First G Scale out door Layout!!

dmiller Jun 3, 2009

  1. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    Oh man I was so busy bailing out my sump pump this year I forgot to check your winter photos! Those are great! Sorry for the overdue delayed response :3 One of these days, I'm gonna have to pop over for a surprise visit ^^ A little BN/CNW Action :D
     
  2. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    G and G

    Dragonfyre,
    Yes, please come over!!!! I would love to see someone elses trains on this track!! Later in the spring......early summer I hope to get the rest of the track down.......which would make it much easier for two, or three trains running at one time! This invite goes to anyone who may be near, or passing thru. Feel free to contact me, and we can wear a little more brass off the rails togther!!
    The winter running was cool..........litterally! lol. The snow was non scale! but it was kinda fun at xmas time.!

    EMD,
    Thanks for working on the link. I hadnt realized it had stopped working. As for the water........yes........However, after seeing this winters affect on the layout/garden, we will scale it back a bit. The lowest location, (under the lower bridge) was where we were going to put one pond.....but after digging leaves out of there......I am changing that. We will have leaves no matter what, but that location would be a nightmare. The water will all be up higher, near the big rocks/boulders. We are waiting for some rain, and the garden houses to get the rest of the bedding plants in to work on that area......it is shady most of the time, and we need different plants.
    The other thing that was nice was to let Mother Nature do her thing, and show us just how the water flows around the track, and layout. I will now have a "dry" stream where that water flow is, and just let it do its thing.

    More to follow as the season goes by!

    Darryl
     
  3. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    I also wouldn't mind popping over for a winter run some time either~ But for now, my units are not in show condition, a few more parts, paint, grills and a dcc decoder/sound unit and Hopefully sometime this summer. Just waiting paitently for my money to show up so I can begin.

    EDIT: Having power truck issues on the FA-1. Need to isolate it. Don't know if I drilled too far with the speed recorder cable, or if it's my layout's voltage issue.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  4. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    dmiller, I'm glad you did this outdoor layout project and shared it here on Train Board. I think you did everything right and should be a model for others to follow. I also believe that waiting patiently to dother things such as water ponds and seeing how your layout survived for 1 year was also the smart thing to do. There are so many people who just start and finish everything up in the first season and then spend the next season changing alot of things. Now you can buy plants for certain areas of your gardem which will require either full sun, full shade, etc and the best locattion for you pond. The best place for a pond always isn't the lowest point in the garden.

    Anyway, I can't wait to see more develop.
     
  5. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Paitence

    EMD,
    Yes, waiting and patience are VERY usefull tools for the Garden Railroader, in my opinion. I dont care how hard you pound and pack the soil, and roadbed.......it will always settle more! That is one of the reasons I just used the local fines/crushed limestone for the bed......it is cheap, and packs well......and now that I can see where it settled, and washed away, I can repair it, and then add the decorative ballast. I found the decorative rock I am going to use last fall.........a real nice grey ( u can see some of it in one of the pics)......but it is $6 a bag (around 50 pounds or so).....vs $5 or $6 bucks a pick up truck load of the crushed fines!! It would have cost me several hundred dollars if I had used the grey rock for the whole thing.......maybe even more. Now I can just use what I need for the top, and it will look good.

    As for the water........ponds always look good to start......all fresh and new. However.....people dont realize the cleanup work involved from year to year, especially if they put fish in them!! Wow......what a STINK!!!! Combine all that fish crap, with bugs, frogs, leaves, etc and you get a stinky paste that needs to be cleaned out each spring. My brother in law is finding that one out.......and after seeing his........I have decided to go much smaller on the ponds and water.....they will still look good, but will cost less, and take less time for up keep.

    Those who are planning their layouts must also remember.....plants grow....(duh) and they are not always going to be the size they are when u plant, or the first year or so. Remember to put open spaces in......so u can move around, and let the foliage spread out and grow.

    Its raining this weekend..........so no outside work.......Im off the the shop to work on the cab for the track cleaning train......

    D
     
  6. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    dmiler, I also would like to point out to other 1st timers building a outdoor G scale layout is that once you built your layout and you have the water type things installed suh as ponds, you now have a working habitat for out door creatures. I think it's important to expect to have visits from creatures such as reptiles or animals and should be prepared as such. Also some of these creatures I believe you should just tolerate and coincide together. When I was in Florida and visited the garden railroad at Epcot, I thought it was neat to see the trains, the garden and the creatures all coinciding together. There were many types of lizards to be seen from Newts to Salamanders and most live inside the buildings, but they didn't seem to detroy anything, so the park just leaves them alone. Of course you don't want a rattle snake showing up and leaing that to live there, ut you have to undertsnad you are outside and creating a livivng habitat. Other acceptable creatures would be frogs and turtles. If you have deer running around it would be wise to put up a deer fence on your property, I have seen them step on and destroy track trying to get to water and plants. Also on the garden note, we like butterflies here and I myself own 5 different colors of butterfly bushes. One like myself has to know of course you can't have butterflies without caterpillars. So in my small garden I always make room to grow plants that the Eastern Swallowtail caterpillars will eat, this ensures that the butterflies will stay in my area. I also have a small bird bath in which I put a rock in the center and fill with water. The rock keeps the birds out and gives the butterflies a safe place to land on. Of course you have to understand with every good creature you attract, a bad one will come along, one that usually eats the good one. In my case, I end up getting brown hornets which is a vicious mean bee that hunts butterflies. I'm prepared though with knowlege on how to deal with them and set traps. They will not attack unless provoked, so swatting at them is not a good idea. Knowing what insects, reptiles and other animals you have in your area is important, because more than likely, you will attract them sooner or later. I had everything from Locusts, to dragonflies, praying mantis which are protected here but I find harmless to all types of spiders. The one to watch out for here is the brown ground spider which hides in plants, using gloves to weed with is highly recomended here in New Jersey, escially with Brown Euclose spiders. I also found taking the shutters off of my house has reduced the amount of wasps I attract. So there are certain tricks you can use before calling a exterminator or using harsh chemicals which could also hurt your garden. If it's a harmless creature, try and live with it.
     
  7. CLBee

    CLBee TrainBoard Member

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    Reptiles!...I don't like reptiles. However, I would like a pond and stream. Any suggestions for keeping a certain reptile that can grow longer than my trains?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2010
  8. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Habitat

    EMD,
    Great points, All!!!!!! Yes, we need to know what local creatures we may be inviting into our train layouts before we start. If one has a pond, or stream, with fish, be prepared for racoons or water foul that like small fish!! My neighbor had a small pond behind his house.......stocked it with some cheap fish, and soon after woke up each morning to some ducks enjoying breakfast on his dime!!!!
    We are far enough from deep vegitation, ie, racoon habitat, but they would be a possibility over a longer term.

    I have seen deer thru the back of the yard, but again, not as common.......they havent eaten the tulips yet. However, I do have a substantial bunny population, some right under my deck! So I need to keep them from the plants......we have used dried blood meal with good effect for that, plus, planting certain types of flowers are deterants to some animals. (rabbits dont like marrigolds....so we use them a lot)

    These are the fun challenges with the outdoor railroad.......or garden. Its fun just being out there.....so Im happy to work on them!!

    Now excuse me while i go pull some weeds....................................lol

    D
     
  9. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Spring Rains

    Ok, so I have some time off this week, and had some outdoor projects planned, (some actually in the garden RR.) ......but Mother Nature has put a hex on working outside. Rain on and off over the past few days......and last night......holy cow....what a deluge!!!! 4 inches last night alone!!!!!! There was some serious errosion.....but in mostly non train places......so I should still be able to run trains this weekend.

    Anyway....since it was raining yesterday.....I pulled out some of the track and switches for the summers expansion. I need to have a cross over.....or diamond to make an inner loop on the sunny end of the layout. I sold a bunch of model plane stuff to get the switches.....and have some of the flex and straights I will need. I purchased a 30 Degree cross last fall, and with all the pieces.....I set to work to build the "x"!

    On the way, I discovered an interesting thing........as I assembled the X and switches...(aristo wide radius ).....I found that the geometry isnt quite right.......ie, when I got all the switches attached to the X.......the straight portion of the switches were not parrallel........(see pics)

    Ok, now what............after measuring the angles......it seems that I would need a 40 degree x for what I have........not a 30 degree....and I have only seen them in 90, 30, and 19.5 degrees..........so ...........next option.........take some straights and make the slight bend needed to hook them up......and make sure I get the right transitions into the switches when they go into the garden.
    So, I broke out the rail bender......and voila.......(that was one GREAT investment!!!!! I cant recomend them enough for custom rail curves!!!!!)

    The end result turned out great.......Ill have to do some mods to the switches for the smooth running and connectivity......and connect all the pieces. But for now.....this gets me stoked for better weather and the time to get the thing into the garden.
    This will have to wait till June, though, as the rest of May is taken up by family.....and a wedding vacation in Ardmore, OK!! (any Trainboard Members in Ardmore????)

    Regards,
    Darryl
     

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  10. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    I hear you on rain. I got drenched last night. I never got around to getting my power supply hooked up outside and had to abandoned my outdoor Idea :eek:

    The switch idea's looking great~ And I can be in OK if you want xD Okay not really~
     
  11. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Why I enjoy Garden Trains

    Here is one reason, (big one) as to why I enjoy the Garden Railroad My wife and I have been working on..........
    We had the great oportunity to have our 3 yr old GrandDaughter stay with us yesterday/last night. We were doing all the normal fun stuff all day.....cookies, playground, parks, etc. Last night, finally, after dinner we went out to the yard, and I pulled out the battery powered little engine I have been working on, and the pics say it all........
    This is why I enjoy model railroading!!!!!

    Regards,
    D
     

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  12. DragonFyreGT

    DragonFyreGT TrainBoard Member

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    She's adorable ^^ reminds me of my cousin's daughter.
     
  13. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Summer Update on the G and G

    Summer is in full bloom here.....and I finally got around to taking some pictures of the work my wife and I have been doing on the garden and railroad.
    We had some storms move through here a few weeks back, that ROCKed the place!!! I lost 3 trees, and a partial.......luckily, the partial in the train garden didnt hurt anything.......and no damage was done to the house. The only problem is that the shady plants we planted are now in "mostly sunny" locations!! Oh well.....we will see how they fare. The only damage to the tracks....was for my bridge to get blown off the mounts....which made the track fall askew......but I was able to easily set it up again and get going.

    We completed, or mostly so , the water feature......and I finished connecting the siding that I had, to allow full running of the trains on it. It goes around our windmill....and lilly area. Now there is really only maintinence, and enjoyment......for the flowers at least. Later this summer I will add one more inner loop to the layout...which will allow two independent trains to operate at one time......no more chasing and switching!!!

    Enjoy the pics.....they just dont due justice to the blooms we have right now!!!!

    Regards,

    Darryl
     

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  14. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Pics

    Here are a few more..................

    D
     

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  15. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    last few

    Ok, last few..........

    D
     

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  16. EMD trainman

    EMD trainman TrainBoard Member

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    Nice water feature, it's just the right size, not too big. It's a great addition to your layout.
     
  17. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    This is a fantastic garden railway! The photos and video have made this a really enjoyable thread! Thanks for sharing. :)
     
  18. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    G & G July/Mid Summer Update

    OC,
    Thanks for the kind words! I really appreciate the compliments from other railroaders....All the hard work is paying off!!!

    Summer came early, and the railroad has some beautiful blooms right now!!! Many of the seasonal flowers are already done.....ie, lillies, etc. We were lucky in choosing some other types of annuals that have kept blooming for quite a while....the dianthus, pansies, petunias, carnations, moss rose, and salvia, especially, are doing great! My wife and I have been able to keep the weeds at bay, and have really enjoyed the evenings in the garden, even if no trains are running.

    The last track has been laid, as well. I finally completed the diamond, or "x" crossover, and that connects the outer main line "fig. 8" to an inner oval, of about 20 ft. diameter. This now allows us to run two trains independently.....or one or more on a very long run.......as long as we watch to make sure they dont both meet at the crossover!!!! I will ad decorative ballast after it rains.....I need the working ballast/rock to settle a bit before adding the other.....and also need to see what will need more rock, etc.
    We have run as many as 3 trains at once now.......and with a little care....it isnt too hard to keep them from running in to each other!!! ( remember....I am only running one transformer control!! ))

    The water feature has been fun. On a whim, and in hopes of keeping the mosquito population at bay....I added some cheap goldfish. The mosquito larva are mostly gone....but it does take some care on the water quality. I run the pump / filter 24/7, and treat it like an aquarium......and so far, while we have lost some fish.....over all , it has been a positive addition. I also found some water plants......water lettuce and water hyacinth.....to put in the ponds. They add a nice touch of color to the ponds, and a place for the fish to hide.

    Here are some pics from the running tonight. We just put a couple small trains on....the good ole CB&Q....and the C&NW nw2 with a couple "problem child" cars. These two cars are brand new...but have been poor runners.....derailing at odd times. I think I have that attributed to poor clearance on the trucks under the car floor.... and after shimming them......had very good results tonight. Next time I get the full set of rolling stock out.....Ill see how they do in a longer string.

    Well....enjoy the pics...hopefully at some point Ill get the video out again, and get some live shots to post.

    Enjoy the summer!!!

    Darryl
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2010
  19. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    Summer update pics

    Here are some more pics......hope not too many for the thread!!

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  20. dmiller

    dmiller TrainBoard Member

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    More pics

    Here is one last set.

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