Friday 9 February 2018

Finding a train room

QBX 004 iat Junee Roundhouse. These locos are a common visitor on the mainline south, and whilst I am not modelling modern image,, I get to see and hear them daily from my house

Building a layout often requires doing things that are outside your comfort zone.  .  Most people will probably shudder at the electrics, whilst others will stall at the benchwork, or the scenery.   In my case, to get my layout progresses requires an excursion into into 1:1 scale, and I am well out of my comfort zone.  Let me explain.

Over the last month, my progress on building HO models has slowed.  Finding time on the workbench during the hottest months of the year has been a struggle.   But I have not been idle
Regular readers of my posts may have gathered that I presently do not have a train layout.    When I bought the house in Junee in 2014, the 9 x 12 metre brick garage presented me with an opportunity, and a problem.  The opportunity was that the garage had within the approved council plans, provision for a small bathroom, and the floor drains were already installed within the garage floor slab.  This bathroom, could become a kitchenette for a granny flat, teenage retreat, man cave, or a train room.  The problems were that these floor drains did not connect anywhere, As I needed the garage for storage, particularly whilst the extensive internal house renovations proceeded, the kitchenette, and granny flat build was academic .

In the meantime, my 2003 design concept for the  Wagga and Tumbarumba branchline layout was modified to fit the new space. My original plan fitted  inside an 6 x 8 metre shed.   The “granny flat”’s  kitchenette eats into the branchline benchwork, and as a result, I now need a helix to gain elevation to the second deck.
3D cardboard concept of the layout, showing the granny flat 'void" in the bottom RHS

Now that the house is basically finished, I have turned my attention to the garage, backyard, storage, and Granny flat. 

Carport framework being installed in front of the garage in 2016.  What is not obvious from this picture, is that the driveway drain under the carport was blocked, and this area flooded after rain.  At least the carport, and the new roller doors helped keep the garage door area dry.

Well, progress on the backyard has now started.   I won’t get into the nit and gritty, but some fences were “relocated”, some ground was levelled, a woodshed moved, water lines, stormwater, and septic trenches were dug, and pipes installed.  Replacement  of the garage’s leaking downpipes, and drain problems fixed.  Paths and retaining walls are in the process of installation, and soon will follow a couple of concrete slabs for a garden shed, and the fore-mentioned woodshed.  For storage, I have identified a suitable location for a container, and this should provide a home for stuff that might one day be needed?    I am hoping these changes will free up the back half of the garage so that building the “granny flat” can commence in as few months   So, whilst the HO modelling is on hold, the goal towards a layout is progressing.

Some in progress pictures to finish.  Stay focused, and you will get there in the end.

The things one finds. The previously mentioned carport drain was exposed, and we discovered a section of pipe removed by the previous owners. Unsure why. Anyway, the plumbers fitted a new drainpipe off the garage, and a pipe junction to fix this issue.  The concrete will get replaced as part of the new paths in this area.
Digging the new septic line.  The future train room has its own doorway.
The septic, and intersected stormwater pipes from the garage share the one trench for a distance,.  The new septic tank will be installed on the other side of  the new fence separating the paddock, from the house backyard.

Digging the posts for a retaining wall behind the "machinery" shed.
Pathway formwork  from the house to the "machinery shed". is still be fitted..   This shed currently has temporary dog run pens installed. Most frustrating, is that this shed has the best view of the main south railway line.  At least being farthest away, the dog noise is reduced slightly