..what a year it's been so far!
crazy times. I've gotten a much later start on the garden railroad because of "the current state of world events" in early 2020. I'm working much more than normal! My regular 40 hours, plus quite a bit of overtime, mainly setting up computer systems so hundreds of my co-workers can work from home, but i'm not working from home! which is fine.. I'm not complaining.

If you saw the end of the 2019 page, you know we ended on a very sad note. Our beloved Mr. Calvin is no longer with us. :( I'll talk about that some more in the first few videos.

Here is the first update of the year,
Video 58, April 11 2020:

Video 59, June 6, 2020.

And some more photos of the "Mister Calvin Memorial run"

June 6, 2020.

After the "Mister Calvin Memorial Run", I parked the train and began some construction work on the railroad, the first work for 2020.

I began working in what will be the "large wood trestle and upper pond and waterfall" area. As I said in the video, I sprained my lower back at work moving (literally) thousands of PC and monitor boxes over the past few months, imaging and shipping out PC's, and my vertebrae have declared "We are 51 years old, and we are no longer doing any heavy lifting anymore..at all..ever.." So, i'm going to listen to them! ;) I borrowed a large moving dolly to gently move the cinder blocks in to place. these will be the support of the large curved wood trestle.

The strings have bolts tied to the bottom, acting as plumb bobs. They are descending from the center-point of the track, to help center the cinder blocks below.

June 30, 2020.
Emma Hoot hangs out in the garden railroad:

June 1, 2020.
The new Engine House is complete! I scratch-built a new roof:

The Engine House is Pola-LGB kit No. 911.

The Engine House originally comes with a "European" style roof (probably German inspired, since both LGB and Pola are German), here is a photo I found on ebay of the stock roof configuration:

But, I didn't want that style of roof, I wanted more of an "American style" engine house roof. I was lucky to find a used enginehouse on ebay, without the roof! :) perfect! just what I wanted. here is my enginehouse as I received it:

I determined the angle of my new roof, the cut off part of the front and rear walls to match:

Then a new roof was scratch-built using thin foam insulation as the base:

I then scratch-built a new brick panel to fill the gap, and I found a 1/12 scale round dollhouse window, and painted it green.

Thicker 1" pink foam was glued to the underside for rigidity, (not visible in the photos), then I cut and screwed some surplus asphalt shingles that came with the house when we bought it (I assume left over from the last time the house had a new roof). The end result, just as I had envisioned it! :) I was very pleased with how it turned out:

July 5, 2020.
Video 62: a change in plans, a new direction for the west platform:

And more photos from July 5th:

July 12, 2020
Starting on the pond in its new location. The pond is placed where the water mill used to be, (the water mill was only in that spot for a month or so.) The large wood edge is cut down to ground level, and dirt is filled in around the pond, and some ground cover is planted.

July 25, 2020
As discussed previously in video 62, I am changing the plan for the left-side raised platform. I was never happy with the original plan "on paper" for that platform, and I realized I really didn't want to built it that way! ;) So I completely changed the plans for that platform, and got to work on it:

Video 63,
July 25 to August 8, 2020:

Two construction photos from July 26:

Video 64,
August 9, 2020. All benchwork is complete on the railroad! I am completely finished with lumber and wood benchwork:

Some photos showing the state of the railroad in August 2020:

Sunset August 24:

Video 65, August 30, 2020
Work begins on the arch bridge!

View of the bridge after the arches were first built, September 7:

I did have a clearance problem on the bridge after all. Some of my larger locomotives are too wide to clear the sides of the bridge! So I needed a solution to that problem..

Some prototype railroad bridges solved the problem of getting a 2-track line across a narrow bridge by building a "Gantlet track", where the two rail lines intertwine. Called "gantlet", "gauntlet" and "interlaced", the three terms are used interchangeably. "Gantlet" is likely correct and "gauntlet" is likely a misunderstanding or mishearing of gantlet. Here is what the prototype configuration usually looked like:

While looking at gantlet photos online, for inspiration, I also came across this photo:

Looks like a live steam track.. that's it! :) I'm going to try that. It's not a "true gantlet" track, where four rails intertwine, instead the two inside rails share one rail, making a 3-rail arrangement. I'm not aware of any real-word full-size railroads ever using this configuration..which is why i'm calling it "gantlist(ish)", not technically a true Gantlet track, but a variation on the theme..

Video 66, September 7, 2020
Building a Gantlet(ish) bridge, Part 1

Video 67, September 19, 2020
Building a Gantlet(ish)bridge, Part 2

Some photos of the completed Gantlet track configuration:

Video 68, October 11, 2020
End of season wrap-up video

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