clive_t's Garden Line - The Fall and Rise of the Scampington Chipside Garden Railway

Discussion in 'Members Personal Layouts' started by clive_t, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    Hi all, this thread will hopefully tell the story of how my 'G-Scale' garden Railway here in Portsmouth, which has been allowed to fall into disuse over the past 6 years, is returned to something hopefully close to its former glory.

    Along the way, I will try and show how it was in its heyday, so as to provide some sort of comparison with the 'now'.

    First off, and just to prove to myself that I can post photos (I'm in trouble if I can't!), here's a track-plan diagram:

    [​IMG]

    At the moment I am concentrating on resurrecting the 'Chipside' area, as it was the area most engulfed in wild vegetation. If I can get that rebuilt, then I'll be in good shape to complete the rest of it.

    Back in 2003, it looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    In 2006 (10 years ago!) the goods yard, like the rest of that area, was maturing nicely... perhaps a little too nicely:

    [​IMG]

    For various reasons the line started to fall into disuse around 2010, to the point where it was taking an unfeasibly long time to get the line cleaned and cleared well enough to get a train completing the circuit unaided.

    By 2014 the ivy, which I had foolishly planted in the belief that it would enhance the natural setting for the line without overstepping its bounds, had all but completely engulfed the whole thing:

    [​IMG]

    I am firmly of the opinion that in respect of this project, planting ivy was the biggest mistake! Lesson learned, very much the hard way...
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  2. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Looks good Clive ...... do I detect a bridge in that photo .....maybe another photo or two :avatar: get the gardening shears out and get cracking. :avatar:
    cheers
    toto
     
  3. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    I think I can understand the Ivy error, the only green finger I will ever have is staining from green concrete :avatar:

    Very impressive track plan, Toto will be drooling, and in case he's reading this, O gauge runs well in a garden as well.

    I think you have your work cut out, but will look impressive once your back on top of it.

    Do you run the railway during the winter ?

    Paul
     
  4. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    Thanks Mr Toto...

    Ah yes, the bridges. Back in 2003 I knew I had to get the line across a raised pond, all of which meant that the line itself had to be raised to some extent - as you can see in the pics already posted.

    The bridges - three of them - which carried the line over the pond, were all made of garden trellising. They served their purpose admirably whilst at the same time looking the part; however being wood, and not particularly weather-proof wood at that, they began to fall apart from a combination of rot and wind damage. This is how they looked back in 2003:

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    Suffice it to say, they don't look like this now :(
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  5. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    paul_l wrote:
    Hi Paul, it can run in Winter, if I can summon the fortitude to be out in it as well! G-Scale - and LGB in particular - is quite rugged kit, and will quite happily run in all weathers.

    Cheers,

    Clive
     
  6. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Great stuff Clive. Nice use of gardening products on the bridges. Very impressive:thumbs:
     
  7. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    Here's how it looked in the Summer of 2015, during yet another attempt at line clearance. Yet more evidence of rampant ivy over-running everything :(

    [​IMG]

    Sadly, work got in the way, as it often has in the past, and so I had to abandon the resurrection plans once again.

    Then, back in July this year I had to take some time out to look after my wife while she recovered from an operation. During that time I learned what a vacuum cleaner looked like, how to operate a washing machine too... I also found myself yet again returning to the garden to somehow try and tidy it up. The tipping point for me was spotting that the ivy had reached the decorative block walling separating my garden from my neighbour's, and was proceeding to grow through it! That was it for me - the ivy had to go:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately this meant completely dismantling a Cotswold stone 'wall' as the ivy roots were pretty much intertwined with the stones.

    It also meant that the Lonicera bushes, planted at the beginning of the line's development as tiny seedlings, had to come up too; their roots were all tangled up with the ivy. In truth they were getting too big and unwieldy, obscuring most of the line from normal view; another compelling reason to lose them:

    [​IMG]

    The rest of this side of the garden quickly followed suit:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  8. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    And I have enough issues trying to keep the grass down.

    It looks like you've had to lift a good portion of the track as well, will you be sticking with the same track plan, or is version two going to rear its head ?

    Paul
     
  9. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    I'll be sticking to the original track plan - just relaying it so that it's less susceptible to dips and flexes, thereby making for more reliable electrical continuity.
     
  10. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    Next was a whole load of weeding, digging up clumps of grass etc. You will also notice black lumps scattered here and there - these are in fact strips cut from black plastic soil bags, an early and not-very-successful attempt at weed suppression. The weeds must have laughed long and heartily at that:

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    I decided to keep the Hebe and the Lavender bush as they are comparatively slow-growing, and certainly not invasive. Plus, when cut back, they are very convincing G-scale trees, I think :)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  11. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    Phew Clive thats some workload youve done already, but its going to be so worth it good luck and hope the missus is well.

    Ian
     
  12. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    Last post for the night, as it's late and I have an early start tomorrow:

    The next step was to lay a more stable, weed-proof bed for the track to run on. I decided to use 'Celcon' blocks as these are light, and easily cut to required shape with a saw - preferably an old one of course!

    [​IMG]

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    The excavated soil was used to back-fill the stones as the wall (more shallow this time) was re-built.

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    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  13. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    ianvolvo46 wrote:
    Thanks Ian, my grandson (only 2, but plainly a born works foreman :) ) is certainly keeping a watching brief on proceedings and never misses an opportunity to offer encouragement! Yes the wife is recovering well and getting on with life, thanks.
     
  14. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    The Great backyard works Clive it is certainly rising again :thumbs: the blocks look like a nice alteritive to the track on the ground are you going to re ballast once done as it did look good in the orignal photos with the ballast (before the greenery Attacked) we have this stuf in Australia Called "Round up" it takes out anything green at 20 paces (as long as you get it from the rural supplies stores the hard ware shop Verision is watered down):scratchchin:

    Great start to your layout Topic as well congrats :tophat:

    http://www.click
     
  15. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Forgot to ask can we see some photos of the trains from the layouts previous life :thumbs:
     
  16. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Great start to the recovery plan Clive.:thumbs:
     
  17. Gary

    Gary Staff Member Administrator Golden Goat 2018

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    SMR CHRIS wrote:
    We in the horticulture industry have something better than Round Up (Glyphosate) we have a product called Arsenal and/or Armoury. A pre-emergent that keeps the weeds from germinating for 6-8 months ! :thumbup: Unfortunately the mere mortal (home gardener) cannot purchase this off the shelf...:(

    Great work in the garden Clive. It must fill you full of confidence knowing that the railway will be fully functional again soon. You will have to rename it now as it had been through the Beeching era and now being re-established as a fully working railway ! You could say it is a Heritage Railway. Maybe you should put in for a grant or enter the lottery fund ! :lol:

    Looking forward to seeing more progress. :thumbs:

    Cheers, Gary.
     
  18. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Wow Clive, you certainly crack on when William cracks the whip, can,t wait to see how you progress.

    Cheers, Pete.
     
  19. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    Thanks, folks for most kind comments so far. Before I continue to bring you up to date with my progress, and at the request of Chris, a few 'then' shots of the rolling stock I had at the time this stage of the line was first completed.

    Firstly, the starter set courtesy of Messrs LGB. The loco is an 0-4-0 Stainz, with a hopper wagon and a flat-bed carrying a rather toy-like digger as a load:

    [​IMG]

    Here's the station area, with a Wismar 'Pignose' rail bus waiting in the bay. The station building is a Pola kit:

    [​IMG]

    The engine shed, another Pola kit, is the backdrop for a 2-6-0 Spreewald tank loco. The coaling stage is cunningly hand crafted from remnants of the wooden bridges shown previously:

    [​IMG]

    Notice the cute-looking Lonicera bushes in the fore-ground. 13 years on, their cuteness level had diminished to almost zero, whilst their pain-in-the-backside level was going through the roof :mad:

    Finally, for now at least, and just to lend weight to the firmly held belief that you can never have too many rail-buses:

    [​IMG]

    More to follow, as and when I can shoe-horn them into this epic come-back tale!
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  20. clive_t

    clive_t Full Member

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    Then last weekend, a decent window of opportunity opened up enough to allow me to get most of the track bed completed for the through line and the station area. Several hours of back-breaking labour later:

    [​IMG]

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    I've still got the goods area to do, but another good weekend will get that all done. By way of a comparison, here's how the goods area looked when more-or-less finished back in 2003:

    [​IMG]
    The cattle-dock-cum-end-loading-dock was another hand-made creation of mine, utilising more of the remnants from my bridge projects. The building itself is, surprise surprise, a Pola kit.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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