One of the struggles with having a backyard train can be nature. The very thing which makes the whole backyard train thing so beautiful and intriguing can also be the most frustrating.
Queue giant Jacaranda tree in my backyard. A beautiful tree, one of the tallest in the neighborhood, with the unique ability to drop thousands (millions?) of tiny leaves, sticks, and flowers into the backyard and on the railway. This isn’t the biggest thing to fall from the sky though. Once a year, the tree guys have to show up and trim said Jacaranda so that it doesn’t interfere with the wires and the neighborhood’s electricity.
Last year, the trimming of the Jacaranda tree was no big deal. It literally happened during move in week and there was nothing to worry about falling branches crushing. This year, a completely different story. This led to the decision that it was time for the Jacaranda tree to depart rather than have tree trimmers dropping branches on the garden and railroad each year. There were also some safety concerns with how lopsided the tree was as it continued to grow further and further over the house.
To play it safe, I decided to temporarily remove the track for Mr. DAPs’ Railway in an abundance of caution. Looking back on the whole process, I’m quite glad that I did this. Large logs and g-scale train tracks do not mix. Even if they are were to mix gently, I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be a good thing. The tracks were removed and stored safely in the garage and then it was time for the tree guys to arrive.
Over the course of two days I watched as these tree guys masterfully removed the giant Jacaranda tree. They climbed the tree and tied each branch/log to the next section of the tree so that it could be lowered rather than just dropping…and potentially causing damage. Due to the nature of the project, two teams ended up working on the tree. They were also joined by a safety team to ensure the process went on without hitch. The tree finally was cut all the way down and now only a stump remains (which will be removed soon as well).
Once the tree was gone, it was time to get back to work on the train. I, once again, laid the track out on its bed. This time, it was readily apparent that the process was going to be a lot nicer. There were no leaves, flowers, or sticks falling on me as I placed each piece of track in place. Once it was all together, I re-connected the power and cleaned the track. I did a quick test to make sure everything was working. Thankfully, it was.
Seeing that the tree was no longer an issue, a trip to Home Depot was in order. There, some flowers were purchased. These flowers would branch out about 12-14 inches and require little water. I also picked up some herbs to go in the garden as well. As you might notice, the South (left if facing the wall) end of the Garden Railway has more herbs with it transitioning to flowers on the North half. While they look a bit sparse at the moment, they should fill in around the garden and also on the mountain as time goes by.
The future of Mr. DAPs’ Railway will now involve polishing and expansion. I’d like to get another train for the garden. I’d also like to expand it East from the North end of the railway. The goal here would be to offer to switches, one on either side of the tunnel, to allow a train to cross over into a second windy loop running East and West in the North backyard. In a perfect world, this would also allow for two trains to run at once. We’ll see how ambitious I get with that though.
At this point, it is time to maintain the current setup and save for the future. I can also start measuring and planning for the future. This will actually be important as it will impact the future growth of the rest of the backyard. What do you think of the developments for my railroad? What kind of train do you think would be fun to add to my g-scale garden railroad? Would love to hear your thoughts!
Make it a GREAT day!
- Mr. DAPs
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