A ridiculous amount of coffee was consumed in the process of building this project. Add some fuel if you'd like to keep me going!
Snowmageddon as it has been called, left the garden in disarray. While most of the railroad survived the heavy snow and cold there were a number of places that needed repair.
The log cribbing I built last year suffered only minor damage to the top logs. So far the biggest threat to the cribbing is animals following the railroad as a trail. Despite that the repair time for the entire section of cribbing took 10 minutes. I was able to finally ballast the section which should help hold things into place better. The track in this section is level with no grade. As the ballast settles I expect only minor adjustments will be needed.
The western loop and grade on the hill suffered the heaviest damage over the winter. This was expected as I wanted nature to erode the hill side to save me the job of digging it out myself. Winter erosion didn’t fill the trench near the summit as much as I expected. Rails are buried just to the top of the railhead in some places, but this section needs the grade calculated. Working on the grade over the summit will be my summer project.
As the railroad continues to expand carrying tools and parts to work areas has become challenging. Much of the upper grade is on a steep slope and often requires a long walk to get down to the toolbox. To remedy this I’ve assembled a maintenance-of-way train that is pulled by a battery operated remote control locomotive. Unlike the other equipment on the railroad, this train is made up of off the shelf cars and a modern (yuck!) diesel. Eventually I will repaint the cars (except the Christmas themed car) into a generic paint scheme without lettering. The short hopper will eventually be converted into an operable dump car.
The least damaged area along the railroad was the succulent garden section. This year I added a couple varieties of succulents to add color and ground cover. Later this year I will remove the irises that are growing in this section, they will be moved elsewhere in the garden away from the railroad.