Progress on the West Ridge Branch Line

3928 views
89 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Sunday, October 18, 2020 3:28 PM

Over the past few days I've been working on staining the wood platform and bridge.  I was having a lot of trouble getting an even coat on the balsa planks so I adapted and went for a weathered look.  Just waiting for the poly to dry on the bridge and then that part of the project will be complete.

John

  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, October 18, 2020 4:56 PM

John,

as always: you're doing a fantastic job! Also, great to see trains running. I think I have worn out my welcome at Shutterfly: too much share, not enough buy. Will look for a new site when I have something to show.

Keep up great work !

Paul

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Great Plains
  • 2,402 posts
Posted by York1 on Sunday, October 18, 2020 6:14 PM

Nice work!  Thanks for the pictures.

York1 John       

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, October 18, 2020 7:29 PM

John,

 

I echo the others.  Great and fast work!  You'll note there  are a lot of "how do I get started threads" out there, and it is great to see someone else take the plunge!  It also motivates a certain someone to make progress on a certain sugar mill...Whistling

 

As you go forward, remember your koi will not like at all if that stain drips into the pond.  In sufficient quantites, it will be lethal.  If you have not installed your bridge yet, you will want to stain it before you do.  We are fish people with eight aquariums and a little pond, so I felt a need to speak up for the finned fellows!

Have a great week!

Eric

  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Sunday, October 18, 2020 11:05 PM

Thank you everyone.  Luckily I planned ahead for the bridge and built it so it could be easily removed.  All the staining and polyurethaning were done away from the pond.  The later was applied at 3pm earlier today so by tomorrow afternoon ill feel safe placing it back over the pond.  I may even spray it down with a hose before to ensure any residue washes off into the lawn and not later into the pond.

Thanks!

John

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, October 18, 2020 11:49 PM
Fish people in Hawaii are breathing a sigh of collective relief!
  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Monday, October 19, 2020 10:47 AM

Haha not to worry.  We love our koi here.  The neighbor told us that some of them are approximately 30 years old!  I'm not surprised since they're huge.... I think a few are about 2 feet long.  Two previous families took good care of them so we'll keep that streak going

John

  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Monday, October 19, 2020 9:32 PM

Today's update:  I started ballasting some of the mainline.  I decided on all purpose gravel from home depot, but sifted out the bigger stone pieces before.  It's not to scale but I really like the blue tone and the rough shape of the stones helps it all bind together and hold the track in place nicely.  I may sprinkle on some sand and wash it in to help it bind even better.

John

  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Monday, October 19, 2020 10:09 PM

John

"all purpose gravel" and I go back a long way! I used exclusively on my old railway, and is what I still use as ballast. It will eventually pack down into a very solid roadbed, after a few applications to fill in low spots. It will settle. 
The sand and silt present in every bag will wash to the bottom, and anchor the larger stones. Very prototypical! Still like it! It holds the track in horizontal alignment very well.

The size of the stones does not bother me. It does the job nicely!

Paul

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 12:03 PM
Joh, I'm with Paul here. That looks great! Remember, it is prototypical to use the most convenient and economic material! Parts of real Oahu Railway & Land used crushed coral! Oh, and I love the staging on the first shot!
  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Thursday, October 22, 2020 4:48 PM

I completely agree with you both.  I can see it already packing nicely after some heavy rain and a few hours of trains running over the rails.  I'll be sure to fill in as needed.

Here's a few more pictures of activity in Koi Harbor as I'm continuing to ballast the main line.  The bridge is in place and I really like the dark stain.... so does the wife.

John

  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Thursday, October 22, 2020 6:13 PM

The joy of running trains! looks great in it's environment. You're making fantastic progress!

Paul

  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Thursday, October 22, 2020 6:17 PM

What you'll experience is all the things real railroads experience:

rain,extreme heat, critters, bees, you name it! It's a different world outside, but extremely pleasant, and relaxing....

and worth all the effort!

Paul

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, October 23, 2020 1:45 AM

Awesome shots! It took me three year to get the Triple O looking half this good! Now you get to do the fun bit of creating a reason for the railroad to exist in your world!

 

Oh, quick question, what is the size of you power supply? I started with a large HO-scale transformer / throttle. With corrosion and time, it became too small. At urging from forum members, we made 20V / 5A controllers from bits and parts which made running trains much more fun.

 

 

For the moment, though, sit back, crack a beverage, and enjoy the fruits of your labors! Eric

  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Saturday, October 24, 2020 9:53 AM
Paul, you are dead on.  The experiences are completely different with garden railroading vs indoors.  Track cleaning is a constant task, especially in the autumn.  Weather limits the amount of time trains can be run but the rain is also helping my roadbed compact down nicely.  After a few heavy rain storms, I’m not seeing many drainage issues which shows that my efforts to build up a good sand based sub roadbed were worth it.  I’m sure overtime I’ll be making repairs but that’s part of the experience.
 
Eric, the work you were able to accomplish on your railway would have me feeling  daunted looking ahead.  It's a beautiful work of art.  I am very fortunate to have preexisting, weathered landscaping to work with.  That was one of my main reasons for picking my front/side yard over the larger back yard.  As far a power goes, I’m using a LGB #5003 transformer.  It looks to be rated 7A AC / 7A DC.  I’m not sure if there are two separate 7A coils or a total combined 7A rating but either way I should be fine since any lighting will be LEDs. 
 
Have a great weekend and thanks again for all the kind words and advice!
 
John
  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Saturday, October 24, 2020 1:49 PM
Thanks, John. It has been a labor of love! As for power, at 7A, you should be more than fine. Our small ones were 3A, and that turned out to be too small over time as corrosion and dirt took their toll. Upgrading turned getting the railroad running from a chore to a joy. Oh, speaking of joy, our weather finally permits the running of the little iron horses today! Have a great weekend! Eric
  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Monday, October 26, 2020 9:24 AM

I wish the weather here would do the same.  Very cool, windy, and raining the last few days.  Lots of leaves are falling on the tracks to the point that the rails would be covered after one loop (the trains don't like leaves obviously).  Here's some more ballast in place.  All that is left to ballast is the freight yard and then that phase of the project is complete.

 

Here are a few more photos showing my leaf situation in action:

John

  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Monday, October 26, 2020 9:46 PM

Those Fall colors! 
Many times I have been out running trains, and a sudden gust of wind will blow leaves and twigs on the track in the path on a train. Ants will crush under the wheels and interfere with electrical pick up.

In our dry SoCal climate, I usually need one good track cleaning at the start of an operating session, with the occasional run of a track cleaning car to keep things clean. Dew on the track at dusk will make engines sputter! So, moisture is an issue. Organic matter and debris, such as leaves may require additional track cleaning.

Maybe a track cleaning car? Not to do the initial cleaning,which you will still have to do, but to KEEP things clean. 
It sure looks great, though!

Paul

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 11:31 PM
If you go with a commercial track cleaning device, I cannot recommend the PIKO clean machine highly enough. Running the little thing for an hour or so a week did wonders for keeping our rails ready to flow electrons.
  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Thursday, October 29, 2020 6:05 PM

Those fall colors are definitely a good trade off for the headaches of track cleaning.  The PIKO clean machine seems to be very popular.  I see it all over instagram.  I do like the look of the LGB model but not the price haha.  For the time being, I attached some cleaning pads under my caboose which really helps out.  After a few loops, the train runs really smooth.  The Koi Harbor Garden Railway expelled a lot of capital this season and the executive board (my wife) probably would want me to hold off on a track clean engine for now.

Ok, so I'm goind to try to post videos of me making up a freight train in the switching yard (fingers crossed).....

John

  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Thursday, October 29, 2020 6:08 PM

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Friday, October 30, 2020 2:13 AM
No joy on the video... I've found you have to just get a hyperlink and paste it in here.
  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Sunday, November 1, 2020 8:25 AM

Darn... alright lets see if these links work.  This should be a quick video of my switcher running through the freight yard.

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AqILW-fgNH8ncDLTx2cGp-ow2zU?e=H7q6RA

 

And here are three videos (in order) of me making up a train in the freight yard.  I think the engineer had a few too many lol.

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AqILW-fgNH8nb1w6tAA7VHgm94o?e=yi8ha7

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AqILW-fgNH8nbtOpu2YI_8qpFfE?e=dqaUNR

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AqILW-fgNH8nbddCXwTsCc2Gft0?e=abV4TO

 

Fingers crossed.

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Sunday, November 1, 2020 3:52 PM
Fun! For the record, I think the LGB D&RGW passenger series will look just fine. You have much longer runs and broader curves than we do. One or two behind your loco won't look badly at all, I think. If it'll be helpful, we can stage ours behind our PIKO GE 25 tonner. The loco is slightly smaller, but it should be within order of magnitude to inform your purchases. -Eric
  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, November 1, 2020 4:02 PM

Yes, that went well! I saw your videos. I may follow your lead and post a video also when I have something worthy to show. I see you have gone to Kadees, probably the best choice for switching. I use Bachmann's but I don't switch, just run loops . I have the 2063 and the 4061, was running them yesterday.

Also, to build on Eric's comment on LGB passenger cars, they are fairly short anyway, and shorter then the Bachmann's,  but I recommend the quality, and I don't think you'll be disappointed. My two cents...

Paul

  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Sunday, November 1, 2020 7:41 PM

I think I agree with you both on the passenger cars.  I measured my freight cars and (except the ore car and caboose) they are 16 inches long.  The 18 inch passenger cars shouldn't be an issue.  Eric, I'd appreciate being able to see those cars behind the switcher.  It's hard to picture since not many people run the two together.

Paul, I did decide to go with Kadee's #909 knuckle couplers.  I haven't had many issues with them except having to adjust the coupler height on one car.  The magnetic bar under the coupler hits the plastic cover on the switch mechanism on the LGB R3 manual switches.  I'm also trying to figure out a good way to uncouple them.  I know there's a magnet that you put on sidings between the rails, but I was hoping to find a tool to use elsewhere.

Here's a few pictures and a video from Halloween.  We had a lot of trick or treaters here and gave out candy socially distanced.  Had the train running and anyone who noticed could walk over and have the train stop so they could grab candy from one of the cars.  It was a big hit.

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AqILW-fgNH8ndHjZMjGVoISpxSM?e=irYR8A

John

 

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, November 2, 2020 12:54 AM

John,

 

Great shots and video!

 

We'll stage some shots with Diesel Dan and the combine and coach tomorrow.  I think a little diesel pulling a combine and a couple of freight cars or even a solitary coach or combine (a rustic"commuter" train) would look really cool.   I haven't the hear to weather my coaches, but maybe you'll get some dinged enough to try!

 

Eric  

  • Member since
    August 2017
  • 78 posts
Posted by BLT_BY_LIONEL on Monday, November 9, 2020 7:29 AM

Hey guys,

Not much progress done this past week but I figured I'd share a video and a few pictures.  Hope all is well!

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AqILW-fgNH8neP2GG900AkeY_Ck?e=nR7MNX

 

John

  • Member since
    November 2011
  • 1,951 posts
Posted by Postwar Paul on Monday, November 9, 2020 5:48 PM

John,

looks really cool crossing the bridge in the video! Fun stuff!

Paul

  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 729 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, November 9, 2020 11:09 PM
Sometimes to make progress you have to sit back and enjoy what you've accomplished to date!

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Garden Railways newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Garden Railways magazine. Please view our privacy policy