Below are pictures I took of Brian and Mary Swanton's G-scale garden railway in Lion's Head on the Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada in October, 2008. Brian's outdoor layout is approximately 60 by 45 feet with an indoor marshalling yard of 25 by 4 feet. The two sections are connected by a 16-foot swinging bridge. The outdoor track is 580 feet of which 380 fee is mainline. The indoor yard is 150 feet of sidings. <
Track is a mixture of Aristo-Craft and LGB. Motive power is Bachmann and LGB so engines are either 1:20:3 or 1:22:5 while rolling stock is 1:20:3. All structures are 1/2 inch to the foot.
What I find incredible is that Brian has built this garden railroad in only four years and he knew nothing about garden railroading before 2004. The railroad represents the Kettle Valley Railroad in British Columbia, Canada. Brian has done a lot of research about the prototype than ran from Nelson south to the American border.
The Kettle Valley was the most expensive railway in Canada to build and is famous for its many tunnels and spectacular trestles. The areas modeled include the towns of Coalmont with its collieries, West Summerland with its Deer Creek lumber complex and fruit growers terminal, and Chute Lake with its mines on Mount Logan.
Due to the slope on the property, the railroad has an elevation change of 4 feet and requires long 3% grades to cross over the river and wind around three mountains to arrive at various sites. The layout has 11 bridges, three of which are compression types, over 20 feet of trestles and numerous scratchbuilt buildings modeled on the prototype. There's a cascading river and a log pond.
The layout is divided by a flagstone staircase. Landscaping includes mountain boxwood, variegated boxwood, Alberta spruce drastically pruned, nokia cyprus, teddy bear bush and japanese maples.
Lion's Head could be considered gardening zone 5A. In the autumn Brian has to contend with the leaves falling from a number of large trees that overhang the property.
The layout is lit by an extensive 12 volt garden bulb system that turns on at dusk.
Brian started out with an LGB DCC starter kit but found that DCC wasn't working well for his outdoor railroad and the expense of burying all the wire was becoming a hassle. He has maintained LGB switchboxes that are seen in some of the photos. In 2008 the main loop was under LGB EPL control, however, Brian was converting the railroad to RC battery control with the help of neighbor and model railroader, Clive Morgan.
I've covered what they'd learned about radio control and battery operation on another page.
Here are some pictures of Brian's garden railroad. Click on the pictures for a larger view.
Go to my indoor G-scale layout.
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