Wrack and Ruin

A mid-life crisis in narrow gauge


Who's that trip-trapping over MY bridge? Not longer after we installed the new bridge, a troll moved in to live underneath it. Which I guess is fairly commonplace, as bridges go. I have warned the junior navvies not to stomp over the bridge too loudly in case they disturb him and are eaten.

Rust Never Sleeps

Rust Here’s a tip: test your track by running a train both ways round it, with the engine facing in either direction. My circuit is pretty reliable if run clockwise with the engine facing backwards. If it hadn’t been for my junior navvie and her preference for forward facing in the other direction, I wouldn’t have discovered two bad rail joints. Which led to the first serious bout of track maintenance.


Footbridge I’m weak. I couldn’t resist. I had to have one. Coming on top of a new garden bench, and ahead of the imminent delivery of a tree seat and a playhouse, meaning that the garden will soon resemble a crowded woodyard, this small ornamental bridge is a little extravagant - another good month for my flexible fiend.


Overgrowth As you can see, the vegetation is crowding in on the loading gauge, entropy has taken hold and soon nature will reclaim the trackbed, leaving only a melancholy set of rusting rails somewhere amidst the foliage.


Now Paint Your Model

Ezee guards van …My least favourite phrase in any list of kit-building instructions. At six hours per coat, with two or three top coats, this stage isn’t going to be over by teatime. I feel a pang of regret every time I walk past this unfinished guards van, because it’s a lovely model with some nice markings and I just want to see it running.

Slate Fences

Some lovely detail on Cwmcoediog, seen here in atmospheric monochrome, including that great slate fencing. I really, really like slate pillar fencing. Not sure I’d have the patience to make such a fence myself, although if it could be as simple as sticking a few shards of slate in the soil then possibly…

Time Passes

20090315-150415_shrp “Hey Ade, whatever happened to that railway you were building?” Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s still there and services have even been known to run on the odd occasion (I like to have a train pottering around the garden at the same time I do). But there has been no progress of which to speak lately. At a recent kids birthday party, the subject of an opening ceremony (and BBQ) was broached, which I hastily quashed - the opening of what exactly?

Another Last Spike

By fortuitous coincidence, the Welsh Highland Railway will also be completed this coming weekend. A brave attempt there, guys, but you’re just a week too late.

Driving the Last Spike

Driving the last spike Well, the railway per se isn’t finished - there still remains fettling and tidying and stations and borders and rolling stock, oh my - but the track is. The last yard fitted into the last gaps with nary a millimetre to spare, which you could see as a tribute to my Brunellian engineering but which is actually more luck than judgement. We screwed down the last plate, checked the line for debris, pushed the test wagon round once (probably the most back-breaking part) and then ran the green diesel round for a few circuits. And then we all went inside, because the wind was a bit chilly.

2:15pm Sunday Afternoon

“Evie, guess what?!”
“We’ve finished the railway!”
“I want to go on the swing, Daddy!”
sigh… OK, Evie.”