A start

I looked at a plan to go around the raised veggie bed area. However getting across the front of it where it meets the lawn would mean a removable section of around 17 feet in length for wheel barrow access and the like. Secondly, getting it into the shed without falling foul of laundry on the washing line would be an issue. So I have had to rule that out. There needs to be access to the beehive too. The permanent way tracklayers will need to wear a bee suit when working in the vicinity of that.

Phase 1 in all honesty will probably end up as phase 1a, 1b and so on. The thought of having phases 1 to 8 was disheartening. I am only kidding myself I know but the art of kidology is amazing!

I need to look at the minimum radii in the garden where the loop would be and the space available to me. I have a formidable gardener to contend with! I have given her a track plan and challenged her to come up with a plant plan. Devious I know but it may work.

The garden is flat all around. I have done a quick survey at night with a laser level that you use on the house to put level lines for shelves and so on. I sat my drill clamped into a B+D workmate, levelled it, sat the laser on a piece of plywood with a screw though the centre and held it in the drill chuck and spun it slowly. Its an 18V cordless drill with a screwdriver setting so spun nice a slowly using an elastic band around the trigger to get a slow speed.Then ran around the garden with bamboo sticks and marked them where the laser shone on them.It works well and that light goes for ever. There is a gentle slope but nothing much. I had thought of a rockery but it would look silly. A pimple ona pancake unless it was a huge rockery. That is out. Refer to the point above.

I am hoping that planting will help 'hide' parts of the line so that the trains are never in view all the time from all the garden. I am hoping that as I progress ideas will pop into my head. Maybe a line of low buxus hedging in placesto great natural barriers and so on. I will see what the gardener of the household comes up with. I know she wants more fruits trees in the back part of the garden. The layout will mainly be british outline. However it will run past pomegranate bushes and lime and lemon trees. With a fig too. Dont remember seeing too many of them when travelling on the uk network.

I have had Lancashire Witch for 25years. She was bought as a birthday present from Hattons in Liverpool by my wife for our fifth wedding anniversary. She has sat in her box all that time. She has probably only ever run for an hour at the most. I think code 100 rail should be fine. Finescale....forget it. I will certainly try her out. She has to run. Even if it is only out and return on a long stretch. She is now sat on a table in the lounge. Every time I see her I get motivated to get out and do something. I have a little notebook full of stuff I have learned from this forum on construction, points, electrics and so on.

I plan to sort the shed out, build the fiddle yard and the back leg as far as the beehive to start with. That will give me something to operate and motivate me.

I have spent the day getting the layof the land. Using the trusted method of a bit of garden hose and two plastic bottles, duct tape and water the level of the intended track was marked around the place and also in the garden shed. This now gives me an idea of where to route the track and the height of the baseboard in the shed. It also allowed me to show my wife that her garden would not be 'ruined' by an ugly train track through her herbaceous borders. Construction is imminent. I hope. A short 10 day trip on a motorcycle to the North Island of New Zealand with a group of mates starts tomorrow. Then the first timber will be cut.

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Mark Dexter 2015