[LVLC] – Running trains in the garden

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 with No Comments

Hello friends of garden railroad log trains,

last weekend, we had a small family BBQ at my parents home and since my father started to reactivate our old garden railroad, I brought my Louise Valley Lumber Co. log trains to run some trains. After 4 years, this has been the first official trains on the loop part of the layout. My dad already rebuild the west side section. The east area will be done this summer. I run both Shays, the Bachmann with battery and sound, the Accucraft with live steam. Here were some photos and a short video. I hope you enjoy as I did =)


[BCRR] – New pedestal covers on my logging disconnects

Posted by Gerd on Sunday, 24 July 2016 with No Comments

A few days ago, I got a heavy parcel from the laser cutting company. Inside were new pedestal covers and coupler links for my railroad.

I laid out the new pedestal covers on the work table and painted them black. I didn’t care about dirt and dust while painting the parts, so the finish will be slightly of a worn out look so match the 8 years old disconnect log trucks.

The original parts were cnc-milled from hardboard and most of them were broken. So it was time to replace them by steel parts.

It took me somewhat over an hour to replace the parts on all 12 disconnect trucks. Once finished, I put them to the two storage boxes I made some years ago. The old parts were scrapped.

Now, the disconnects are also finished and it’s time to start the next project. This will feature 4 new freight cars (build from the old ones) with detailed trucks and frames…

Cheers, Gerd

[BCRR] – finishing riding car #2

Posted by Gerd on Friday, 22 July 2016 with No Comments

Work on riding car #2 continues – I pre-drilled the holes for the nail-rivets and started with the end sections. Once they were aligned and hold in place by two nails, I started to add the a nail to each hole. While the used nails were to long, I grinded them flush on the back side.

I bend the sheets around the corners and secured them with nails as well. Once the end sections were done, I added the side sheets, which overlap the end pieces. This creates the typical sheet joint.

Do you have an idea how many nails were used as rivets? Please leave a comment bellow….

Once the body was done, I installed the water tank and gave all a nice coat of black paint.

Last steps were lettering and details as usual. I also decided to add the new lettering to the riding car #1.

[BCRR] – Riding car #2

Posted by Gerd on Wednesday, 20 July 2016 with No Comments

Let’s continue work on riding car #2. I installed bolsters for the trucks to the underside of the chassis and a 4mm plywood on top as floor.

With the trucks mounted, I could determine the correct hight of the rear coupler. Once the chassis was done. I spend a coat of black paint before starting the super structure.

I decided to reuse the old body as a base, since the water tank fits inside and the driver’s seat on top. While the new car is a bit wider than the old one, I added a plywood wo each side. I used quarter round strips to make the corners and I added a storage compartment in the front section.

The wooden body will be sheeted with aluminium sheets. I cut them already to size and started to mark the rivet holes.

Anyone going to count them?

[BCRR] – riding cars

Posted by Gerd on Saturday, 16 July 2016 with No Comments

Since I redesigned my steam locos, I decided it’s time to spend some attention to the riding cars behind as well. Both riding cars are equipped with a water tank and are used to ride behind the locomotives to operate them. I originally designed them as logging-based equipment. I had to replace the trucks on the shorter “Water Car” some while ago and the wheelbase of the new trucks was a bit to long for the car. Since the other riding car had trucks with shorter wheelbase, I swapped the trucks between the cars and did some cosmetic restoration to the car body of #1.

By just changing the trucks, riding car #1, which usually goes along with the Shay, was ready and got out-shopped within one evening. I decide to keep the old lettering on the “logging-only” equipment. At least for the moment. The car body of riding car #2 got torn down for all the hard ware and screws. There were several reasons to build a new riding car. First of all, the frame of #2 broke one year ago and got only “fixed-to-roll”… And the block & fuel car design doesn’t match the new “lady in black”-Forney with a passenger train.

The new riding car will be shorter in length and use the longer-wheelbase-trucks. First time, I used a solid base board between the frame sills. This will make the frame very sturdy and mounting the trucks should be much easier. The wooden parts were glued & Screwed to the base board. All hardware is “second-hand” from the old riding car, the Forney (backside foot boards) and others. Where ever possible, I try to reuse parts to keep the costs down.

The new riding car will be designed as aux. water tender. The coupler will be installed, once the trucks were in place to determine the correct height. On such very short cars, the couplers can be mounted directly to the frame.

Will be continued.

[BCRR] – Finishing the log-bunks

Posted by Gerd on Monday, 11 July 2016 with No Comments

Good morning,

after a break of some days, I finished the log-bunks. As mentioned in the previous post, I added new spikes to the log-bunks from screws. Once the hight was adjusted, I cut off the screw-heads and grinded them flat.

I decided to paint the chains and hooks, since the bright steel-look looked terrible on a well used and worn our disconnect log truck. I pinned them to an empty card box and spray-painted them. Once the paint was dry, I put all parts into a box, added some sawdust and old screws and gave them a good shake. The result is a worn-out paint, which matches the look of the log cars hardware very nice.

Next would be to replace the old journal box legs on the log car trucks, but I’m still waiting for the ordered laser-cut parts. So I may start another car-project in between.

[BCRR] – Improving Log-Bunks

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 5 July 2016 with No Comments

As a small interim project, I started work on the disconnects by improving the log bunks. I used springs on the secure-chains which were to soft and over stretched very fast. So I ordered stronger springs and replaced the old ones.

The long chain section was also mounted directly to the log bunks which caused issues when the chain slipped off of an empty log car. So I installed hooks to easily attach and detach the chains. The chain locks made my dad for me some while ago and this shorter section is still mounted to the log bunks. Anyhow, I’ll remove the new hardware and spend some paint to blend them into the weathered look of the cars.

Another improvement is to replace the spikes, which prevents sliding loads. I used nails, which slipped down into under heavy load. So I grinded some thick screwed to a pointy tip and screwed them in from the under side. I also recut the grooves in the log bunk chucks to clear the new spikes.

Finally… eleven more to go…

[BCRR] – Caboose #51

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 30 June 2016 with No Comments

In the past days, I reworked the little 4-wheel caboose of my small railroad. First I show you a small detail I’ll add to all of my rolling stock. Some while ago, I got a bag of truss rod plates, modelled after a D&RG prototype. I’ll install them on all my cars since they look much better than the plain washers.

As you can see in the pics above, the coupler was mounted directly to the body, which caused some over hang in curves. Due to the new coupler height at all, I had to lower the coupled by 7mm and I decided to make them flexible.

I reworked the old coupler and welded a shaft to the back. I cut a grove to the end beam with a router by using templates. A new mounting plate is installed and the coupler can now pivot 10mm to both sides. Not shown here is a bow which holds the coupler on level. This design of the coupler will move them closer to the track center on curves.

Another detail I added were additional hand rails at the platforms. As on the coaches, I made them from 6mm steel rod with eye screws to hold them on the car body.

Finally, the caboose got the new lettering is now known as #51.

Next project will be the string of disconnect log cars…

BTW.: I finished the Shay as well with the new lubricator mechanism and she’s back in service as well.


[BCRR] – The Combine is also done

Posted by Gerd on Friday, 24 June 2016 with No Comments


during the past days, I finished the combine car as well, so both passenger cars are ready for first service on the new BCRR. I added some comparison photos below of the coach in its new style and the combine in the old design. I also realized, that the BCRR letters were out of line on one side of the coach, so I sanded them off and repainted them later.

The steps on the combine were the same as on the coach, so I do not go deeper into the details. Please, just check the previous post where I described the steps.

Finally, both cars are ready for passenger service along the Bear Creek. Let’s see which car will come next…


[BCRR] – Starting with the passenger cars

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 with No Comments


since the locos were finished so far, I started with the next projects by reworking the cars for passenger service. The To-Do’s were short : Change coupler height to 8cm above rail head, glue the step boards into place, small repairs as necessary and adding new lettering.

I placed the coach on a piece of track to determine the actual height of the platform and the coupler center. It shows, that the platform was 1cm to high above rail head and the same was true for the coupler. So, lowering the car body by 1cm would solve both issues at once. I removed the trucks, glued in the step boards.

To replace the broken parts on the trucks, which were made from plywood, I used the original templates I made during construction of them and made new pieces where necessary. Once the trucks were back in place, I checked the coupler height against and now it’s exact were it should be and the coach looks much better while sitting lower on the track.

At least I added the new lettering to the car body. First, I sanded off and over-painted the old lettering. To add the new letters, I used the same stencils as on the locos. I decided to use gold-paint this time which results in a typical old time look. And that’s it on the coach so far. Next I’ll do the same steps on the combine car.

Bye, Gerd