History of Our Garden Railway Trains
|Way back in 1989,
when we was living up near Broomfield, Colorado, we had a
swimming pool that was leaking reel bad, kinda like a boat that
was gonna sink, except that it was leaking out instead of in.
After a while of several years
where it got left with the cover on all summer and nobuddy cared
or even wanted to keep filling it with water, Gloria mentioned
to Jim that maybe it was time to jest fill it in.
|Before Gloria was through saying
that, Jim and I were both out there with our big sledge hammers, breaking up
the cement sidewalk that ran around the swimming pool.
That pitcher shows me resting after breaking the concrete.
This pitcher shows the pool after
we was all done smashing it up, waiting fer the big tractor to
come and fill it in with 3 semi dump trucks full of dirt.
|This is the big
tractor that filled in the pool. The only thing us guys
didn't like about it was that it said "CAT" on the arm
that lifts the big scoop.
|The pitcher above
shows a little bit of the Split Rock City business area at our
Garden railway in the back yard of our old house.
Split Rock City Railroad
Construction and Operational Information About the
built a tunnel fer the lecktrik train and installed it in back of
the pond, so now the train has a way to get behind the pond
without falling into the water and getting ruined.
started with some hoses to help figger out how the train tracks
are going to get around in the back yard without the trains
hitting each other, but then he needed the hoses back so he could
water the flowers, so now he is working with some wooden stakes
that he hammers into the dirt to show him where the train track is
going to go.
already figgered out that he needs a trestle to take 2 tracks from
by the pond to the hill on the other side of where the dirt pile
isn't very tall, so he sawed up a bunch of boards and nailed them
together to make them trestle holder things that ken do that, I
think they call them "Trestle Bents."
Jim made a fixture out of a piece of old funny looking plywood
that somebuddy made out of sawdust and glue, and he nailed some
other sticks down on it to hold the sticks he cut out of a lot of
scraps of old wood. That way he ken make all of those
trestle bents the same.
why they call them "Bents," cuz in the old days on the
regular railroads, them fellers jest made them by thinking about
what they should look like, then everybuddy made one that they
liked, then when they went to put together the big trestle fer the
train to go on, the bents was all different sizes, so they always
had to bend the other boards that held together each individual
bent, so then when they started building any trestles, everybuddy
jest natcherly knew that they didn't have to use no rulers or
levels, cuz the final construction guys would jest bend the boards
to fit, then use a lot of reel long nails.
The New Steam
I got my own Steam Shovel so I ken
help with the digging and not get in a construction accident, like
has happened in the past. I made sure to get the one that
has a remote control so I can be clear out of the way when the
dirt and rocks start flying.
You can never be too safe when constructing a Garden Railway in
your back yard.
There's no smoke coming out of it,
cuz it doesn't run on steam like the old ones that they used when
they built the Panama Canal did. That's cuz it's
"Environmentally Friendly," and runs on batteries.
I would prefer the one that runs on steam, but they're not
available anymore, and besides, they never did run with a remote
control. You have to keep putting more wood or coal in the
fire and adding water all the time cuz all steam engines leak a
lot of steam out of the gaskets and that's why they used to have
big water tanks along railroad tracks.
This powerful Steam Shovel has been
a big help in digging the holes for the supports for the bridge
holders, cuz Jim is too big to fit into the place where the hole
has to get dug, and this machine takes all the work out of it.
here for a closeup of my new invention
construction in this garden railway is expected is that of "Fearsome Gorge."
In order to provide crossing bridges for 3 layers of train tracks,
it required a very deep hole for the underpinnings of the tallest
They rest on a pair
of paver bricks, set into 2 inches of crusher fines and packed and
adjusted until everything was firm and solid and within 1/16"
of the final grade level. Cribbing and rocks were added to
further stabilize everything and make it safe fer them heavy
trains to eventually cross. Since some of my brothers and I
sometimes ride in the trains, I spent a little extra time double
first 2 pitchers show how easy it was fer me to sit in my outdoor
easy chair and run that powerful Steam Shovel with the remote
control, while still remaining out of harm's way to prevent
accidents. Then, by the use of a strong chain, I was able to
swing that heavy trestle bent down into the hole to check for
level and that the correct grade was established so the little
bridges that will be installed on top will sit level and the track
will be safe fer the train.
4th pitcher shows how easy it was to accomplish the final level of
the trestle bent, using the powerful Steam Shovel once again.
final 4 pitchers show how the excess dirt was easily moved using
the Steam Shovel to dig it, then turn around and drive it to a
big, long board that goes to Gloria's great big wheelbarrow, which
I filled up while sitting in my easy chair with the remote control
in my lap, and a big cup of iced tea right next to me.
even new batteries in my Powerful Steam Shovel will be enough to
get that big wheelbarrow up the hill to dump it, so Jim will jest
have to do that the next time he comes out into the yard...pretty
soon, I hope!
Album of "Fearsome Gorge" Construction
Excavating for Trestle Bent
Almost done with excavation
Using Steam Shovel as a crane
Final leveling of trestle bent
Removing excess dirt
Removing more excess dirt
Driving dirt to Wheelbarrow
Dumping into full wheelbarrow
|Rather than make up
an extensive history of Garden Railroads, I'll jest say that
there was people in the 19th century that ran toy trains
Then in the 1930's and 1940's
there was some old geezers around the country that made their
own lektrik trains that they ran outside on some special tracks
that they also had to make, cuz they weren't available from any
When Jim was a kid, some of the
neighbor kids put their tracks outside in the dirt and ran their
Lionel trains out in the yard, at least until they forgot to put
things away and it rained and the track got rusty and the trains
got mostly ruined from the rain water sitting in them fer about
a week until they decided to play with their trains again.
If this article is making you
want to put some tracks outside and run a lecktrik train out in
your own yard, you ken jest click below to get aholt of the
Garden Railway Magazine, cuz they are in the know fer all things
about outside trains:
If you want more information than
that magazine tells you, you ken jest type in "Garden
Railroads," or "G Scale Trains," to find more of
the millions of other websites about those big trains.
Are Garden Trains So BIG?
G Scale trains
are about 1/24th scale, so they're a lot bigger than the typical
HO scale most people are familiar with. You ken probably
run your HO trains out in the yard if you reely want to, but
you'll have to bring everything in so nothing gets ruined by
rain or other bad weather.
Most G Scale
items are weather resistant to a certain degree, and the track
is left out all the time, even in the winter.
Also, if your HO
train hits even a little pine needle, it'll probably get in a
Getting back to
the question, G Scale trains are big cuz you jest need big
trains in your garden, and you probably have a lot of space, so
why not use it?