Friday 3 April 2015


The town of Lewes is ringed by roughly four housing areas. The Roman/Norman part of the town sits on the strip from the Ouse Valley up to and around the castle site; the housing is arranged loosely around this on the hillsides. If you want flat walking you don't move here as any walk involves a hike up a stiff gradient sooner or later. Why am I telling you this? Well mainly for historical reasons we live at just about the highest point of all this, half way up the Downs, yards from the 1264 battle site.
Now accepted wisdom states that model railways in the garden need to be flat -  I don't got flat... I got about a 1 in 15 slope at the bottom which winds up even steeper at the top. So why an I building  something outside? 
This is true civil engineering: cut-in at the top and raised on a bank at the bottom (the trackbed  in the photo is 12" decorative  walling blocks). So far I've managed to use bits of walling and tat from around the garden. That's now run out, but track is now down (1" brass screws rather than my usual cut-down Peco pins) and the inaugural light engine ran around the first 10' feet of track with a Mk1 Dr Martin buffer stop in use.
This is all weirdly different from building baseboards. 


  1. Well I suppose at least building a garden line under those conditions is a challenge!
    Have you put anything between the track and the foundation (wood or whatever) to screw the sleepers to or are they fixed directly to the blocks? It looks like the latter in the photo.
    Good idea to use up stuff lying around as it has the dual benefits of saving money and getting rid of junk.
    The little loco certainly looks good out there, must admit that the closest I ever got to a garden line was in the little back yard when we lived in Eastbourne with the LGB stuff I bought with the winnings from the Continental Modeller Cup draw one year but I never fixed it down out there as I suspected the local scrotes would climb over the wall and either smash it or nick it.
    I suppose I could do something here on the balcony outside the living room window but I don't think my vertigo would cope and it would probably get covered in pigeon poo.
    Watching with interest....have you built anything for the loco to pull yet?

  2. It's straight onto the concrete.
    A Coopercraft wagon and a Binnie Skip. All quite lo-tech as you might expect.

  3. I think a few Cooper Craft wagons and Binnie skip (there might have been a Binnie slate wagon too) were about as far as I've ever got with 16mm, though I might go mad one day and build the GVT coach kit that's lurking somewhere.........for some reason the wheels I got are a bit big (meant for W&L wagons I think) so it might end up with the wheels protruding through the floor bugbox/Limping Lulu stylee.

    Lo-tech sounds good, it's often easy to get hung up on things because you haven't the time/inclination/resources to do whatever is "recommended" (or just fashionable).

    Nice day for pottering in the garden but I haven't got one and have a stinking cold so pottering indoors instead.