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Discussion Starter #1
I'm pretty excited to have started on the "garden" part of our garden railroad. Once I get this all sorted, I'll be able to lay track :)

First step: outline the terrace (at 20 x 70 feet, it's not really a "raised bed" in any real sense) These are landscape timbers I got at Menards. Eventually the "wall" will be three timbers high.



Doesn't look like much :)

Then I had a couple tons of topsoil dumped in my driveway. Hopefully having the railroad raised will both separate it from the yard (in the kids minds) where it's OK to dig and stomp and run, and add interest to our flat-as-a-pancake Kansas yard



By the afternoon, I'd put down landscape fabric (which my wife pinned down so that today's 30mph winds don't carry it off) and moved about 30 wheelbarrow loads of dirt. This morning my body is reminding me that I'm not 20 any more :eek: Hopefully after church this morning I'll be up for moving the rest of the dirt around back and staking out all the landscape timbers.



I'm thinking that I should be able to get this all up by next weekend, as long as my back holds out. If I move a few loads of dirt each afternoon, and get another dumptruck full mid-week, maybe next Saturday I'll be ready to lay track. Even if I don't get to that step next week, it's exciting to finally be "on my way"
 

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Great start! Just a thought- The dirt is going to settle and that might effect your track and ballast over the next season or two. I've found that using a tamper and some water to compact the dirt around the roadbed can save a lot of re-ballasting time in the long run. Looking forward to seeing your progress. Good luck!


-Kevin.
 

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Neat! Always exciting to get underway with a project.
 

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Kevin is wright about tamping the dirt down it will help compact the dirt and let you know if you need more dirt. it looks like you put the weed block down over your yard. You may also want to put it down over the dirt that you are adding that way you will be able to stop some of the weeds that will take root in the new dirt that you are putting down. You can add your plants after you get your track down. Just cut the weed cloth where ever you want to add your plants cut an x where you want to add your plants. After you add your track and add ballest that will hide some of the weed cloth and then add your buildings or mark where you think you will put your buildings that will also hide the weed cloth and next you can add your plants and maybe put down some peagravel . As you start adding things you will see the weed cloth disappear. These are just suggestions it,s your layout do what you and the wife like. Good luck and have fun. Pete
 

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Riderdan, just a quick reminder, you shouldn't put your tracks directly on the new dirt, you need a 4 to 6" deep trench of gravel (screenings) to support your track. Hate for you to send a lot of time leveling everything out only to have to dig a the trench and relevel the grades.
 

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Line your trench with weed barrier, it becomes ballast barrier.
You'll be surprised how much rocks move, mine wander off!
John
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just a little more progress (Kansas weather has not been cooperating :( )

I finished the terrace and filled it with topsoil. I moved this all by hand: three dump trucks full, one wheelbarrow load at a time. Wet it down (my kids asked if I was making the world's largest mud pie) and tamped it several times over the course of a week. It's mostly leveled, except for a stretch along the back that I need to add another cubic yard or so of dirt to.



Now I'm at the point of laying out the track--the station/rail yard siding is in the foreground. I need to place a lot of it to figure out where to trench for gravel, then I'll be ready to actually set out the track in a more permanent fashion. I have the ballast and track all ready to go--just the trenching step is left. I hope to get to it in the afternoons this week (if the uncooperative weather changes)

This seems to be taking forever--I want to run trains :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
First "run" :)


I'm still laying out track to determine where to put the base and so forth, but since the track was out (half way) and my little helper kept asking "Wheresa train, daddy?" I decided to drag out an extension cord and run my train... and that wasn't the only thing that was running.

Definitely encouragement to keep working :)
 

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Nice to see your little helper running.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Inaugural run of the outside loop. Got the concrete all poured (I'm going about this backwards--I'm pouring a 3" deep concrete roadbed on top of the tamped soil, then will build up around it as opposed to trenching) and the track set in place. I need to add rail clamps--I have them, just need to install--and then ballast and final leveling. Then I'll have another load of topsoil delivered to backfill and plant a few plants.

The white pipe on the left is the sprinklers being installed. I had them plan to put a riser next to the railroad terrace so I can run drip irrigation. I expect to have that going in a few days when my dwarf Alberta Spruce arrive.

I probably won't get to the inside loop or industrial siding before the Fall--I have a busy summer ahead and it will probably be too hot for outdoor work to be fun in Kansas until September. But I'm really pleased with how things are coming along and happy to have made it to the point where I can run trains :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A little more progress (mostly on the train, not the garden)


Just thought I'd post this progress report: my Mallet is fully functional on DCC, the layout is wired and clamped, and the station and engine service buildings are out. You can see the pulsed smoke from the Mallet near the end of the clip--I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out--though I think I need a bigger (or second) speaker.

If you can ignore the moonlike background landscape, it's coming along nicely. I've stopped doing "gardening" now, since winter will be upon us soon, but I plan to jump back into the other aspect of garden railroading in the Spring.
 

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Did you enclose your speaker? Helps with volume and bass. Doesn't need be fancy.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That looks great. Wish my garden was as large as yours (or even larger:)).

What was your choice for DCC control?
I have the 10-amp NCE system with the wireless cab. I'm currently running Zimo decoders in my two main locos (an LGB Mallet and Piko 0-6-0 switcher) and a mix of other decoders in my eggliners and assorted other motive power. I've been pretty happy with the NCE system thus far.

The layout is about 20x50, which seemed huge when I started, but now that I'm finding new things I want to fit in, I wish I'd gone a bit larger.
 
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