|A test train, ready to run over the newest section of track, not yet ballasted.|
|A test train runs down the new track (not yet ballasted) over the reverse curves.|
In the first picture above, the continuing trackbed is just visible, protected from the rain by green plastic sheeting and wooden offcuts. To the left of the loco, and to the left of the first rain sheet, two concrete rectangles are visible on the ground. These are the bases for the back legs of a garden seat (temporarily removed during tracklaying), under which the track will run. This, along with the "kink" in our garden boundary at this point, is the reason for the fairly complex series of reverse curves in the area.
I now only have another 9' of track to lay to reach the lawn, which marks the end of permanent trackwork at this end of the line. From here, there will ultimately be a removable section across the lawn, then the permanent trackbed will continue up the other side of the garden to complete a circuit.
BREAKING NEWS 15/7/12: A dry, sunny day provided the opportunity to lay the final 9' of track to the lawn, adjust the cant (superelevation), and run a test loco over it. I still have to solder the electrical connections on this section, and ballast all of the latest 18' of track. I can then either do the reballasting necessary on Quarry Bank, or continue work on the extension at the other end of the line. Or both. I just need some dry weather.
While I was working between rain-showers on the new track, the previously completed trackwork was good and wet, and made an ideal thoroughfare for the numerous gastropods with which we share the garden. If any gastropod is reading this, please be advised that trespassing on the railway is dangerous and can result in death or serious injury. As soon as I find someone who speaks Sluggish, I will get some warning signs put up.
|A trespasser on the main line.|
If you wonder what I do while it's raining and I can't lay tracks, one option is to watch the real trains at the end of the garden. I must admit that it's an option I don't often take up, but last Monday was the 45th anniversary of the last steam-hauled public-service train on the Waterloo to Weymouth line, and an excursion train was run over the route "in memoriam".
|35028 "Clan Line" on a Cathedrals Express excursion to Weymouth, 9.7.12.|
|35030 "Elder Dempster Lines" leaves Dorchester with the last steam train to Waterloo, 9.7.67|
If anyone from Network Rail is reading this, please note from the above picture that the undergrowth on your land is getting out of hand again, and is starting to intrude on my photographs!
And finally ....
|The fireman of a 3F mops his brow after a gruelling ascent of the Mendip hills.|