Cary’s been back in touch.
If you want to get up to speed, his last post is here.
“I’m eight years now into my Garden Railroad and have had trains running the last two years.
My layout is now down for the winter months and it’s time to consider maintenance and next steps. Here’s some things I’ve learned about having an outdoor model railroad.
I’m using track power and soldered jumper wires across every track section. This is working very well.
I’m finding that I need to clean the track every time I run trains and then about every hour or so. I’ve been using drywall sanding screens on a sanding pole and that goes pretty quickly.
This year I started using my scratch built cleaning car. Once the track is clean enough for a locomotive to run(sputter) around the track, it takes about 5 laps of the track cleaning car and the locos are running smooth. It’s full of gravel for weight and the cleaning pad is spring mounted.
At this point I can’t see going to full battery and RC control. I can see building a battery powered track cleaning locomotive, especially now that I have a successful cleaning design.
My buildings have been outside for two years now and the weather is taking its toll. I used fiberglass and concrete board for the bases and concrete board and shingles for the roofs- these are working well. I used maple plywood for the side walls and hoped that several coats of exterior house paint would protect them, it has not. The plywood is delaminating.
Ralph’s General Store, this is how it looked after completion, it was my masterpiece.
Here’s how it looks after two years of weather.
I have several buildings in this condition, I think I can clean them up, add some reinforcement and get another few years out of them.
For future builds I’ll be using something else for the sidewalls. Additionally the buildings need to be simpler, fewer details and pressure washer friendly. As my layout fills in with plant life, I might find that fewer, well placed buildings will be more scenic and less maintenance.
Here’s some improvements I made to my layout this summer.
More retaining walls and ditches, still trying to control drainage, slowly getting there.
Roads, Crossings and Moss which is great for scale grass
The main goal for summer is more plant life. So far I’m trying to relocate plants from other parts of my property but there’s only a few decent species to choose from. There is one huge advantage, if it’s already growing here in heavy shade and the critters haven’t eaten it, then there’s a good chance it will survive on my layout.
Cary in Kentucky”
Some posts just make you feel good. A huge thanks to Cary – you all know how much I enjoy an update, and there’s something about Cary’s that is very fun: I think it’s the size of a project.
Now on to Bob, to keep up the Christmas cheer.
You may remember him from his layout – it’s a bit of a stunner.
“Al…I have really enjoyed all the Christmas-inspired layouts on your blog.
I think I will build one next year. One of my families favorite holiday traditions is creating gingerbread structures.
For Christmases past, I have built gingerbread houses, castles, churches, light houses, water mills, and tree houses.
Last Christmas, I constructed the Santa’s Village depicted in the first photograph. Everyone in my family liked it so much that I originally planned to make it again this year.
However, my wife suggested that I build a gingerbread train. I can’t believe I had not thought of doing a gingerbread train before.
So, I set to work and created the gingerbread locomotive and tender you see depicted in the remaining photographs.
Keep the Christmas layouts coming.
That’s all for today folks.
Please do keep ’em coming.
And if you want to salvage anything from this grim, grim year, and start your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.