Middleton Garden Railway

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HISTORY IN PICTURES Summer 99- June 02


Middleton Garden Railway

Sept 03- Dec 05

Summer 1999

We finished the initial loop the first weekend in June. At this point we had a Polly 1, Bulldog one bogie chassis and a 4wheel wagon.

The freshly laid track looks really smart. At this point we still hadn't reinstated the paths.
At the end of the garden we had to create a small cutting. As can be seen from this picture the soil kept falling on the track.
The original pond can just be seen on the left. There is also a heap of york stone where we cut the railway through the path.

April 01

. Nearly two years on and we had started to put in a branch up the left side of the garden. Initially this was just planned as a cut across.

April 01

As part of the branch across we required a crossing. This was built up on a steel plate before being trimmed, coated in underseal and eventually burried in concrete.

May 01

Two years on we had had enough of carrying engine and stock out of the gararge. By this stage we had the grand plan of extending the cross line to run inside the outer loop at the end of the garden.

Here Andrena and my Dad are digging the base for the new shed.

It was amazing how much soil appeared in the centre of the garden. At its peak it was nearly eight foot tall. This area is where the station is. Bit of a change.
May 01

Having removed the top soil we brought up the foundation with hard core. These bricks were broken up and eventually compacted with a wacker plate.

June 01

As we couldn't face puring the concrete slab we got a company to lay it for us. As my brother was at home and wanted to enlarge the pond I got him to mark out and put in shuttering for the concrete gang to lay down a concrete edging.

June 01

- Shed base complete with the track put down temporarily in the original location. The eventual plan is to move the track over and install a new inner track.

June 01

- The inner track continues across the garden. To help save space this bit of track is set in the path.

Aug 01

- The lovely flat concrete makes a great storage area. Due to two weddings in the summer progress ground to a halt.

September 01

- The new alignment being put in. This is where the tunnel is. The idea of a retaining wall was born as to the right of this picture there is and eight foot spoil heap. The tunnel wall / retaining wall was built roughly where the right track is.

Sept 01

- Looking down the garden. The new alignment of the track can be clearly seen at this stage. The black on the left was roofing felt used to line the trench before ballasting.

Stupid thing to do as roots easily penetrated it and it broke down, letting the ballast sink in to the clay. Use a garden fabric such as Terram for this job, otherwise you will forever have weeds growing through your line.

October 01

- Start of the shed. My dad used to work at a training centre which had a load (shed load ha ha) of bricks surplass when they stopped teaching bricklaying. These were used to form a retaining wall alon the front of the shed and a curved retaining wall which eventually became the tunnel wall.

October 01 -

At this stage we wern't planning on a tunnel. As you can see the wall is built on it own foundation and not on a slab. It is only later that we decided to concrete the floor and built a wall on the right.

The floor slab was cast one evening after work. Andrena and my dad didn't want to but I pushed them in to it. I got the task of bringing forty 25kg bags of ballast through the house on a windy night/ I know it was windy because I had to close the doors behind me.

That was one of those silly things you do - laying concrete till 11pm at night.

October 01

The second piece of the concrete up stand wall. This wall is to hold back the soil to the right. If you cast concrete in shuttering always use strong plywood. On the first piece I had the frame stopping short on the bottom edge of the plywood by about 100mm. The pressure of the concrete forced the plywood to bend and spring the shuttering up.

A mad panic of scooping up concrete in to dustbins and a quick rebuild of the shuttering followed.

February 02

The walls complete we then moved on to the roof construction of the tunnel. The railway originally ran to the left of the yew tree. Unfortunately the yew got moved a further two times before it decided it couldn't cope.

March 02

Soil moved up against the tunnel and shed. The window set happened to be a spare from work. The profiled valance is plastic and was cut using a jigsaw. At this stage we hadn't really thought about doors but assumed we could build something.

April 02

It was my wifes idea to turn this area in to a station. By swinging the track over we managed to get two platforms in. The location next to the tunnel meant we couldn't have an island platform. The points in the foreground are for the cut across of the loop and weren'y very useful.

April 02

Taken from the shed roof. The cement mixer is sitting on the original path and at the point were the inner loop crosses. As of this photo there is little sign of the inner loop.

April 02

Station area. The original crossover points are still in place.

May 02

A concerted effort to get the inner loop finished. This was taken on a Friday lunchtime. By Sunday we had the inner loop up and running for an open day.

May 02

Just in front of the shed we managed to get a short siding in place. This was put in steel then cast in concrete. We also formed an ash pit in the concrete which at the moment has some lovely weeds groing in it.

June 02

View form the house. By this point in time we had the inner loop complete and even managed doors on the shed.

This is one of the last pictures taken on my old Kodak digital camera. Hence in the next section the quality improves.


Sept 03- Dec 05