Large Scale Central

Build Log, Babs River Railway

I am contemplating building a suitable foot bridge to keep feet off the tracks, but that will detract from the look of the area, so maaybe just some steps and a concrete spot where walking on the tracks will do no harm. Still running diffferent ideas around. We shall see what idea sticks. The area in the “plan” is the narrowest spot on the RR so it is the best spot for people to cross there, just have to work out the details. As you can see I have plenty of time before that needs to be addressed… I noticed Diesel Dude, John, Louand David are coming, but have not said when to order the fill dirt

I am? Am I?

I like my steak medium, and my iced tea unsweetened.

So Pete, which way does the Babs river run- towards the patio or away from the patio?


yes, from the north side of the mountain and then to the patio. I keep thinking about a “pondless basin” at the patio, with a waterfall off into the basin. I need to work out how to waterproof the backside of the falls, and if this area is a prime viewing area, which I hope with the bridges you can see from there, making a pondless basin there poses a lot of problems, specifically how to have it there and keep someone from stepping into it and breaking an ankle. Large sago plants probably have roots into that area slso which will not help with digging the basin.

Hmmmmm I have not thought about it going the opposite way before, but it might be a bigger,longer feature If I send it off the mountain and then to the north west. I shall look at things differnetly tomorrow and see if Dieseldude valley needs a river running through it… hurry with your thread so I can copy it get inspiration from your work.

I was originally going to do a pondless water feature for the Iron Island as well, but I caved and put in a small pond at the bottom of the river. If nothing else, it might be another place to add some scenery.

I was looking at your sketch and thought that if you placed the top (mountain) part of the water feature along the north wall or in the north west corner, you could more easily view it from the patio, the viewing area, and the pool. The bottom pond could be located at the viewing area, or you could extent it all the way to the patio. Of course, I’m just looking at a sketch. Things may look different in real life. If you move the water feature from its current location, you could place your access steps from the patio to the viewing area there. As for the big heavy rock in the viewing area, maybe you could incorporate it into the steps leading down into the viewing area. Place it next to the steps, throw in a plant or two around it, and tell everyone that you meant to do it. Borrowed scenery.

Dieseldude Valley, huh. It’s got a nice ring to it. You’re a visionary.


while working on layout last weekend the Boss came out with a glass of water, sat down and watched me work. I was discussing things with her about needing another pallet of blocks when she we decided that by knocking off 1 layerfrom 4 to 3 rows , we could save $$$ the extra pallet cost, plus maybe some of the 40+tons of dirt needed. So with new work orderin hand and a sip of her "water"things begin to take shape

Looking from the north the layout was to end where the red rake is leaning against the wall, but after counting the # of blocks on hand I had enough to make my rail yard which you can see has been lined out with blocks. it winds up as about 20 feet long by3 ft wide, more than enough for 4 tracks and room for some type of engine facility. The plastic shed is going to be insulated with 1 to 2" foam sheets in hopes that it will be cool enough for RR cars to be housed there. The interior wall has not been brought down to the new height.

On the right you can see 1 of the 2 oleanders have been removed, but the second one is close to my Ficus tree and the roots are all over the place and giving me fits trying to remove it without killing or injuring the tree I want to keep. Me, Spectracide and my Sawzall will be giving it a go this weekend, if I get a chance.

I leave cars out year round, inside my wooden car barn and there hasn’t been one snitch of heat related damage. Now critters getting in and eating the details, that’s a different tale!

Well a productive Saturday on the RR, Finally, after working on it for a month or so I got the second oleander stump out of the ground. Now I see why Cal Trans used to use them as center dividers on freeways, they are very VERY stubborn, I have seen vehicle burn up on them, everything goes black then about a month later they are growing again

This had been doused with Round Up and Spectracide a lot . As you can see it was close to a large tree and I was worrying about cutting roots to it and although I did I am hoping no major damage to it will happen. White line in the dirt is the sprinkler system line, also a worry while digging it out.

from the far south wall, looking north. this will be the location of my yard, 3feet wide so it should accomodate 4 tracks. As you can see almost everything is down to the 3 row level and fairly soon we should be ready for dirt.

This shot is from the former home of the oleander looking to the east, the interior viewing area in almost in its final state. Sharp eyes will notice that I moved the boulder to the right area of the layout. Now all that is need is the landscape fabric laid down and the gravel/rocks put in the walking area. I will have to move some blocks to get the wheelbarrow in to dump the rocks, but that is minor comapred to all the shoveling that will be done in the coming months. I got the chiropractors number on speed dial, and I think the wife also has EMT’s on standby

Go to BJ’s/ Cosco and get some Ibuprofen , bandages, (blisters ) and your favorite beverage, you do not want to get dehydrated…

Edited because : Oh Ya looks great…(

Ya feel bad saying something that people probably already know, but get some good gloves to wear while shoveling, save damage to skin on hands.
Hey, get some railroad style gloves and you can pretend to be the fireman shoveling coal! (

Well some backwards progress will be happening, living in Arizona the Air Conditioning unit is a very, very needed piece of machinery and ours is on the right side of this picture. We have been in this home since it was built in 1996, and on this block we are one of the last people to still have the orginal unit. Well we are having it replaced next weekend and the A/C guy has asked if we can move the blocks from the patio to the unit for them to more easily move the new unit into place. So a little de-construction this weekend for the job, and then if it all works out next weekend we will be shoveling and moving fill dirt

edited because the spelling police will look

Oh boy, sounds like “fun”

Sounds like you need to send the AC folks a bill for making their job “easy”. What would they have done if that was a permanent wall? Those units are not that heavy. Sorry, didn’t mean to rant. Layout area is starting to take shape.

Is it done yet? (

Well a 40,400 lb present was dropped off in the front driveway yesterday afternoon, I made 12 wheelbarrow trips to the back and didnt even look like I put a dent in the pile.

This is after about 3, the size of that area is looking bigger and bigger all the time

So today after A/C guys left around 11 after installing new A/C unit I hit the pile hard, after about 27 trips later my son in law and 10 or 11yr old grandson, ( cant remember now, He is in 5th grade) came and they banged out 28 trips in about 1/3rd the time I did.

so here is the north east side of the RR, there will be a large mountain with 2 main lines and a 10’ diameter reverse loop there, see beginning photo ffor reference. Looking like most of this pile of dirt is going to wind up here !

Sunlight kind of washed out that view, will try again in a bit to get better picture.

Bottom is the yard facility area, south west side of the house, that is 4 wheelbarrow loads , not packed down yet either, Hope to get somne more done on Monday before Work calls me off to spend the next 6 or 7 days away. should give me time to rest up

New and better picture of the NE side of the RR, I think the count is 48 wheelbarrow loads dumped there so far!

Is it done yet?

For the day , and probably for about a week, it is!.

I would have loved to rent a small skid steer to move all the dirt, but at the corner of the hous by the gate there is a hose bib that juts out and the gas meter. The hose bib would be small potatoes compared to having a visit from fire department, S. W Gas and other places if I accidently whacked the gas meter.

John Caughey said:

Is it done yet?

Just showing we care.

Boy, I’m tired just seeing you move all that dirt with a wheel barrow. Starting to take shape.