Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time For An Update!

My apologies for not being a better blogger!  Since the last post, I have been busy working on the railroad as well as traveling for career interviews and having successful cervical spine surgery.  Like what John Lennon once said, "Life is what you're busy doing while you're making other plans."

My new career position starts eminently, so the first phase of the garden railroad had to be completed.  I am glad to report that it has been finished nicely!  Here are a few photos of the layout.
The L&N U25B along with the help of a FA-2 pull a fresh load of Alabama coal.   

Tribute to Japan  The L&N coal train pulls beside a Japanese Maple,  Acer palamatum dissectum 'Tamukeyama', and a cast concrete pagoda.

Here is how the layout looked before the patio stonework was extended (near the fire pit), and before the proper grading of the track work was completed.  The grade was set not to exceed 2 degrees to allow for easy train travels.

Here's a bird's-eye view of the lower pond before the track was laid.  Koko is happy to inspect the quality of the 650 gallon home of koi and goldfish.  The fish see her and swim into the safety of the four hide outs which are stepping stones set over bricks and block.  This was a cold morning.  Note the frost on the grass in the background and the sheet covering the sugar snap peas and silver queen corn shoots in the straw garden behind the Japanese maple.  The filter in the left side of the pond is home made.  Why buy a $200 filter when you can construct one yourself for under $20?
Bear Gone Fishin'  A big fan of fish, Bear watches over the pond at the point where phase one of the railroad meets phase two.  A bridge modeled after a bridge that currently crosses Buck Creek in Helena will join these two sections.
Here is the 350 gallon top pond spilling over new stonework into the miniature version of Buck Creek.  This pond is deep in order to keep the water temperature cool during the hot summer days.  No fish are in this pond but toads love it and there are many tadpoles to prove it.  Cue up the Barry White tunes!
Next to the top pond, the track of phase 2 will travel through a tunnel on its way up the hill and around to complete the loop that was started in phase 1.  There will be a vignette depicting the legend of John Henry who proved that a man can beat a machine when he puts his life on the line to do so.  Much more than a legend, John Henry is real Alabama history.
More to come soon!  Until then, don't forget to Stop, Look & Listen.  You don't know what you just might miss!

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