It begins. After four seasons and many lessons learned, we’ve decided to revamp the layout. I’ve drawn up a wish list and the queen has given her stamp of approval (man I love that woman!). The list includes:
Larger diameter curves. Doesn’t everyone want this? I know I do! While some of the current curves are 15’ and 20’, there are still a bunch of narrower curves- 9 and 10.’ I bought a dual rail bender from Aristocraft before they went out of business. The plan is to re-bend the narrower curves into wider curves. I’ve never done this before, so I bet I’ll be fun to watch!
Better access. The current layout is only viewable from one side. It would be great if you could walk all the way around it. I’ve got the room. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this the first time! Live and learn.
No big pond! Water features are great and a big pond always seems like a great idea… until you’ve dug the hole, filled it with water and then realize you have one more thing to maintain (And I thought cleaning track was a pain).
Now, before you pond lovers get all worked up, I’m not anti-pond. As a matter of fact the pond on the current layout is my third pond. The first two (built before the layout) were koi ponds and then the fishless pond on my current layout. However, I’m ponded out. I think this time I’ll have a simple water feature of some sort, but no big lake at the end of it. The look and sound of running water is great, but algae, fish feeding, frogs, evil fish munching blue herons, filter cleaning, winterizing, etc… not so great. I’m thinking waterfall into small stream into sump with pump (that rhymed). We’ll see!
Raise the lower loop. Learned the hard way (is there any other way?). We currently have three loops. The lowest is too low and gets swamped out whenever there is heavy rain. Hey, isn’t that what doomed the Erie Lackawanna in the end?
The final item on the wish list… expansion. So, it turns out that I’ve got some extra track in the shop and it’s almost past it’s expiration date. I certainly don’t want it to go bad. Do you know how difficult it is to dispose of brass track?
So there you have it. That’s the plan. In order to accomplish this lofty list of luxuries I’ve already made some progress.
As luck would have it (bad luck, of course), the current layout is boxed in by the back fence and the back fence is blocked by a rather sick maple tree. To complicate matters, The fire pit is also in the way of my manifest destiny.
So, heres the deal… The sick tree is now fire wood, the fire pit has been moved to the other side of the yard (still a work in progress), and new corner posts (not visible in photo) and gate posts have been set for the fence expansion.
A view of the current disaster area:
The current railroad lies just beyond the (soon to be moved) fence (left side of photo, past green chairs).
The plan is to move the fence, finish the fire pit, pull up track, and haul in more dirt, before old man winter rears his ugly face, again. When/if spring ever arrives, next year, we’ll begin laying track.
The beatings will continue.