Large Scale Central

My homemade water column

Having finished the sand house for the Mik early this year I turned my attentions to something I have always wanted to build, a water column. Still feeling the Spirit of Mik I raided my plumbing tote and went to work. I based my column on the European design since all the lifts and levers of an American one posed a challenge I couldn’t get my head wrapped around. :upside_down_face:

I think most of the bits I used are obvious. The valve at the base is a LGB spoked wheel with the flange cut off. The red counter weight is a drawer pull. The “sock” at the end is a piece of heat shrink tubing. I left the out pipe loose so it can pivot. The train pulls up, the fireman uses the chain to yank the pipe into place and turns the valve.

When the Spring arrives I will find a good spot for this in the Main Yard and screw it down.


If you dumped a bag of 1/4 minus or limestone crusher fines on the track that entire scene would look totally prototypical to me and kinda reminds me of EBT and I don’t even like steam!

Well done Todd, I like the design.

I’ll bet YOU see blue smurfs and leprechauns in railroad yards all the time Rooster, don’t you? :innocent:


Yes Joe ! All the time :laughing:

Thanks guys.
I have tried aquarium gravel before but whenever it rained it would move around too much and it was more trouble than it was worth.

Yes the boss is Irish and the RR has many little blue guys that are employed by it but hey they work hard and they work cheap. :grin:

That will go great next to the sand house

Nice! I have been pondering something similar, thinking a pair could not only serve our locos but also brace the deck of our coaling station. I assume that is just some common piping from your hardware store?



Yes Eric. You can buy it all at your local hardware shop.
It is 1/2 pipe, a tee, a cap. The base is a mounting hanger that I removed the hanging part from and drilled a hole in the top to accept the pipe. The tough part was cutting the spout pipe at a 30 degree angle flipping the pipe over then sweating it together.

You can build it ! :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m wondering if you could use 1/2 pvc and glue it …if your not that handy with soldering. …


Get a torch and try it. Or an iron if you’re just into smaller pieces.

Todd @capecodtodd , I am going to add this to my list, though I may use Sean’s @smcgill idea and go with PVC!


Yes, do it and be sure to post some photos. Sweating pipes is easy but it gets tough when you have pieces close together because you run the risk of putting too much heat on the project and it loosens what you just did.

I am using 7mm gravel on my layout. I lay it down dry then spray it with a 50/50 mix external PVA and water plus a drop or 2 of dishwashing liquid. It has just had a test in the last couple of day, we had over 3 inches of rain in a 12 hour period and it has not moved.
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