Sunday, 3 January 2016

Happy New Year

I was hoping to herald the New Year with the first picture of the Eaugate Light Railway earning its keep. Unfortunately the high winds have discouraged me from spending time in the garden so the fitting of fish plates has fallen behind schedule by a couple of days. It is a case of so near but so far. Just getting  a couple more track panels down will make a big difference in getting the track to a viable length, however temporary it might be.

My joy at the New Year, when many of my friends seem to have had life changing events, is somewhat tempered by the news that both Martin and Geoff were both taken ill over the holiday period.

My very best wishes to both of you for a full recovery.

Teddy has actually been hard at work over the weekend, working both garbage trains and taking logs to be split and stacked, and along the way totally proving the minimal railway concept in my eyes . Doing the same job without the railway would have reduced the garden to a quagmire.

I've been impressed by my wife's reaction to the railway. It is fair to say that future investment has been secured  and that the reality has far exceeded her expectations. I almost had to stop her giving Teddy a saucer of milk this morning when she opened the kitchen door this to see him waiting outside.
The very first light engine working with proud new owner

Bus replacement service

The first proper working. Xmas empties to the bin store

The bunting was already up

Hauling logs, with the skip body replaced by a plastic crate 

Compost bin, leaf pile, log store, bins and coal bunker all now served by rail

Pretty much the entire line. Not a bad view to wake up to.


  1. It's interesting to see how miniature railway owners like to put their lines to proper, practical use. As you say, it saved the grass from becoming a muddy bog.

    Now, how about a model of your prototype line?

  2. Phil,

    Certainly the ones with minimal leanings do, with passenger traffic very much an afterthought. Of course a garden path and a wheelbarrow might achieve the same end result.

    One of the strange things is that there is a lot of crossover, in both directions, between modellers and the minimal world.Sometimes the model comes first and then someone builds it for real. There has been talk about Scamp being produced as a model kit, but in the meantime the Sidelines Gnine Tiny locoavailable from isn't a bad alternative. If I get around to adding a point to the real thing I might even be tempted to enter this year's Dave Brewer challenge with a model of my own railway.

  3. James,

    I've been considering a similar set up in my garden. Originally I was going down the 5" gauge route, butI know a chap with a 7.25" gauge line around his plant centre, so the larger gauge makes more sense as #I can run anlything I get up at the centre as well as at home..

    Where did you get the rolling stock from? Initially I thought the tipper was the PNP version, but their catalogue only quotes 5" gauge versions.



    1. Richard,

      Like the loco it is a Colin Edmonsdon design, built by Chris Dixon at CMD engineering. Both loco and wagon can be built from Colin's laser cut kits if you can do/get done some basic welding, and in the case of the loco get access to a lathe for an hour or so. Actually Colin is now working on bolt together versions of both the loco and the wagon chassis. If you build Scamp yourself Colin reckons you can scrape in at under £1000, which for a petrol powered 7 1/4" loco has to be a real bargain. Since it and the skip can both get round 5' radius curves in theory you can fit it into any space that would be suitable for 5" gauge. The downside, let us be honest, is if you go 5" gauge then live steam is much more achievable. The upside is 7 1/4" is capable of doing some real work in the garden.

      I highly recommend joining the Minimal Railways Group on Facebook (see the links)

    2. James,

      Thank you for the information, it's most helpful. Access to lathes, mills and welding gear is not a problem.

      I've been running small scale live steamers for about 40 years now, and have only briefly considered upping the game and going to 5 or 7.25" gauges. Non steam power is much more practical and affordable when you get to stuff you can ride on or behind. It is also a lot simpler to maintain.

      Apart from giving my grandchildren (when I get them) and my nephews the occasional ride, it's use would be of a practical nature, much as you have done with yours.

      If I do go down this route it will not be in the immediate future, but I will be following your exploits with much interest.

      Again, many thanks for the info.


  4. Thanks for your kind thoughts, James. Seem to be doing OK.