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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After being actively involved in this hobby for EIGHT years now..im finally ready to begin an actual garden railroad! :)

well..almost ready..real construction probably wont begin for another year!

but some "clearing of the landscape" and basic prep work will begin soon anyway..
and a trackplan is just about worked out:



thoughts/better ideas/potential issues/etc about the trackplan idea are welcome!

And a webpage about the planning so far has just been uploaded:

http://gold.mylargescale.com/scottychaos/Stonehedge/index.html

Even if I dont begin much real construction this year..its still nice to at least have some kind of beginning actually underway!

Scot
 

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Very nice.

How raised is that raised staging bay compared to the rest of the track? Looks like it could be an awful grade there.
 

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Scot,

I'm looking at the plan and loving the simplicity. A concern however is the ability to mow that small section of grass on the far side of the ornamental bridge to the grassy sitting area. Another is the actual size of the sitting area. How many folks are going to be sitting in what looks to be approximately 6 foot wide x 20ish foot long? Just a few thoughts at first or second glance.

P.S. I can come help NEXT summer but not this year.

Chas
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Posted By Torby on 03/23/2009 11:11 AM
Very nice.

How raised is that raised staging bay compared to the rest of the track? Looks like it could be an awful grade there.


thanks Torby!
I havent worked out the exact elevations yet..this spring I plan to adapt a garden hose into a "water level" so I can see where things fall..
the entire mainline will be the same level..no grades..including the steaming bay!
(except for the seperate 8-foot loop on the left side..that will be raised higher, but its not connected to the mainline so that is irrelevant.)

the whole area has a slight downward slope..not a huge grade, but it is there..
the higest point is the upper right corner, generally dipping downward like this:



If the track in the upper right "high point" is only 6" to 12" above "ground level"
im hoping the steaming bay can be 3 to 4 feet above ground level..
Ideally I would like 4 feet for the steaming bay, but it might end up being less than that..

I plan to build a water level from a garden hose (by attaching some clear tubing to both ends)
then use that upper right "high point" as my reference point, then see where the rest of the track falls everywhere else..

Scot
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Posted By wchasr on 03/23/2009 11:40 AM
Scot,

I'm looking at the plan and loving the simplicity. A concern however is the ability to mow that small section of grass on the far side of the ornamental bridge to the grassy sitting area. Another is the actual size of the sitting area. How many folks are going to be sitting in what looks to be approximately 6 foot wide x 20ish foot long? Just a few thoughts at first or second glance.

P.S. I can come help NEXT summer but not this year.

Chas




Chas,
good points!
thanks..

I will simply make sure the bridge is wide enough to wheel the lawnmower across it! ;)
I just use a small push mower anyway..even a small bridge should be plenty wide enough..

yeah, the "sitting area" wont be huge..you are right, about 6X20 feet..
the circle containing the chair will be about 7 or 8 foot across..
maybe room for just one adirondack chair or a "deck lounger" type chair..but thats ok!
(the chair in the drawing is probably a little larger than "life size")

we have the gazebo and deck right nearby anyway..the little sitting area on the railroad is really just an afterthought..
I will put a chair or two there if they fit..as a nice little spot to watch the trains..but its not intended to be a patio or anything like that..

Scot
 

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I would recommend a second crossover in the other direction. If you pull out of the staging bay you are going clockwise around the folded dog-bone loop. Then if you use the crossover you will be running anti-clockwise. Now the only way revert to clockwise (to be able to back into the staging bay again) is to first back trough the crossover. Also, with a second crossover in the other direction you could reverse the direction around the loop every pass without having to stop and back up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is a pic that sort-of shows the slope:



the red line represents horizontal..
the fence is not level..it slopes upward with the ground..low to the left, higher to the right..

Im hoping that if the track in the upper right "highpoint" starts at 1-foot "above grade" (because it will be inside the wall..the retaining wall
will be a foot high minimum..taller in the front) Then at the oposite corner, the steaming bay, I can gain at least 3 or 4 feet above ground..
while the track itself remains level..

We want to either:
a. plant hedges behind the fence. (we own 3-feet beyond the fence) (but the lack of light might not support hedges)
b. get some kind of thickly growing ivy to cover the fence.
c. install a solid wood fence.

along the back 43 feet of chain link..
to block out the infamous silver car! ;)

its actually a LEXUS!
belongs to the son of the neighbor..
its been sitting there since before we bought the house..it shows no signs of ever moving..
the shocks are shot..all tires flat..probably will no longer start..

the neighbors are very nice, we dont need to block THEM out! ;)
we have nice neighbors..
but we do want to block off the "view" just to make the railroad nicer..

Scot
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Posted By Semper Vaporo on 03/23/2009 11:58 AM
I would recommend a second crossover in the other direction. If you pull out of the staging bay you are going clockwise around the folded dog-bone loop. Then if you use the crossover you will be running anti-clockwise. Now the only way revert to clockwise (to be able to back into the staging bay again) is to first back trough the crossover. Also, with a second crossover in the other direction you could reverse the direction around the loop every pass without having to stop and back up.



Thanks Semper..
good idea! and a "double crossover" would be cool right there..
but the single crossover makes it so you wont have to back into the steamup bay! ;)
I dont see a reason why anyone would want to backup into the bay..
with the single crossover, you can head out of the bay going forward, engine in the lead,
then come back into the bay going forward, engine in the lead..

but yes, once you switch directions you cant switch again..so a double crossover could be useful..
I will think about it! :)

thanks,
Scot
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I dont see a reason why anyone would want to backup into the bay..



oh wait..im forgetting about shays! ;)
(I dont own one, so I didnt think about it!)


Live steam shays must always have the "right side out"..
reversing a shay could cause trouble! ;)



Scot
 

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I stop at the SteamUp bay to refuel and then head out again. Either way, I would have to back IN, or back OUT and still have to reverse directions a some time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Posted By SandyR on 03/23/2009 9:14 PM
Scot, you're taking out the vegetable garden? Is there anywhere else with enough sun to start a new one?
SandyR


Sandy,
yes, this is the vegetable garden..(which had the white fence around it during the summer)
the vegetable garden is going to be moved to the side of the garage!
that area faces south too..and it still gets some morning shade from the big oak tree,
but its then in full sun from late morning through sunset..
MUCH more light than the current veggie garden..

Scot
 

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Scot - I'm in awe of your sophisticated planning. My temporary patio-based layout was designed using the "what track do I have laying around here" method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Posted By jlinde on 03/24/2009 10:39 AM
Scot - I'm in awe of your sophisticated planning. My temporary patio-based layout was designed using the "what track do I have laying around here" method.


thanks! :)
but planning is nothing if it cant be turned into reality..
sometimes I think I do too much planning! ;)
but its fun..

in a few weeks, if spring ever actually arrives, im going to clear out the remnants of the vegetable
garden and begin some surveying work..making the water level, marking some track locations, and beginning
to look for blocks for the wall..

Scot
 

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Posted By Scottychaos on 03/24/2009 10:44 AM
Posted By jlinde on 03/24/2009 10:39 AM
Scot - I'm in awe of your sophisticated planning. My temporary patio-based layout was designed using the "what track do I have laying around here" method.


thanks! :)" align="absmiddle" border="0" />
but planning is nothing if it cant be turned into reality..
sometimes I think I do too much planning! ;)" align="absmiddle" border="0" />
but its fun..

in a few weeks, if spring ever actually arrives, im going to clear out the remnants of the vegetable
garden and begin some surveying work..making the water level, marking some track locations, and beginning
to look for blocks for the wall..

Scot


I plan my model railroad improvements YEARS in advance. To me it is MORE than half of the fun of the entire project: plan, plan and more planning. Because with that comes the anticipation of a truly great project. Once I have actually built it, I need to do more planning of improvements or extensions. I definitely appreciate the neatness of your plan, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update!

I have been doing more plotting and scheming..

got some stakes in the ground..the Red Dot represents the upper right corner on the trackplan.
yellow dot is the upper left corner.

Here is the trackplan again, for reference:



I put stakes in the ground marking the center of both loops..
then a stake marking the lower edge of the wall, closest to the gazebo..

I was planning to use the "upper right corner" as the reference point for the elevation of the track..
track about 6" above ground in that corner, because thats the high point of the whole system,
then use that "reference level" to mark out the rest of the railroad..

well..problem with that! ;)

Because that makes the wall at the far end of the loop 38" high!!
much higher than I wanted to build..

you can see a white string in these photos, marking a horizontal/level line from the corner to the post.





thats too high..too high of a wall, and would require a ton of fill dirt..

so..minor change of plans! :)

instead of using the upper right corner as the reference point, instead I am going to use the lower edge of the wall as the
reference point...im going to make the wall 28" high, then mark out the rest of the railroad from that point..
that will require a small cut in the upper right corner! digging down a bit below grade..but thats ok, not a big deal..
I will dig out the "grassy seating area" slightly so that a retaining wall can still exist in that corner..lower the ground a bit.

Im considering building a wood retaining wall, with 2X8X8's..making each plank about 7" tall..
so the retaining wall for the entire railroad will be between 7" tall minimum (one plank) to 28" tall maximum (4 planks tall)
the majority of the wall will be inbetween those two extremes..

I have a few videos I plan to upload!
I will post them in a few days..

about the wall..
as I said, initially I was thinking of building a block wall...but I think cost is going to kill that idea..
the blocks would cost about $600..while I can build a wood wall for under $200..
yes, the wood wont last as long, but sometimes compromises are necessary..

reading through Shad's wall thread:
http://www.mylargescale.com/Community/Forums/tabid/56/forumid/10/postid/87475/view/topic/Default.aspx

there are some great photos of wood walls!
here is Bob's wall from that thread:





thanks Bob!

I could build a wall like that! :)
and it wouldnt have to be as tall as Bob's wall...Im only going "4 planks tall" maximum..
the majority of the wall would be even lower..

questions about the style of wall..
If all my walls are between 7" and 28" tall..would I really need concrete for all the 4x4 posts?
probably it wouldnt hurt, but im wondering if its necessary..my soil is heavy clay..no rocks.
and what about drainage for 1 to 2 foot high walls?
are drain pipes necessary? or would some gravel and a few holes be sufficient?

I dont mind doing all the "proper" engineering! ;)
drain pipes and concrete, if its necessary..
im just curious how much is really necessary for a low wall...

And would you screw the planks to the back side of the 4x4 posts?
or just let the weight of the soil hold them in place?
because I was thinking..if they are NOT screwed or nailed in place, and the lower planks begin to rot a few years
down the line, it would be fairly easy to simply lift out the planks and slide new ones in..
but if they are screwed in to the posts, then a lot more excavation would be necessary to get the old planks out..

new drawing, with some wood wall ideas:



If anyone has any thoughts on this type of wood retaining wall, im all ears! :)
thanks,
Scot
 

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You sure that wouldn't be "Vinylhenge?"
 

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Scot,
That water feature has me confused. The upper pond is in a bed at least 1 board high that crosses over to the lower area that is 4 boards high.Now maybe it's just optical illusion here but unless your elevations are off I think you are going to wind up uphill at both ponds.

Dave
 
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