The Cobtree Line

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invicta280
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The Cobtree Line

Post by invicta280 » Tue May 08, 2018 8:20 pm

This garden railway project has been in the planning stage for a long time. When we created the pond and rockery area about 20 years ago I had plans in the back of my head to create a garden railway in the pleasant surroundings of our secret garden.
When it's complete there should be a run of about 80 feet / 24 metres between 2 reverse (balloon) loops. The line will encircle the pond and rockery to create the familiar 'folded dogbone' shape.
One reverse loop will encircle a very large and shady Cypress tree ( about 30 ft /9 mtrs in height). The other reverse loop will be a simple, easily assembled/disassembled loop within my workshop which will only be installed when trains are running to provide a continuous run. There will also be a passing loop in the steam up area to allow two trains in steam at one time.
So far I have laid the trackbed for approx 40 feet/ 12 mtrs of the main line and for the passing loop -about 4 mtrs.
Trackbed consists of breeze blocks / cinder blocks with short 4x2 pegs hammered vertically in between each block to which the track will be fixed.
The blocks sit mostly in a shallow bed of pea gravel which helps 'float' them and adjust level where needed. Once all levels are 'happy' more pea gravel will be poured in alongside up to the track level to hide the blocks.
The line passes under a large Hazel tree ( hence the name) and falling hazelnuts will be a seasonal hazard - never mind leaves on the line. The effect of this may be reduced by the installation of a simple short tunnel provided by two paving slabs.

Image

Image

The steam up area looking towards the workshop shed

Image

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tom_tom_go
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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by tom_tom_go » Tue May 08, 2018 8:42 pm

Promising start, look forward to future updates.

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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by bazzer42 » Tue May 08, 2018 8:48 pm

That's a nice piece of track preparation and the garden looks lovely.

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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by invicta280 » Tue May 08, 2018 9:29 pm

Thanks chaps. It may not be clear from the photo but the raised steam up area is separated from the small lawn by a wall consisting of railway sleepers laid on their edge and topped by sleepers laid flat to provide somewhere to sit while attending to locos etc. The vegetation overgrowing the trackbed for the passing loop is being thinned at present so it will soon be just dwarf conifers and climbing plants on the wall.

Although I have a R/C loco I also have a soft spot for Mamods (some of us never learn!) so the intention is for the line to be level, or as near as I can manage.
So the result will be a mixture of raised steam up area, embankment and cutting.

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daan
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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by daan » Tue May 08, 2018 10:04 pm

You'll be thankful for the wisdom to keep the line level, if you run mamods or otherwise.. Your method gives a good roadbed which is easy to level out. Good job!
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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by IanC » Tue May 08, 2018 10:12 pm

Your construction so far looks very good. My line has been almost as long in the planning stage! A mere 12 years or so. Your construction methods are very similar to what I plan on using so I shall be following your progress closely with interest.

I am slowly acquiring materials for my line. I have about 20 yards of track so far, and one turnout. I have some bags of chippings for the foundations, but no blocks yet.

Please keep us posted with your progress.

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invicta280
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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by invicta280 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:47 pm

Construction has paused while we await clearance from the environmental dept. She had agreed to move certain plants that were in the path of the advancing Permanent Way but the job had yet to be done. I wasn't going to try moving them without her supervision.
Anyway last weekend I had a few hours spare and the weather proved fair so it seemed a good time to lay some temporary track on what will be the steam up area and see if my Owain still worked.I thought the R/C batteries may be flat, or something mechanical seized up. In fact she steamed perfectly. Such a well behaved loco.
With only 12 feet of track and two wagons to push around it wasn't very taxing for her.

Image

An enjoyable hour sitting in the sunshine. My wife, and even my mother, both had a turn 'on the footplate'.
Now I'm really fired up to get some more track down.
If the loco seems to be listing to port - it's an optical illusion. Camera was sitting on a brick which was on the sleeper that slopes back toward the wall.

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Dwayne
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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by Dwayne » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:25 am

Somehow I missed this little railway when first posted. Looking forward to progress reports once you've gotten the necessary permissions from the enviromental authority. :thumbright:

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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by ge_rik » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:23 am

Dwayne wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:25 am
Somehow I missed this little railway when first posted. Looking forward to progress reports once you've gotten the necessary permissions from the enviromental authority. :thumbright:
Me too, not sure why. Looks really interesting. The garden looks well established. Was it landscaped with a railway in mind or was the raised steam up area just lucky happenstance?

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IanC
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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by IanC » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:07 pm

A temporary line :thumbright: What a cracking idea. It will give me an excuse to test (play with) my loco and rolling stock whilst planning and measuring up.

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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by jim@NAL » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:52 pm

Great stuff keep us posted on more progress

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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by bazzer42 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:51 am

The sleeper, log roll and pea gravel has given you nice, tidy "permanent" way. Owain is a looker too!

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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by invicta280 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:40 pm

Meanwhile, back at the sharp end, there was a need to support the wall of the cutting. I could line it in brick, paverbrick, or various other material, but I want the line to be as unobtrusive as possible and blend in with the natural surroundings. The idea is to encourage creeper plants to colonise the cutting wall and give it an 'au naturel' appearance.
I knew that I would someday find a use for the net bags that the firewood arrives in, so I have cut them into strips and lined the cutting with them. There is no shortage of Mind your own business in this shaded section of the line but even if it agrees to grow on the near vertical cutting sides I don't reckon its root structure will prevent falls of soil onto the trackbed so I am on the lookout for a suitable creeping/ cascading plant which can use the netting to establish itself. My wife is a knowledgeable gardener so I'm sure she will come up with an idea, but if anyone who'se done this before has a plant in mind all suggestions are welcome.

Image

The upstanding brick marks the proposed start of a short tunnel (under a paving slab with potted plants on top) which should hopefully protect the track from some of the falling Hazelnuts!

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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by bazzer42 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:42 am

Looking at the stones in the background if you lined with stone or pavers would moss take over? Just a thought.

invicta280
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Re: The Cobtree Line

Post by invicta280 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:57 am

bazzer42 wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:42 am
Looking at the stones in the background if you lined with stone or pavers would moss take over? Just a thought.
Well spotted. Yes I have been thinking that myself but the moss you can see there is growing on bricks, and those bricks have been moved from where they were lying further under the shade of the hazel tree last winter. I'm watching to see if the moss survives in their present location. Meantime I will try to get some suitable plants embedded in the cutting wall, and will go with whatever thrives/looks right.

When the track is fixed down I will likely do as others have done, use yoghurt or sour cream spread around to encourage moss growth between the rails. Its a shady enough part of the line.

Right now, none of the type of plants in question would get much of a start as we haven't had rain for weeks. We have over 100 gals worth of water storage butts and they're now all empty. The pond is about 4 or 5 inches lower than normal.

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