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Hightown Civils - Mark Burt

Mark, a recent member of the Leeds and Bradford Shed, has started his garden railway.


Start of the Project : Sections A and B

Section A was the first complete wall constructed with a curve and it falls towards section B. However I measured the track bed width for my IP Engineering ‘Jane’ and when I purchased my Roundhouse ‘Katie’ found the bed was not wide enough so had to cast another section on the curve and do without the retaining wall, hence the fence !

Section B  Is not exactly a bridge but after discussion with my pal Phil I came up with the idea of using plastic worktop edging strip and he spent days fabricating the Lattice sides. I gave him the measurements BUT when we got them bolted in place with the angles fixed to the inside of the cable tray I found that the Steam Oil draining screw that sticks out on one side of Katie just fouled. So it all had to be undone and the angles bolted externally to the cable tray sides.

Section C

Section C  was actually the 2nd section to be built and guess what I got the level wrong. My method of setting out the track bed is to set concrete common bricks at intervals in a concrete mix, then fill in between with a fine mix. But when I looked at what stone I had to use for Section B and came up with the method of using galvanised cable tray as a basefor straight sections it turned out section C as set out would have too steep a slope. The solution was to put a second layer of bricks and concrete on top and then face the outside with the Viaduct fronts.

Section D

Section D  was relatively simple apart from the fact that a huge stone step had to be moved outwards for safety and them we found another one underneath tied in. My Pal Jim the Blacksmith who demonstrates on the first Sunday of the month at Ellen Road Steam Engine helped me and has not been back since ! He is very fit but it was b-----y hard work. You will notice that the track curves uphill to the left. This will be a test for visiting Locos, I have already discovered that reversing downhill had to be done ‘slowly’.

Section E

Section E Another bit of cheating using cable tray (£19 for 3 mtrs from City Electrical) my plan is to glue some ceramic edging onto the sides. It has to be low as we have to step over it for garden maintenance.

Section F

Section G

Section G Has been subject to ‘heave’ with a gap opening up in the track bed. On reflection the base was not deep enough, only a single layer, so far I have been able to adjust the track to take account of the ground opening but if it moves upwards as well ……….!

Section H

Cable tray screwed onto paving blocks set on existing level flags then base of cast viaduct fronts set in concrete. Upper areas of castings ‘glued’ in place using exterior tile adhesive 


Lift out Bridge

Blacksmith's Workshop


January 2023 updated May 23

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