Some readers have been a bit reticent to give their opinions on my shortlist of live steam locos! I realised my rather dry summary of the specs might not be enough – I needed to see the locos in action and so do you. Fortunately, there are some rather good videos out there. Please, watch them, and give me your thoughts! Continue reading The Candidates in Steam
After a summer of trains pottering round my little circuit of track, and tinkering with rolling stock kits, the prognosis is fairly clear: I have the garden railway bug, and it does not appear to be curable.
I need a live steam loco. Continue reading The Steam Dream
So here it is, filmed on test run day (25 May), a complete circuit of the line in 2’39” shot from a train hurtling along at a scale 4 to 5 mph. I’ve found it’s an excellent way to view all the flaws in your track laying. Continue reading Video: Driver’s Eye View
With half the track laid, and one tunnel built, phase one was almost exactly half completed. But I hadn’t yet dug the second (more ambitious) tunnel or cut the turf for the line down the western side of the wall.
I used the ‘cut and cover’ method for tunnel building. It’s advisable for tunnels on garden railways to be less than two arm-lengths long, if you want to be able to recover your derailed train. That’s fine, my tunnels are mostly to hide the tight radius curves, as well as punch through the hedgerow.
I’m worried about badgers. Sure, lay track on soil or turf, and you’ll soon have problems even without any wildlife becoming involved. A couple of rainy or frosty nights later your trains will be rolling up and down newly emergent humps and hillocks. But badgers could really exacerbate the problem. I read plenty of advice that agreed the trackbed needs to be solid and stable, but also that there are several completely different ways of doing this, each with their pros and cons. I’ve not come across any confirmation of which is the most badger-proof.
I got me some wheels. I bought a wagon kit before I even began construction on the railway, because I wanted some track to play around with whilst planning. As it happens, Track Shack (who I’d recommend for their extremely prompt service – order before 3pm and it comes in next day’s post) give free P&P if you buy enough. Some kind of vehicle is essential for testing purposes, anyway, right?