The first railway was constructed in the mid 1980’s after the purchase of a Mamod locomotive. The garden was approx 30 yards long and 10 yards wide. In the beginning it was built with Peco track with studs in the centre of the sleepers, and a sprung skate would pick up current from these studs, and the wheels picked current from the other pole of 3 volt battery connected to a double throw centre of switch. The power picked up from the studs and track were sent to a servo motor mounted on the loco which drove the reversing valve. This gave me a cheap form of remote control. The railway was eventually closed and dismantled in 2002 when we moved house.
The new garden was huge in comparison. From 300 sq yards at the old house, we now had 2000 sq yards ! Quite a difference !
Now one would imagine that planning a new garden railway in such an area would be easy. Well I can assure you, IT ISN’T ! With such a large area, the first problem was...where to start. Added to this, the highest part of the garden was at the top right hand corner. It then sloped to all sides, right down to the house. In some places it sloped more than in other areas. From the middle to the top, the ground rose by approx 1 metre for every 8 metres. Fine if one is building the Darjeeling Railway, but I hadn’t planned on that. It was tempting though ! Lots of track layout sketches were produced with many possibilities explored.
I had hoped to start the railway on the left hand side of the garden, and zig zag the track up to the top left hand side, and then work up to the top right hand corner of the garden. That hasn’t happened yet ! The “master plan” has been changed ! Work on the new railway began in the summer of 2004, and continued in March and April 2005. It is still under construction at the time of writing (May 24th 2008). 3 phases of the 4 or 5 phases have had track completed.......Principal stations on the line are Welton, Tumbly Down and Puffin Bay..hence the WTD&PBR, which has now become the TDR (Tumbly Down Railway. More details can be found on the "TDR” page.
Nils Kristian's Roundhouse "Lady Anne" entering the station on the original railway.
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