[Garden Railroad] Heavy earthworks

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 24 April 2018 with No Comments


today I’ve no news from my model trains, but an important update out of the backyard. A few month ago, we torn down the old side structure in the back yard. To the north side of the structure lies another 75m² section of our garden, which was heavily crowded by stinging nettles as well as building rubble and timber from the former owners.

In the past month, we cleared this section of the garden from junk and rubble as good as we can. Now it was time to get rid of the stinging nettles. We had a pile of sandstone to brace the decent down to the lower garden. The remaining stones got stored for future use in the garden. We also got some more topsoil from our neighbour, which was digging some foundations. Step by step, we could plain the area and prepare everything for the use of heavy equipment.

The garden tiller was a great help. We collected more than 6 wheel barrows of stones and rumble as well as 6 more with weeds and roots. And there’s still a lot of them in the ground. At least, I planed the garden and sowed lawn-seed. Hopefully they will turn the upper garden into a nice meadow within the next weeks.

And if you’re wondering what this report has common with my logging railroads – well the right portion of the upper garden will become home of loading areas of my future garden-logging-railroad. But this will take some more month before I can start. But a heavy piece of preparation work is done.

Regards, Gerd

Vacation break and some steam in the garden

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 17 April 2018 with 2 Comments


since we were on vacation last week, I have no new progress to show this week. But there’s a short movie I made 1.5 weeks ago when we were at my parents garden railroad. This was the first time for my Resita with log train to run on a larger layout with real grades (3.5%) and a heavy load.

Since time was short in front of our holidays, the comments are in German only in this video. Feel free to contact me in case of questions.

Bye, Gerd

The Waldbahner Gazette #1 – “Galgenberg Waldbahn”

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 10 April 2018 with 2 Comments

Hello friends of logging and forestry railroading and welcome to a new category here on my Blog.

The “Waldbahn Gazette” will show you reports from other model railroaders, which are modelling logging railroads or related stuff. I got this idea while I talked to some new model railroaders, which started to build their own layout, based on my ideas. It seems that my Hon30 layout has inspired dozens of model railroaders to create something similar.

If you’re working on a logging railroad as well and you like to show/present your work here on my blog, feel free to send me a mail. Depending on the input, this could become a monthly post here on the Blog.

The opener in issue #1 will be the “Galgenberg Waldbahn” (gallows hill logging railroad), build by Hagen. I found this new layout at the forum www.schmalspur-modell.at. He spent some effort into planing first, and even did 3D-plans for the first modules. I really like the drilling template made from aluminium.


Die Galgenberg Waldbahn

Thematic background of this Hon30 logging railroad is an old std. gauge line between Elsenfeld and Heimbuchenthal in Germany. This railroad opened service in 1910 and was abandoned in 1978, while the passenger service had ended 10 years before. The name “Galgenberg Waldbahn” comes from the nearby hill at the south-west of the Spessart mountains. The narrow gauge railroad is freelanced and starts in Schippach, where the railroad connected to the std.gauge railroad. Regular freight on the line was timber from the woods to some sawmills along the Elsava river. There were also some mines connected to the railroad, which got served with timber. Another freight was clay to make pencil-lead. There was also some passenger service on the forestry railroad to connect the small villages in the Spessart mountains with the larger cities.

[CFF] Flatcar rebuild… or is it a new construction?

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 3 April 2018 with 1 Comment

Another week is over  and here’s the report on my flat cars as announced.

These two cars are left over form my very first logging railroad and for some nostalgica, I was looking to use them on the new railroad as well. Since the trucks got modernized together with the other log cars I showed last week, I was now looking at the car frames with mixed feelings…

When I build these cars nearly 20 years ago, I had totally different thoughts in model making. The length was determind by simple 1/3 of a 1 meter U-channel and the construction was very simple and crude. They turned out to be to wide as well and at least they doesn’t match my todays style and philosophie.

So I removed the wooden planks, sandblasted the frames and took the whole frames appart with the tourch.

In my scrap-box, I found another section of the same brass-channel I used for the long sills. So I was able to add some more length to the car body and get it closer to the prototypical length. The new frames are also a bit narrower , so the finished cars are looking much longer as the old ones, since the proportions are closer to the protoype.

Once the basic frame was done with all the center sills and cross members, I adde the stake pockets from square-pipe and truss rods from brass. What a difference between the two versions. Once the first frame was done, I continued with the second one.

The photo beside shows the cars with the first load. Next is to add paint and weathering. I’m not sure yet about deck planks. Many of such cars were used without planks, but at Campul Cetatii, the flatcars are mostly used to haul pulpwood, so all had deck planks on top.

Bye, Gerd

[CFF] Bulk production of log car trucks

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 27 March 2018 with 1 Comment

Welcome back to part to on the Romanian log cars.

Last week, I should you the pre-production sample and now I’m ready for the bulk production. The first series includes 8 pairs, which makes 16 single trucks. To make live easier, I built all parts first, before I later go for the assembling.

I started with painting the white 3D-prints black. On parts I ordered later (like the journal boxes) I ordered them already black painted, which saves time. The log bunks are also 3D-printed. I just add nails upright to hold the log load in place and cnc-milled stakes. The handrail and brake spindle are soldered from brass and steel.

The finished parts were collected for single pairs first, later in stages of building steps, which was much easier to overlook. On a saturday afternoon, I started the final assembly of the trucks, which was done within 4 hours.

Where ever it’s possible, I use jigs and templates to make work easier. I started with assembling the frame segments together with the journal boxes and wheelsets in place. The couplers were pre-assembled two and screwed in place to finish the basic chassis.

The log bunks got painted in the meantime and are now ready for installation. The stakes can be unlocked and folded down to load or unload logs as on the prototype. Once the wooden boards are glued in place, I secured them small brass nails and added the handrail with brake spindle.

Here’s the full fleet of cars. Five pairs are already equipped with log bunks, the 6th set of bunks is on backorder. Two pair of trucks will be used on the flatcars, which I’ll show you next week.

Bye, Gerd

[CFF] Log cars for the Resita – the design phase

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 20 March 2018 with 1 Comment


after my short intermezzo with Hon30, I’m right back on the garden railroad, since the new season will start soon and my Resita needs some rolling stock. In the video of the Resita from last december, there are already some cars shown and in the following posts, I like to show you the details and how I made them.

From my first G-scale logging railroad, I still had two flatcars and a workshop car left, which should become a second live on my CFF line behind the Resita.

When I build these cars many years ago, I used LGB tipper car frames, the one with oval shape. While I was waiting of the parts to build the Resita, I collected several of these frames at eBay as a start for new rolling stock, built-in the same manner. But finally, I switched my ideas to more realistic and detailed rolling stock, as my Resita started to become a more detailed model as well.

From my skeleton-logcar-rebuild, I still had several 26mm diam. all-metal wheelsets left, which would fit well under some Romanian style logging disconnects. So I started some designing on the PC. By shortening the frames and adding new couplers and journal boxes, the frames can be rebuilt into nice logging trucks. Not 100% accurate, but very plausible and at least strong and sturdy for rough use on a garden railroad.

First of all, I designed a new coupler. This is basically a smaller version of the standard LGB-loop, combined with a link&pin buffer above. It’s especially designed to fit the oval-frame-chassis and just drop into the original coupler pocket. The hook and spring are also LGB parts. The buffer above the loop hides most of it and the result is nice looking and 100% LGB compatible coupler, which is great for use on the garden railroad.

Next I spend some attention to the frames. I cut off the original bearings and shortened the frame at one end for approx. 11mm. The new journal boxes are 3D-printed as well as the couplers are. I use a drilling jig (3D-print) to bore the holes for the new journal boxes, which came in pairs. By adding brass plates, the frame segments are screwed together and become very strong again.

And here we have the “pre-production” version of the log cars to come. You can see the difference between the original frame and the rebuilded one below. The planks will be cut from real wood and the handrail and brake spindle are added from brass and steel.

Maybe it would be easier to build whole new cars, but as I already have many of the oval-frames and couplers on stock, I’ll keep on this method/type. Overall, I plan to build 24-28 single trucks, which will be used in pairs, not only for disconnect log cars, also as trucks for flat or box cars.

Next week, I’ll tell you more about the mass production.


[WBE] Logging railroading convinced again

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 13 March 2018 with 9 Comments

Hello folks,

last weekend, I exhibited my Hon30 forestry railroad layout in Sinsheim/Germany together with the “copied” layout build by Bernd. The new sawmill-module acts as interchange between our layouts and it was the first time, that we combined both together for an eight meters long layout.

We didn’t have any test-setup before, but everything matched together perfectly. It was the first exhibition for Bernd, so he was very excited. But hi did great, even during the official photo-shot.

The interest in our layout was very well. Many knew the layout from the internet, others saw them for the first time and got caught by a totally different concept of model railroading.

As in the last years, the layout was shown in the competition of private home layouts, sponsored and organized by the Miba-magazine. All nine layouts got voted by a jury, composed of model train experts. Despite the high quality of other layouts, the operation, joy and flexibility of our layout concept convinced the jury again. Finally we got honored with 1st place.

Motivated by our success, we’re full of new ideas for the next event.

Regards, Gerd

[WBE] The new module is done

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 6 March 2018 with 9 Comments

Hello folks,

just in time for the model train show starting on Friday, the new module got finished. I added the backdrop and some small details. I’m very pleased with the result, which turned out better than expected.

I’ll build a transport-crate for the new module this week and the whole layout will travel to Sinsheim (Germany) Friday morning. It would be nice to meet one or the other reader of my blog in person 😉

Cheers, Gerd

[WBE] detail work and lots of boards…

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 27 February 2018 with 5 Comments

Well, the most work is done…

Since I got the landscape and flora done last week, I just finished the last huge step, detailing the sawmill-area. I also printed the name plate, which is shown in German here. There’s also an English version printed.

The stacks of boards and timbers are made from balsa wood and are glued board-by-board.

At least, there are some final touches necessary here and there as well as the backdrop. So the module will be ready for the show next week in Sinsheim/Germany 😉


[WBE] Weir, trees and grasses…

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 20 February 2018 with 6 Comments


the last week, I’ve build the weir for the water-wheel and added it to the canal. Since the time is running by very quick, I directly planted the trees to get the progress continue.

The next evening, I started with the bushes and grasses. It took some time to get the whole layout covered, but once I’m in the mood, it’s a relaxing and enjoyable work.

As on my other modules, I uses several foliage and grasses made by Woodland and Busch. So the new module matches perfectly to the rest of the layout.

Regards, Gerd