Large Scale Central

Spring maintenance 2023

As seen (perhaps) is Sean’s Spring Thread, I started clean-up and ran a test train today and made note of quite a few items needing attention:

Indian Hill Bridge is the youngest of two welded plate girder bridges that I built using the same materials and adhesives, but for some reason it is having many more adhesive and paint failures. Perhaps it’s location exposes it to more weather and sunlight. It will need to come out since the bottom styrene cover has delaminated and the paint continues to fail. I don’t want to shut down the railroad to repair this main-line bridge, so I’m thinking a doubled 2x3 will support some the track in it’s absence. I’m thinking of replacing the styrene with .040" pre-painted aluminum attached with structural adhesive.

This one is easy; a big rock that sits next to the track keeps getting nudged by the lawn tractor. Today the 45 tonners cleared by less than .25". It needs to get dug out and shifted away from the track.

At Deep Cut, some of the rock face that was repaired a few years ago is failing again. I’m sure this is a drainage issue, but without doing major demolition, I’m going to just have to keep patching it. Clearance here was already very tight. Hopefully I can improve it a little.

At Walk there is a dry run and retaining pond with dry stack wall. This feature has needed lots of maintenance over the years. This year looks like a complete rebuild of the walls is needed.

We are returning to winter for 24 hours, so perhaps I can get started and take some pics on Sunday.


up here in NH i still have a major drift that needs to melt. it is almost ice in consistency. this next storm is supposed to be a mix at best here.

I have been getting more done inside thou.

Al P.

I need to prune some trees big and small around and in the layout…

Al - We had a most unusual winter. Many, many days with temps in the 50’s. Only two accumulating snowfalls that together totaled less than 10" and melted within 24 hours. Our lake usually freezes solid for at least a few weeks, but this year with the exception of shallow areas, nothing at all. That still doesn’t mean my ladder supported track didn’t get it’s normal lift from frost heave. Most of that pushes back down easily if you get to it before spring rains silt in the void.

Sean - Trees are a cause of concern here as of late. A few winters ago I lost all but two well established Dwarf Alberta Spruces. The last few years I have been fighting a loosing battle with the Boxwood fungus. A huge one, that has been here since before we moved in over 30 years ago, looks like it has finally succumb. Several smaller ones will end up with next to no leaves after I cut away the bad ones. And two small Arborvitaes that I planted two years ago didn’t make it through the winter :frowning:

Most of the succulents that I brought from Ken’s last spring didn’t make it either. I even brought some inside, but somehow managed to kill most of those too.

Maybe I should follow the lead of the guys that do gardens in the desert and make my own fake plants!

My boys decided it would be fun to climb up on Dad elevated railroad and start playing in the sand… Mom caught them and the middle one ran down the tracks…

Broke a truck off my snow plow as well.

So yah Dad wasn’t happy. Get to redo this section of the layout for the 3rd or 4th time. This part of the layout has given me the most trouble over the years as it’s in direct sun all day and has the most rail expansion/contraction.

Point of reference photo…

The middle boy ran down this section to the cedar tree. Right be the cedar tree is a duck under for me so it’s probably a good 4-5’ high on about a 6"-8" wide shelf…:roll_eyes:

The weather today, sunny, low 60’s and breezy, was perfect for starting to get the RR back in shape. After digging two years worth of debris out of the front garden I addressed some rock fall issues in Deep Cut and on the NE wye tail I moved a big rock back to gain about 3" of clearance. There are still two areas of very tight clearance that should be addressed, but I turned my attention to a retaining pond with a dry stack wall that has partially collapsed…

It took quite a while to carefully remove the fallen rock and then sift through several gallons of silt to remove the gravel that was the pit bottom…

I took a break for a late lunch then came back to finish the dry stack wall before cocktail time…

I still need to wash the gravel and place it back in the pit, but that will wait until outdoor water is on.

This dry pond sits in the middle of my Rust Garden. I’d love to get it cleaned back up and looking similar to when it was fresh in 2007…