pits (long ones) & ash pits/blow down area. All the measuring was done twice just to make sure it was correct otherwise the spikes would split the side of the pits! Below Right; The Pit bases are coated with a light grey ready for weathering at a later date.


Below Left & Middle; The result of my first attempt of hand laid track, I was rather pleased with the result but the hard bit is yet to come, with turnouts to be made!!! Below Right; The version I choose was featured in the 'Garden Railways' magazine spread over the issues, June & August 2009. I cut all the sleepers to the correct length & glued same as the standarded track.


Below Left; Half way through the build, in the magazine they built there with brass frogs but I decided to go with the insulated version less wiring to worry about!! Below Right; Finished turnout, 2 more to go!!! For the throw I used the Peco Large scale version, this turned out to be a good choice for indoors but for out side I think the Tenmille version would be far better!!.


Below; Is the re-vamped yard pannel & the new loco yard switch box,  toward the end is the alocated area for the 70ft turntable. 

The south yard & loop has received some attention by extentions going in, as you have seen further up the page there were a couple of display cabinets built into the layout. It was decided that the room could be put to better use by extending the yard to house the increasing items of rolling stock. Below Left; The track has been laid with the turnouts being wired together so they both switch at the same time.  Below Right; Trains are starting to use the sidings. 

Above Left; The finished yard layout looking torward the back of the shed. Above Right ; And the finished result the cabinet mounted on the wall at eye height a win win solution.


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