Expansion project.....

Keith May 4, 2010

  1. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Have been busy lately, working on an expansion of the garden railroad.
    In progress now, is yard work in front. Setting landscape blocks in and filling
    with decent topsoil.

    The plan is to expand the backyard layout, to the front yard as well.
    In addition to enlarging my curves from an 8 foot Diameter, to a 10 foot diameter.
    About half the grass from the front has been removed. Maybe half of a decorative retaining wall is done. Have 20 more blocks to start installing, leveling etc...And another 20 or so more after that!

    Got blocks this afternoon, and just under 1600 pounds of dirt.
    With another 5 truck loads anticipated! Did layout some track, so I could get retaining wall lined up. And, because I could NOT wait, I pulled out a DRGW narrow gauge passenger car and placed it on the track!

    Have been getting looks from any/every one that passes by. Watching progress as it takes place. Probably wondering one thing: What is that @#$%&* fool up to?? :we-rolleyes:
    Wonder what reactions will be, from those passing by, once I actually have trains running? Whether it be the MAC, the GP40's or the K.

    At this point, moving 1600 - 2000 pounds of topsoil, ALONE, is work!
    Gonna be interesting though, as I'm planning on a big hill, in the middle of one curve, that'll be about 18-20 inches tall. Maybe a tunnel on back side. Not sure on that yet.
    And a dry river, until it rains! Gonna be rerouting roof downspouts. Creating a couple of small creeks for them, merging into one, just before passing under mainline.

    Gotta grab camera from Mom, since she's the one with photos of current progress.
    Will try and get photos of current progress uploaded Tuesday.

    Hope vacation time first week of June is good. Hope to get a lot more done.
    Including a complete, though temporary, loop of track in place. That way, I can run stuff in front OR in back. Until both sections are joined together!

    Anyway, after 2AM now. I think I'm gonna crash for the night. Finally!
     
  2. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    As promised, a few photos of expansion project in works.

    Initial track placement. Providing visual idea of how and where I'm going to position track.
    [​IMG]

    Grass removal started. Block retaining wall being placed as well.
    Orange flags marked out approximate centerline of track.
    [​IMG]

    All grass dug up and removed. Half of retaining wall placed and leveled.
    Track temporarily in place to check placement.
    [​IMG]

    Temporary track down. Had to set car out, to see how it's going to look.
    Can't wait until I can get eventual rock wall/mountain complete behind car!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Narrow gauge passenger car "Rico". With some temporary rocks buried.
    Again, to get some ideas of how this is gonna look, when done.
    [​IMG]

    End of first half of retaining wall. Second half beginning. Need more blocks though!
    Gap will be bridged eventually. This is for rain drainage from roof of house. So as NOT to flood and wash away track! Type of bridge not decided yet.
    [​IMG]

    Comments/ideas/suggestions appreciated.
    Updates, hopefully, as progress continues.
     
  4. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    You got some work ahead of you for sure, but you could end up with a nice layout like dmiller with some patience.
     
  5. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    Looking good!
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just like the 1800s. Building the TransYardinental railroad....

    Boxcab E50
     
  7. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hoping for more blocks, and maybe dirt, this coming weekend.
    I'd like to try and get retaining wall finished and filled in.
    Guessing it's gonna require about 5 more truck loads of dirt to complete!
    Area in photos is going to be a large hill when done. About 18"-20" high.
    With moss rock, or equivalent, inside curve, holding back the "mountain".
    And giving it a cliff type look. Hope to get even more done during vacation time first week of June. If I can get the current job done this year, I'll be quite happy!
    With the rest of the project being completed next year.
    I've got time. And not in any big hurry to get things done.
    Knew it was gonna take time, before I started.
     
  8. JASON

    JASON TrainBoard Supporter

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    Keith,
    Think about it,when you get tired of the G,drop some N trackage down within the G track & away you go......
    Looking good,dad & I mucked around with G some years ago,still got all the gear,C16 Bumble Bee for one!
     
  9. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Progress

    Keith,
    Looks Great!!! Keep up the hard work......its worth it!!! As for the neighbors weird looks???!! Well....thats THEIR problem!!!! My neighbors gave up on me years ago when they saw me flying r/c in the back yard!!! More toys dont suprise them at all.

    Patience is good for a project like this........all that soil/dirt will settle just where you didnt think it would......and more will be needed.....but thats part of the fun!!!

    It looks like your lucky with the type of soil....more sandy than the loam and clay I have. You are able to not need as much sub roadbed rock with that.

    I have to move some dirt, soon too.....neighbor is brining some today to help with the water project.

    Good luck, and keep the pics and updates coming!

    Regards,
    Darryl
     
  10. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    Neighbors don't understand the hobby. If I dare lay track in my backyard for a one day operation, because of how obnoxious our town's code enforcment is, The snoopy neighbors call them to tell me I'm "Running an Unauthorized business" or "Defacing the neighborhood." And here's the best part. I say ignore the neighbors. It's your property not theirs.
     
  11. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Obnoxious

    DragonFyre.....

    Wow.........That is wild!!!! The neighbors actually would call the city to complain???? Holy Crap.......I think I'd be looking to move...............Or tell them to bug off. Defacing the neighborhood??? Now many of them have junk in their yards???? Too many cars in the drives??? Rediculous jungle gyms and such!

    I guess I am just lucky to live where I do. Nobody even notices. Your right.....its none of their business!

    D
     
  12. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    After the night I had last night, I'm looking forward to getting another load of blocks for the front yard! And another 2-4 truck loads of dirt as well. Has got to be MUCH easier that last night!

    Water leak in hair salon. Water had to be turned off to repair. Problem is, it shut off water to ENTIRE store. Was down about 2 hours. So, I was short that time scrubbing floors, since I had no way to refill scrubber. Still managed to scrub everything, despite the problems.

    As for the neighbors here, I/We have not had problems. Those neighbors that have
    stopped to check out project have commented on how nice the yard is looking. A bit
    surprised even, when Mom tells them that I'm setting up a train, when done!
    several people looking forward to seeing it when I'm done.

    One nice thing here, I think, is there's no HOA around to cause problems!!
    Still trying to figure out HOW a garden railroad is considered defacing the neighborhood, or how it can be considered illegal activities?? Those folks obviously have no life, and nothing more to do but complaain all the time!
    Neighbors like that, I'd ignore them also, and keep on going with construction.

    With any luck, updated photos of progress either tonight and/or tomorrow.
     
  13. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    dmiller: I am going to move, out near my cousin and aunt. Right on the Fox River.

    Keith: We don't have an HOA. Just nosey, obnoxious village code enforcement. We have one behind my house. This woman complains about everything and tampers with garage sale signs so she can get more business. Well I took spy photographs of her rotting roof and ratted her out to the village and I know that roof re-construction is in quadruple digits. Served her right.

    Looking forward to more on this expansion.
     
  14. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    A few photos from todays continued efforts:

    Placing last of upper retaining wall blocks.
    Still need to be dug in and leveled.
    [​IMG]

    Looking across layout, showing entire retaining wall area.
    As well as the dirt unloaded earlier in the day! 4,600 pound worth!
    [​IMG]

    Overall view of front yard, showing expansion progress to date.
    Also shows big pile of dirt. This is future hill/mountain location!
    [​IMG]

    Larger moss rock retaining wall is planned for the inside of the left side curve.
    Hoping to give the feeling of a vertical cliff. Similar to areas of the Colorado narrow gauge! Hope to have new retaining wall blocks in and level Monday, and back filled with dirt as well. Maybe a couple more photos tomorrow night.
    May be all for the time, until I figure out what I need to do next.
    And yeah, neighbors can't wait until I'm done! Will have several people bringing kids over to see trains run! And at least 2 neighbor boys like trains!SO, this could get real interesting as time goes by. Closing in on 24 hours straight. Going to bed real quick!
     
  15. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well, weather was pretty good most of the afternoon today!
    Was able to get last of blocks placed and back filled.
    Moved another pile of dirt that had been piled aside.
    Filled up most of the low spots.
    Soaked most of it with hose, in hopes of helping break down some rather
    large, extremely hard dirt clumps. Rain scheduled for the next day or two.
    I'm quite happy with curent results. Additional work when cold, wet weather
    clears up, whenever that may be!
     
  16. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    A few quick photos of work I managed to get done this afternoon.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Watered things down a bit, just as a cold front was coming in.
    Got real windy and cold! But, got managed to get things done!
     
  17. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Weather good today. Got 740 pounds of moss rock.
    Got most of it placed, but still need to get a few more
    larger pieces. And more dirt at a later date.

    The itch got too bad as well.
    So, since I had track laid out, so I could place rocks, I went
    ahead and pulled the K-27 out and ran it back and forth on a
    short section of track! And yes, I DO have photos of the event!
    Hoping to maybe shoot a quick video tomorrow sometime. And post.

    Another Dr app't in the mid AM. Then, more rocks!
    Maybe another run of the K in the afternoon.
    Photos and maybe video posted Monday sometime.
     
  18. MRL

    MRL TrainBoard Member

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    The only concern I have is if it rains will the wall spill out onto the lawn?
     
  19. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    This depends on the amount of rain that there is in that area and how fast the dirt drains the water. Here in New Jersey I could not build a outdoor layout in this fashion due to down pours of rain we get here, however in other places that gets rain periodically this layout would be perfect.

    We have alot of clay type dirt in New Jersey, so how I would have to build one here would be I would have to first lay down drainage pipes with holes drilled into the top. This would be because the clay dirt here does not drain well. Then I would have to fill that in area in with a small stone to drain water, having stone allows water to drain more rapid while keeping the contained area from filling up with water and pushing the wall out. Then fill with fill dirt on top of that than another layer of top soil on top. The purpoe for the two types of dirt is that the fill dirt keeps moist for the plants while the top soil is good for plants but drains fast.

    If you are building on a slope this changes everything, but Keith's layout seems to be nice and level, it's really not that high to catch water and push out the bricks.

    Than again, this is a live and learn hobby, you will definately learn what works and what doesn't in your area.
     
  20. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

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    Area does tend to drain pretty good.
    Also providing a main drainage point, to help avoid water
    back up, that could be a source of major problems at a later date.
    Have done some major construction today! Really starting to look good.
    Photos from yesterday and today to follow shortly.
     

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