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 Navvies at Work on the S&CGR

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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:12 pm

This weekend I too have been a bit busy...

After a bit of inspiration from visiting the open day at Ryde last weekend, it occurred to me that the bit of my line where it runs along at the foot of the raised pond looks a bit stark - the crumbling brickwork is not a particularly beautiful sight anyway. So I am having a bit of a think as to how that ought to look. Firstly though, another little annoyance had to be taken care of. There is an R2 curve part way along this stretch, and it never looked right - so it had to go:



I replaced it with a smoother, indeed a transition curve made up of Aristocraft(?) track - I think that's who makes it, it's the same section as LGB but the sleepers are a darker colour and there a are little screws in the fish-plates. Anyway, you can hopefully see the difference - the bit I cut out is perched precariously on top of the lumps of Cotswold stone, adjacent to where the new stretch of line is in situ.

The celcon blocks are up against the pond wall to gauge how much room I have for bogie coaches etc to pass freely. They will eventually be my rock face, once they have been suitably hacked about, gouged, and generally maltreated to as to form a hopefully rocky looking surface, on to which I shall apply some mortar. Then I shall invoke the blessing of Madame Nature, who will hopefully extract her digit and get it nicely weathered and greenery-strewn for me.

The other bit of work I did this weekend, is to cure another little headache of mine: the rather aggressive gradient that is at the back of my house and takes the line from ground level, up to the Chipside station area, which is a rise in altitude of about 11 inches over about 15 feet. Yes, that's a 1 in 15 gradient! Not surprising then that there have been several recorded mishaps involving live steamers, negotiating that coming downhill. So I have decided to make it a bit shallower, by raising the height of the track at the point where it crosses the path to begin its ascent. Like this, in fact:



I've laid a bed of ordinary (indeed, recycled) house-bricks to carry the track across the path.The path itself will then be built up using the same style of block paving to make it blend in a bit better. You can possibly see that I have made a start on this too. The end result should be that the gradient becomes much longer (it will actually start to climb very soon after exiting the tunnel) but at a much shallower attack. It will be looking nearer 1 in 30 by the time I'm done. As an acid test, my little tramlok, which normally struggles with 4 modest open wagons of the 'bedframe' variety, is able to cheerfully haul twice that number up the newly reduced incline, with little or no wheel-slip (and this loco has no traction tyre on it either)

How it's all going to look once I'm done, who knows. But I guess we'll find out soon enough!

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:37 am

Nice work Clive. Its a classic example of how even well established lines can be improved. Now i wonder what Mr Hibbs has in mind for his line?

Mikey
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:59 am

That's looks so much better already.

Normally one does these gradient levelling woks before the arrival of another steam engine.

Could that be true? Laughing
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:20 am

Interesting notion, but sadly no... I have been mulling over what to go for, but also at the back of my mind (but striding purposefully towards the front with every passing day) is the impending debt mountain I am about to take on... It occurred to me at one point yesterday that I am trying to find things like this to do that (a) don't need a huge amount of money, and (b) keep my mind off other things

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:26 pm

Navvies out in force again this weekend - a beautiful, warm one weather-wise.

Some more progress on the path crossing:



And a bit of Celcon-carving, also:


_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:51 am

A bit more progress this weekend - one half of the crossing incline is now complete...



On account of I am back to being one of the great unwashed (hopefully for only a short time, but one never knows) I may get around to making further progress - however towards the end of the week, an interesting and hopefully enjoyable (and even more hopefully, expensive!) interlude beckons courtesy of the W&L Gala and Garden Railway Show.

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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French Chuffed



Location : Droitwich UK

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:00 pm

Sorry to hear of your unwashed status, but the railway is benifiting and looking good Clive. That reminds me I must get some thermolite Blocks. (Do they do them in France anyone) if so what the devil are they called?
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:25 pm

That's blending in nicely.

I must say that I was very impressed on seeing your line in reality.
Mostly for the purposeful use of space around the edge of a relatively small but pleasant surburban type garden.

A pity about the rain but Maria makes good tea plus I had a nice meal thank-you, and Steven was great even if I was ushered ceremoniously out of the door on leaving. Laughing

If had to rebuild my line somewhere else...... Shocked I would consider something like you have done or a simple large loop like Geoff's.

Peter, I believe the lightweight thermalite type blocks are called 'Syporex' here.
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:17 pm

Well it was really great to have you visit us Carl, thanks for coming over. Typical, though, that the rain should delay its arrival until very soon after yours Mad Pick a drier day next time!

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk


Last edited by clive_t on Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Paul Stainz Holt



Location : North Wales

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:25 pm

Clive
Are you going to fill the gaps in and around the rails of your crossing - like a level crossing ?

_________________
Excellent Austrian narrow gauge in North Wales.

Website http://linzgstadtbahn.webs.com/
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:05 pm

Yes that's the plan - however, I am going to leave that 'til last, as I still have some building works to do (including a viaduct on the stretch that continues on up the slope from where these blocks are being laid) that will involve lifting the tracks temporarily

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:19 pm

In common with the 1:1 line 100 yards from my house, today was a day for engineering works - as mentioned above, I am in the process of sticking in a new viaduct from the path level crossing, up the now shallower incline to continue on at the higher level.

Here's how it looked this morning, with the length of track taken up exposing the somewhat 'chaotic' support infrastructure, in the form of my patented 'sticks, bricks and flowerpots' prototyping system Shocked :



Having sawn the blocks to the appropriate size, by lunchtime today it looked like this:



That's a whole lot more stable, even with the blocks not yet cemented in. Next to do with these is to cut arches out of them... not looking forward to that, to be honest.

However, the day was not done, I still had time to make a start cementing in the celcon blocks that are going to form part of the 'rock face' past which my line will ultimately meander:



All in all, a good day's graft I think. With some decent weather tomorrow, I might even make some more progress Cool

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:26 am

blimey i certainly dont envy you cutting those arches Clive!

Mikey
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:22 pm

Well, maybe i'm overstating the difficulty with doing that - basically it'll be the same technique as i've used before:

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk/build_journal_ssv.htm

Tedious as there are 6 of them to do (as before) but not overly difficult

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:20 pm

A bit more progress today, during the brief spells between showers and 50mph gusts of wind:



Also evident in the photo is my continuing the inclined track bed down towards the tunnel entrance, using off-cuts of the Celcons that were left from yesterday's viaduct-building activity. Well they fit, and because of that 'equal and opposite triangles' law from my school days, the angle of gradient is absolutely as it should be. Ahh, who would have thought those boring geometry lessons in Maths would come in useful 10 years later! Cool ...... OK, 32 years later then, thank you. Mad

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:58 pm

Bit more progress today, but by mid afternoon the rain became sufficiently heavy to call a halt.



Looking at the same stage but at more-or-less track level, you can hopefully visualise the look I am after:



No more progress on this 'til next week now, as tomorrow we are setting off for a little jaunt to North(?) Wales...

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:43 pm

You're gonna have to do a figure climbing that rockface Clive.

Mikey
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:58 pm

Well funnily enough, I had a sort of an idea like that one; I was going to have an observation platform with some joe taking pics of the trains etc... but a rock-climber, well that could be an interesting little vignette! Actually, with the rain we've had today, I think somewhere at the base of the cliff there is room for a canoeist as well!

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:22 pm

Evening all

More progress over the last couple of days. The wall is almost completely clad with lumps of Celcon:



Here's a close-up of the near end of the gulley, showing my attempts at 'stratifying' (ooh-err!) the rock-face, using a selection of gardening implements:



This is not the finished article - I was using this as an opportunity to experiment with different ways of making the rock-face look more natural. Eventually this will all be rendered, and then the cracks and strata effects will be applied to the render.

I did make some modest progress on this today, but I had covered the whole lot up as protection from the elements before I realised I hadn't photographed it, so that will have to wait until tomorrow...

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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Paul Stainz Holt



Location : North Wales

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:45 pm

The canyon is looking great Clive

_________________
Excellent Austrian narrow gauge in North Wales.

Website http://linzgstadtbahn.webs.com/
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:42 pm

Cheers Paul! Owing to a pleasantly warm, if a tad breezy day, I made some further progress in the rendering phase of this job, so that it now looks like this:



As you can see, still a bit of a way to go! But we will get there. Here's a close-up:



You can hopefully make out the shallow ditch at the side, between the rock face and the track bed. That's been 'engineered' to have a shallow fall to it, which should allow any surface runoff water from the rock face to be carried away down the slope. Almost at the bottom of the incline there is a shallow culvert under the track which will hopefully allow the water to pass onto the garden so avoiding any unpleasantness with flooding! Also, I am hoping that some moss or similar will find that place to its liking, since it will be damp most of the time and almost permanently shaded from direct sunlight.

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:37 pm

Another imaginative and enterprising idea that's gone in my book.
I thought at first you had bought some expensive granite rock pieces then I read further.

If only I'd thought of that 5 years ago. scratch
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:34 pm

Thanks Carl. The real stones, that will form the opposite side of the gully, are Cotswold stone lumps from HomeBase or whatever they're called these days. 3.39 each if you buy 6 or more - which I have done! Pays to dig deep in the bin where they hold this stuff, as the bigger lumps tend to be at the bottom of the pile. Same price, regardless of how big the lump is - result Cool

Anyway, more progress today in another warm sunny day on the South Coast of England:



You can sort of see the subtle variations in colouring where I have had to mix different batches to do another lot, also the stuff still has a lot of drying out to do. Mrs Nature should even those differences out in due course, I am thinking.

Same stage from the other direction:


OK, another gratuitous track-level shot:


Had a train running today for the first time in a long time, and it seems that since I have rail-clamped the track sections on the lower part of the gradient, through the gulley, the electrical continuity, and thereby the performance of the train round the entire circuit, has improved enormously. So much so, that a warning notice has had to be planted for any tortoises that might be thinking of dawdling about at the crossing:

One of the many nick-nacks I bought at Llanfair!

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:29 pm

Over this weekend I managed to complete the track crossing - but like a numpty, forgot to take a pic of it. However, a bit more progress on the rock face today which did get photographed:



And for a change, I also include a track-level shot of something negotiating its way past all the debris - the Spreewald with a short goods service:


_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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GWhizz



Location : Charente, France

PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:16 am

Given your figure modelling skills Clive, will the top be like Mount Rushmore, but featuring Garden Railway dieties rather than US Presidents?

Seriously though - coming on a treat!

_________________
Brian
Brian
also blogging at
www.frenchgardenrailways.com
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PostSubject: Re: Navvies at Work on the S&CGR   Today at 12:14 am

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