My New Layout

Well, we moved house! And the train track went with us.

At our new location, my wife claimed the back yard for her flower and veggie gardens.

I was given permission to use the front of the property for my garden railway. She also suggested that I make it into a continuous circuit, rather than just along the fence lines as previously. Based on minimum radii of 5 feet, the layout was planned.

It had to be a figure of 8 to fit into the space available, which meant that my previous bridge could be reused.

It was built in two stages, the first, a dog bone loop only. Huge agapanthus plants needed to be removed before the figure of 8 could be completed. Thankfully, there was just enough track, both commercial and home made, to finish the layout.

The 5-foot radius profiles supplied by a club member were great tools for laying out the track.

Basic construction began with a shallow trench dug in the ground, wide enough to take the supporting bearers, and deep enough to remove roots and rubbish near the surface.

CAP20 was then compacted into the trench, leaving enough depth for the rail construction.

A layer of weed mat was placed on top of the gravel. The rail, screwed onto cross bearers, was then bedded into a ballast of 5mm chip.

Once happy with the alignment, both horizontally and vertically, ballasting was completed.

I had started another project about the same time, removing an old fireplace from our house. This provided a source of bricks to use as edging for the railway, as well as the side supports for my embankments leading up to the bridge.

Other edging is 25 x 50 treated timber spiked to the ground with lengths of MS rod at appropriate spacing.

I have used diluted (4:1) Cemix, an acrylic bonding compound, to hold the ballast in place. This has given mixed results. Using my leaf blower on the layout has dislodged some of it.




There are two branch lines for my Model T railcar. One with the turntable and the other, the balloon loop. A magnet hanging between the front wheels of the Model T, starts the operation of the turn table and also the two points leading to the branch lines.

In operation, the Model T shares the main line between the two branch lines. It triggers a PICAXE programmable controller via a reed switch. This in turn powers a small electric motor with a wooden drum attached, to change the point via a length of cord, with spring return.

The Model T’s running is fully automatic, while the Fiat runs on the main line under radio control.

The water feature also found a new home.

Latest comments

26.02 | 08:23

this is a beautiful model. I first saw a ststic DM model at Napiers Lillip...

29.04 | 04:09

Fantastic video Dean!

20.08 | 11:21

Thats great Dean love to see the video.