Progress on the Triple O

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Progress on the Triple O
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, June 02, 2014 1:03 AM

Aloha,

FYI I have taken the advice of all those who gave so freely and finally put pickax to sod this weekend, trenching out the bed for the half hollow tile retaining walls for the garden.  The pile of concrete blocks had proved insufficient to get me going.  The 1/16 scale trench line through my backyard, however, is a motivator!  A few notes based on my earlier inquiries and experiences to date:

  1. Sprinkler.  Positively confirmed Schedule 40 PVC.  Good to go!
  2. Kids.  This was a great challenge, as whatever digging implement I wielded was the one they wanted!  Anyway, there was a lot of positive commentary on our plan to keep this an all hands,age appropriate project, so I manned up and worked through it.  
  3. Construction.  We are proceeding with the raised bed, with a plan to leave gaps between blocks for drainage.  This, I am finding, allows for a degree of :slop" as I cannot leave surveying flags around the yard (See #2 above!).  Hopefully, this will have minimal impact down the pike when we lay track.
A round of 'flu put be back about a month, but we are moving forward!  I'll post updates as we go.
Thanks again to all!
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Posted by ttrigg on Thursday, June 05, 2014 1:08 AM

Glad to here the progress report.

HINT: Just before you start to fill the bed do a couple of quick "fixes." 1. Put down a couple layers of cardboard boxes as ground cover. Will STOP any grass growing up into the layout. Garden fabric will do the same but cardboard is cheaper. 2. Use garden fabric up the inside of the wall to prevent your fill material from seeping through the "leak gaps". If you have any old 'plastic' cloth sandbags, they will work as well.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, June 05, 2014 1:22 AM

Thanks, Tom.  I wouldn't have thought of either trick!  Right now, it looks like we'll be on schedule to fill in late June or early July.  I'll post some photos as we hit various milestones.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 3:57 AM

Status update:  

  • We dug out the retaining wall's perimeter.  CINCHOUSE has approved the final shape and size (phew!).
  • Test fit some track to make sure we could actually turn the trains around at each end of the garden.  More digging followed; however, that is better than finding out I'd screwed up AFTER I had made the wall and filled the garden bed
  • Following the father-in-law's inspection, I now understand what is meant by "leveling" the foundation.  Forgot about that.  More digging to come!  With the zoysia cut away, it is more a matter of breaking up and moving the sand, so that should be comparably quick.

Because i had not even thought about leveling, I am pushing my estimated fill date back to late July or early August.  Progress is nonetheless continuing!

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Posted by ttrigg on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:43 PM

Sounds like you are making progress and learning at the same time. Glad to hear of you success with CINCHOUSE. In my case SWMBO issued approval at each level of planning and construction. She only allowed me total freedom on one of her requests. "I want to be able to send a train somewhere and it not come back for a while." That meant a branch line leaving the pond area across the back fence to the other side of the yard where it wound its way among her fruit trees.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 12:24 AM

Latest update... My leveling job seems to have succeeded.  I just need to see if we can figure out a date to lay the foundation and build the bed.  If the date slips too far, we'll hire someone for this phase.  I was going to upload a photo, but it seems I have to put in a hyperlink...I'll figure this out yet!

We visited the Hawaiian Railway Society to get some 1:1 motivation.  One of the volunteers had had a garden railroad and reconfirmed suggestions from earlier in this post - keep the family involved!  In this case:

  1. If the wife wants a pink one, get a pink one!
  2. If the kids want something goofy with eyes, get something goofy with eyes!
I'll post the next update when the bed starts to take shape.
Aloha!
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Posted by ttrigg on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 1:57 PM

By all means, keep the family excited and involved. Especially CINCHOUSE! 

As for photographs, there are a great many free cloud storage sites to put your photo and link them here. My two favorites are Photobucket and Google Drive. For videos, most use YouTube. All provide a link to photo (video) that is easily pasted into your text.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 2:57 AM

Latest update...

The form is a bit less straight than I hoped it would be, reflecting my lack of skill and the excite if dubiously useful help from my work crew, but the foundation is laid.  The perimeter is just over 100 ft.  I have some professional obligations that will prevent the retaining walls from going up in the next couple weeks, but progress is progress.  Still, I am backing down from my goal to have a mainline ballasted in by Christmas. At this point, I just want it filled with the sectional track down and tinkering for final arrangement in progress..oh, and train(s) running! 

In the meantime, the concrete has brought family and friends on board, as the whole thing is more than a dirty gash in the yard.  We will stage the retaining wall progress to allow us time to determine if it should be one or two blocks high.  CINCHOUSE, in the meantime, is developing her plant wish list, so all is well!

Here is a photo of where we stand at this point:  [View:https://drive.google.com/?usp=web_ww_after_dl#folders/0B4R0NqTe3DtiZWVUY1g2b2lRRkk:600:0].  Our cattle dog is inspecting the work!

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Posted by ttrigg on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 1:50 PM

Glad to hear progress is being made.

Double check your photo link. I'm thinking you just copied the web address, instead of using the "share" link. Your link takes me directly to my Google Drive.

Hint: the "share photo link" is not so good of an idea, at least as I've found. I've created an entire directory and shared that with family and friends. Works well. Have a look at "Photobucket" from there you can paste the photo into the page here so that no one need travel outside to look at your photos.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, August 14, 2014 2:45 AM

Thanks again, Tom.  I'll try "Photobucket."  It sounds like a happy compromise between privacy and utility.  For experiment's sake, I've tried pasting the "shared link" in Google Drive below:

edit?usp=sharing

As you can see (?) the lines are not quite straight as an arrow, but this'll do.  I am calling it "character." Once we get the walls built and filled, the intention is to make the part closest to the viewer the start point for the garden.  The furthest point will likely be grassed back in after the tracks are laid, leaving it as free-lay area for the kids while I experiment elsewhere.

I'll post the next update as the retaining wall goes up

 

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Posted by ttrigg on Thursday, August 14, 2014 7:13 PM

I keep all the private stuff on OneDrive, used to have it on Google drive until my daughter wanted me to join google plus so she could talk to me. Then G+ started self posting the pix. did NOT care for that. I put only the pix I want to publicly share or insert into a post on Photobucket. Photobucket is free if you don't mind some advertising when you are on that page. 

It may be a bit too late to ask this question. Not looking like you left enough room between the wall and fence to get the lawn mower in there. Or are my eyeballs not as calibrated as they used to be?

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, August 15, 2014 2:26 AM

Nope.  Lawn mower space fell victim to other design constraints:  the avocado tree and a conservative estimate of what it'll take to have the tracks and passing siding. The weedwacker will have to do the job back there!

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, September 05, 2014 3:08 AM

Quick update...A pause in some professional obligations and my father-in-law's availability coincided.  The retaining wall is up!  I'll post the photos later as I start to source the fill. 

At this stage:

  • I witnessed the power of error propagation.  Not enough to hold things back, but the wall has some..."character."
  • I learned to lay a brick.  Who knew that was in me?
  • My father-in-law asked for piece of track and rolling stock so he can start plotting bridges and buildings.  Maybe I should come up with a track plan.  The kids are fired up, too, and my goal to make this a family affair seems to be playing out.
Photos of the work to date to follow as will updates as they are merited.
Aloha!

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, September 21, 2014 12:42 AM

OK, trying PhotoBucket with the latest picture showing the completed retaining wall. O note this is linked to FaceBook, so have fun viewing my Civil War reenactments if this failed!

As a back-up, I am trying Google Drive again. edit?usp=sharing

Per my post elsewhere, I am ready to fill.  I am looking for free stuff, but, in the interest of time and to ensure a good foundation, I may contract this portion.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, September 21, 2014 12:48 AM

OK, Photobucket 5,  Me 0.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, December 02, 2014 12:27 PM

Belated Happy Thanksgiving!  

Just a quick update, we did decide to get professional help to get the garden filled and tamped.  We just needed to get the project "over the hump."  In the meantime, we are going to be getting all the trains out for Christmas, which will allow for a full inventory of track and stage everything for track planning post-Holidays and ballasting.

Pictures via one website or another will follow as progress occurs!

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, December 09, 2014 2:03 AM

FYI, the work crew showed up today and reinforced the retaining wall.  Glad I hired someone with a bit more experience!  Fill should arrive this week, and then the crew will use a tamper to pack it down.  

On the fun side, we will be breaking out all the trains and track for their annual run around the Christmas tree and off into the yard this weekend!  No more boxes for them this year!

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, December 27, 2014 1:55 AM

Merry Christmas! 

 

Thanks again for the forbearance as I use this as a blog to keep me honest and progressing.  

The trains came out of their boxes for their annual run around the Christmas tree and out into the yard.  With my brother's track having sat in storage for 20+ years, it took some real elbow grease to get things running, but the crew (hopefully pictured) was game.  In the meantime, my neighbor started filling the garden, so, while the rolling stock will go back into boxes, this is temporary!  

In the meantime, my father-in-law builte a short trestle.  Not sure, how we will incorporate it, but we will!

As a hunorous aside, I found "ballast"  and "roadbed" have no practical meaning in a state with no railroads.  My neighbor sources beautiful scale gravel, and layed it down forward and aft, port to starboard across the entire garden.  Oh, well, it will allow for the flexibility I wanted, even if it means each plant will get its own planter box countersunk into what will be 5-6 inches of gravel. 

Since I figured out this picture thing, here is an idea of the track I have to work with:  

(Last) Temporary home of the Triple O

I am sure as heck looking forward to not having to constantly deal with the track shifting and derailing things every 10-20 minutes!

 

Some final thoughts....If I had known how this project was going to speak to my immediate and extended family, I would've started years ago.  Seeing my youngest gandy dancer in the almost filled garden with his Tonka Trucks "building a railroad" alone made this experience to date worthwhile!

 

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by ttrigg on Sunday, December 28, 2014 12:04 PM

Looking good.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 8:24 PM

The bed is filled!  We'll let the rains help things settle and hold a "Gandy Dancing and Grill" party to lay down the track later this month or early next month.  In the meantime, I will research the best way to build a mountain and tunnel to visually split the "dog bone."

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Posted by Ray Dunakin on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 12:35 PM
Cute kids! Glad you're making progress on the RR.
 Visit www.raydunakin.com to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, January 04, 2015 12:37 AM
Thanks! We think they're pretty good looking, too!
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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, January 19, 2015 7:20 PM

     I am pleased to report that as of 17 January, 1330 (Hawai'i Standard Time), about  year from the planned ground breaking, the Triple O came to life as an ex-DR Bahn 0-4-0T pulled an international somrgasboard of gondolas, a hopper,  and a battered caboose around the mainline.With the addition of a bog plant to the pond and the hasty repositioning of some jade plants, the inspection train even had a nominal garden to run through as it tooled along an otherwise barren landscape of small rocks. 

The mainline is in place.  An interior loop sits on top of the gravel, as I don't want to set it until we put in some landscape features, and I am hemming and hawing about where to put sidings.  We are able to run two trains at once, which is more than the family could want!  We will probably start transplanting some herbs and permanently planting the jade plants this week or next.  In the meantime, we are just enjoying rotating the trains through the garden (such as it is) and discussing the possibilities.

Thanks for the advice scattered over the course of the year, as I know you all guided me around some "mission kill" mistakes.  More questions to follow as this rolls into the next phase!

We are a long way from being the feature railroad of GR, but, by gum, we have garden railroad!

 

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Posted by ttrigg on Monday, January 19, 2015 8:35 PM

Cheers all around. Glad you got the first train running. The real fun now begins, and I'm not talking about the fun of running the trains. No, the real fun comes when the Railroad C.O.O. (that's you) is confronted by a land management battle between CINCHOUSE and The Land Minions. Take care and enjoy.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 8:56 PM

Very quick update.  The camera died, so no photos!

 

  1. Track Plan.  This continues to evolve as we decide how we want to run things.  Mostly, this has to do with where the sidings will go.  The kids, who have put hollow tile to use as buildings, are leading the way.  The double dog bone will remain the basic shape.
  2. Plants.  The various herbs intended for the Boss' kitchen are starting to come in.  A few scalish-flowers are also looking nice.
  3. Mountain and Tunnel.  When my father-in-law showed up with hollow tile and rubble, that determined the means of construction!  I am transporting lava rock one hatchback full per day to form around the hollow-tile portal.

Oh, and the Triple O successfully delivered adult beverages from the lanai to the grill!  Design success!

 

Aloha,

Eric

 

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Posted by ttrigg on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 5:33 PM

Looking good my friend. So glad you have made this an entire family project. I have seen several layouts that have scenes of Star Wars and Cinderella done by the younger generation. Allowing the kids to add their bit just makes the whole thing so much better.

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, March 23, 2015 12:22 AM

A little progress this weekend working on the tunnel interior (See my post entitled "Working with Foam (Or go to Plan B?)").  I'll post the results of that first foray into foam craftsmanship there, with a final picture here.  I hope to have the tunnel capped by the end of this week.

 

Aloha,

Eric

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, April 16, 2015 2:03 AM
Tunnel delayed when the labor crew was redirected to remove old carpeting....Updates to follow soon!

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