Progress continues in 2019!
Goals for this year:
1. Getting the railroad signal set up.
2. Getting the lower mainline in place, and operating with track power.
3. Beginning scenery on the left-side platform.
March 20, 2019
Video 47, First look at the railroad for 2019:
May 6, 2019
Video 48, The bridge is re-installed and permanent footings are complete:
A sad update. :(
time always marches on..(stupid time, always marching on..)
we have had to say goodbye to another one of our cats..
Dear Miss Meadow was believed to be about four years old when we adopted her from Lollypop Farm (our local Humane Society) and then she was with us for five years..So she was about nine or so. She got lymphoma, the vet said there wasn't anything we could do. It was a short time to be with Miss Meadow, but she was very loved and had a great life! :) We will miss her greatly.
We didn't want Mister Calvin to be alone long-term, so after about a month of mourning, we went back to Lollypop farm to find a new friend.. Emma Hoot joined us on June 1st!
Emma is younger than most cats we adopt, but she was the right cat for us! and we were the right people for her. Her "shelter name" was "Hoot" because someone thought she looked like an owl! Deb wanted to name her "Emma".. I said the words "Emma Hoot" while we were at the shelter meeting her, and the name stuck! :) So she is Emma, and also Emma Hoot, and sometimes just "hoot"..So, farewell dear Miss Meadow, and welcome home to Miss Emma the Hoot.
June 16, 2019
Video 49, Work begins on the left-side platform, platform roadbed built:
June 22, 2019
Video 50 - The Railroad Signal is up!
June 30, 2019
The Railroad Signal is lit! With a green flood light inside the housing. (I dont have the original signal mechanism) This is a GRS Model SA. (General Railway Signal Company, Rochester NY) 1920's era, originally on the New York Central mainline in Western NY. Then also served with PC, Conrail and CSX, until being retired in the early 2000's.
July 8, 2019
Work continues on the west edge of the world. The platform to hold the lower mainline is under construction.
The lumber on the far left edge is the outer edge of the platform. The new lumber line in the middle is the support for the track. I was considering using the same PVC ladder roadbed I have used for the 8-foot diameter upper platforms, but I didnt use it in this case because the track here wont be an even 15-foot diameter arc, because there needs to be a turnout in the center of the circle, for the line that will eventually go to the basement window. So instead of using the PVC roadbed, im trying a flat table of 1" thick pink foam insulation here, the same material I used to make the base of the "farm meadow" last summer.
Test placement of the turnout:
July 14, 2019
The platform is down! Track is in place on the lower "mainline" loop for the first time, and the first track-power train is run on the mainline!
Mister Calvin approves:
July 22, 2019
Some photos showing the "West edge of the world" platform under construction. The floor is made of the 1-inch thick pink insulation foam, the same stuff I used last year to make the base of the "farm scene". I painted it brown with latex outdoor house paint, and drilled some holes for drainage. It will be covered with mulch and the track will have edging and be ballasted.
July 27, 2019
First time two trains are run at the same time! :) One on the upper loop, and also one on the lower mainline.
The lower mainline is not yet complete, it still needs to be run through the tunnel, but Deb had a tour of her Daylily gardens at our house, with her Daylily club, on the 27th, and I wanted to have two trains running, so I just made a temporary loop to run a train on the lower mainline. The full lower mainline will be in place by the end of the year!
And Video 52, from the same day:
Video 53, August 18th, 2019.
The track is built through the tunnel!
September of 2019 marks ten years since the first construction began on the Stonehedge Railway! :) (click here for 2009) Since it's the 10 year anniversary, I thought it would be fun to take a look back, so here is a series of four pairs of photos looking at the same scene in September 2009, then again in September 2019! A "then and now" series:
Video 54, September 20, 2019.
First run on the completed lower mainline! :) and the first run of my LV Alco PA set on my own railroad. (I have run them at trainshows and club events for years, but never at home, until today.)
September 20, 2019, continued... The landscaping on the east side of the railroad is going to undergo some radical changes in October and November, completely revamping the edging to create more garden space for Deb's daylilies! :) Here is a look at the state of the area just *before* new construction begins, this is how the area has been for several years. Also, first run of the Alco PA's!
Stonehenge! :) (the actual monument in England.) The Stonehedge Railway gets its name from Stonehenge in England. Back in the late 1990's and early 2000's, before my Dad even started his garden railroad, he was building stone walls and walkways in my parents front yard. It grew quite complex! :) One day my Mom came out and took a look at my Dad's rock garden, and jokingly said they could call the garden "stone hedge", because of all the walls making literal "stone hedges"! ;)
The name stuck! then, when my Dad began his garden railroad in 2002, "Stone Hedge" became part of the railroad name, which led directly to my own "Stonehedge Railway" today.
In September 2019 Deb and I went on vacation to England! :) The first time there for either of us, and its something we have wanted to do our whole lives. It was a great trip! We were there two weeks, we visited Bath, North Wales, Lake District, Haworth, and London. On our first full day in England, we did a bus tour from Bath to Stonehenge! :) It was really great to see it in person:
We then rented a car for about half the trip, and also visited Avebury!
My Dad's stone walls, and his garden railroad rock-work, had a definite "Neolithic, stone-age England" vibe! :) (We are of English ancestry, our Lawrence ancestors came to America from England in the 1600's, and we can trace our Lawrence ancestry back to 1066 and the Norman invasion! My Lawrence ancestry is approximately 400 years as Americans, then 600 years as English, then beyond 1,000 years it becomes impossible to trace, but in 1066 we were Normans, who at the time were still Vikings.)
So my Dad built stone features into his garden railroad inspired by Stonehenge and other ancient stone works of England and Scotland. After my Dad passed away in 2009, I brought many of his stones up from Waverly to incorporate into my own garden railroad, and I have kept a set of stones separate with the intention of making my own "stone circle", and in October I began putting it together:
October 5, 2019. the Stone Circle is set up:
In 2012 my Garden Railroad club, Genesee G Gauge, made a large G gauge display for the Monroe County Fair. (click here for photos of the display) I created a small "stone circle" as part of the display! With a knight and a dragon:
Next year, I plan to create a "G scale size" (roughly) "Stonehenge circle" to place on my own railroad, it will be in the space in front of the larger stone circle above.
Update for the end of 2019.
We decided to take Calvin to the emergency vet in Henrietta on Sunday November 17, 2019. That morning, we didn't know it was going to be Calvin's last day with us. :( We brought him to the emergency vet around Noon, maybe going on 1:00. The vet came out to look at him and said he needed to be taken back "STAT". he had very pale gums, from the anemia we knew about from the vet visit a few days before. we didn't yet know the cause of the anemia. (our regular vet was running tests) They said they wanted to draw blood and test it.. We could go out and come back 90 minutes later..so we went out to lunch.
Came back.. Dr. came in the room and said she had bad news: Calvin was very ill, he had severe anemia, and the cause was almost certainly bone marrow cancer. If he didn't get an immediate blood transfusion, he would be gone within a few days.
We knew immediately what we had to do. :( Even if a blood transfusion worked, he would still then need to be treated for the actual cancer. We both immediately knew we could never put Calvin through all that terrible treatment, and he almost certainly wouldn't survive it anyway. (He was 16 years old)
We asked if we could see him, and the vet brought him in to us. When she carried him through the door, he was looking up at us, and Deb and I both gave him a cheery "Calvin!" a greeting, we were happy to see him. Deb held him first, then Calvin asked to step over into my lap. He laid down, and I then held him for 30 to 40 minutes, as Deb and I kissed his head, pet him gently, talked to him, sang him songs..
He laid in my lap, gently purred, seemed calm and content. We think he knew..he was not suffering then, (although we knew he wasn't feeling well) he was maybe even happy. He was in a good place, I believe his last moments were really nice for him. He was just content on my lap, getting love.
When the time came, he was given a sedative first (he was already very calm)..then the final shot..as my tears were falling on his head, he drifted away totally quietly and peacefully..didn't make a single sound or the slightest movement. It was the most peaceful transition we could ever hope for. our sweet boy quietly drifted away..We brought him home, and buried him at sunset next to Boots. we buried him with our tears. Farewell Mister Calvin, we will see you again someday, you go and be with your Boots friend. We love you buddy, we love you.
But let's not end the year on that note..Let's go back a month, to October and the last run of the season for the railroad. A beautiful autumn day, and Mr. Calvin hanging out as he always has. (The end of the video features Mr. Calvin in his "petting chair") :)
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