Thursday, 30 December 2010

The PW gang are happy...

Finally Parcel Farce got around to delivering my package from Paul (Minimans on G Scale Central).

The rest of the layout is at my parents so my daughter and I had a poke about on the dining table before wiping off the Californian dust and taking some photos on the carpet.

The PW gang will be pleased as the Post van will be refurbished and loose it's postal branding, gaining EJ&KLR freight grey with black roof over the next few months. Top news though is that Elly is loving the opening doors already as I write this her Happyland people are locked up inside it!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Opening weekend all over...

Well the opening weekend is over and before talk turns to trackplans, structures and construction techniques I thought I'd share some of the better more atmospheric photos taken using my decent camera. 

The addition of people thanks to Elly, using my vintage Playmobil figures, really added an extra dimension to playing trains all weekend and meant that both the steam loco and diesel loco could be crewed. Passengers enjoyed rides in the green 'Big Train' coach most of the time but they were allowed to look around the vintage coaches currently under restoration...

Some quite atmospheric photos were possible in the lounge thanks to the flood of light from the patio windows...

After trains finished this afternoon the PW gang made a final tour of the line before things were 'tidied up' for another weekend. Until the EJ&KLR finds a permanent home that means some quite drastic track lifting exercise!

Finally I leave you with a view of the part of the garden my Dad is hoping to requisition for construction in the Spring, covered with a nice seasonal dusting of snow...

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Even the big kids play...

Well Day 2 and it's continued to be a big success... Dad had a play today and is now dreaming of replicating a logging train with shay and stake cars!

The troublesome point continues to annoy, but with a little tweaking and reprofiling the blade it's a lot better now.

I've taken some better photos on the other camera but can't share them until later in the week.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Opening day...

So today was the inaugural running of the EJ&KLR and if you measure success by the size of the smiles then this was definitely a triumph!

After an inspection run, backwards (thanks to my daughter) we prepared the first (Playmobil) passengers. We also managed a run of the new arrivals, the Zillertalbahn coaches. After a successful few hours running the maintenance team took the lines diesel shunter up the line with an open wagon checking for any wear or gaps in the track.

The locomotives both perform very nicely, the stock runs smoothly and it all looks and feels wonderful. I'm chuffed to bits! Two things we've noticed though, the track seems to get dirty quickly, which must be the plastic wheels on the stock, and one of the points seems to get the stock to jump a little so need to investigate that a bit more tomorrow.

So with snow outside measuring up for the project will have to be a few weeks... However ideas for buildings are already formulating, and one thing that is clear is we need more track!

Hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Is that a sideways L or a backwards P...

Discussion has continued amongst the board (ahem cough cough - Dad and I) about track planning - with Dad suggesting making use of some existing structures in the garden and raising the track bed up a little, to help him use it more easily - a great idea!

We then ended up with more an L shape plan - something like this - but any further thoughts will need to wait until Christmas when we can start to measure things out. The track shown in grey is what we have sourced already, with 'green' still required. At present we've enough track to do version 1 in the Initial Plans - so I hope to share some photos of the grand opening in a few days!

Monday, 20 December 2010

First carriages arrive...

Thanks to a 'Wanted' post on the friendly G Scale Central forum I've managed to acquire some additional rolling stock ahead of the grand opening on the 25th December.

First to arrive are this pair of Zillertalbahn style coaches, vintage 1985 in a special Anniversary livery. These are in amazing near mint condition and will be repainted sometime in 2011 into a more traditional red livery with full Zillertal markings.

Friday, 17 December 2010

The year is 1992...

The year is 1992, the first weekend of December and it's a cold frosty but beautifully clear Sunday morning. The unmistakable lumpy idle of a 1.9 205 GTI wakes up the sleepy yard on the EJ&KLR as the first of the volunteers arrive for a day of winter maintenance on the line. 

The lines vintage Austrian steam locomotive is wrapped up warm inside the engine shed but the trusty diesel shunter can be seen cold outside, as you park up the car just off the platform and walk over to the shed. 

The shed doors are heavy and the ironwork cold in this weather, but they swing open slowly and you cast a glance back at the 205, still ticking and pinging after the 'spirited' drive through the twisty country lanes on this perfect cold winters morning, before heading deeper into the shed to put the kettle on in the mess with a day of hard graft out on the line in front of you.

Narrative and sketches by me - my other passion is French hot hatches!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Inspiration from the summer...

I visited the Welshpool and Llanfair in May this year with my Mum, Dad and daughter (whilst my wife was away at a study weekend) and if I'm honest it's that visit combined with Dad's ill health that has re-ignited the interest in G and LGB after such a long time.

I thought it would be useful to share the attached photos to show what that inspiration was, and what I hope to capture in some form or another with the EJ&KLR over the long run. Feel free to use these images for your personal use, as long as they are credited. If you wish to publish them in printed material I would appreciate you get in touch by adding a comment to this post with your contact details and I'll respond.

Drink in the atmosphere - a stark contrast to the photos from Llanfair yesterday!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A nostalgic roadtrip...

My father and I took a nostalgic trip down to Ontracks at Pontrilas today to collect the start of this project. It's a road trip that we used to make every year to see my Nan, Dad's step mother every Christmas so it was fun to make the journey together again.

The model shop was very welcoming, and we picked up our stuff no problem. After a quick browse we headed for home via a stop at Llanfair for some photos and inspiration.

A lovely day out and a reminder of how picturesque the Welshpool and Llanfair really is! Now roll on Christmas and a chance to play trains!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The initial plans...

A simple circle isn't a trainset really is it - it's more of a gentle run in, so alongside the starter set we've also aquired an LGB Station Track pack for a decent amount - meaning from Christmas Day services will be inaugurated on 'Version 1' of the plans shown below. A simple circle with a station and passing loop, perhaps not setting the world on fire but enough to give the locomotives a good run in and allow some shunting...
I'd hope this would quite quickly lead to Version 2 - which has a second 'Station Track Pack' added - although this could be more cheaply sourced it shows the general idea. By adding some additional points you suddenly have a station, and the ability to include a single road engine shed with adjacent siding to store rolling stock not in use. Interestingly the Welshpool and Llanfair is fairly compact in station layout - it's two terminii do not make extravagant use of pointwork - Welshpool uses just 4 points where Llanfair uses 6 - totally achievable (although not all at once at £35 a point!)

Talk of expansion though leads us to the issue with taking the layout outside without a clear idea of where it's going to expand and it's eventual development, as we need to make sure we make allowance for this in any roadbed preparation. 


Countess coaling up
European coaches and small powerful steam locomotives on a picturesque line in mid Wales! The Welshpool and Llanfair has been a favourite of mine for many years - especially it's original steam locomotives with the GW rebuilt chimney, dome, safety valve and number plates. Chunky and purposeful.

I have wanted an LGB garden railway for pretty much my whole life - I think it was my best friend Tim's Christmas present when I was 9 that started it all, an LGB starter set. His Dad soon purchased an extra locomotive and some second track and I remember the last summers of Primary School spending ages in Tim's garden created our very own railway properly playing trains rather than the finer scale modelling we both were into with our OO layouts.

Fast forward twenty years and with Dad's retirement and Elly turning 3 this summer I'm in the mood for re-living those childhood memories, so I sit here with a 95% certainty that this project is a goer...

So the EJ&KLR (Elly, James & Keith Light Railway) is born... with an LGB Big Train set and a Liliput diesel shunter plus some extra track. Where this journey will take us I'm not sure, but I'm hoping for lots of fun playing rather than modelling :)

An exciting time - and I can't wait to share more with you all soon :)

Diema and The Wasp

Monday, 6 December 2010


Hello and welcome to the project - this is the beginning of a journey into the unknown. My father and I have over 80 years of combined experience in model railways - principally in OO and HO scale. Together we've built three layouts - two of UK outline and a third based on Canadian practice.

So here we are - with a starter set, some extra track and stock - I'll share with you all the plans, the models and the experiences on the way. Thanks for reading :)