Category Archives: Garden Railway

Inspired my Mark Found’s tv series “The Garden Railway”, I started building my own garden railway in my backyard. It is build right from the scretch.

I created this blog in order to share my experiances to interrested people, who also want to start with building up their own garden railway in their own backyard. So every comment and feedback it apreciated.

A garden railway is a great possibility to combine nature and technic in a home environment. It is also a great hobby to free up the mind from daily business. And it is completely different to smaller inhouse scales, because everyone starting with this hobby has also think about weather and stability, security and many other impacts. Working with garden railways needs rockery work, concrete mixing, gardening, and way more.

Please enjoy my little blog. I hope, that I am able to share some good inspirations.

new diesel locomotive

Please welcome the new “family member” in my garden railway group.

I shot this used, little diesel locomotive on ebay. The idea is to give the track cleaning wagon a propulsion. If the tracks have to get cleaned, the locomotive usualy has issues to get the supply power from the tracks. So it needs to have a power supply independent from the tracks. The only possibility is to get this locomotive battery powered.

As the track cleaning waggon needs additional weight to press it to the rails, the plan is to place rechargeable batteries in to the waggon and connect it to the locomotive. I also plan to control the locomotive also with my smartphone using the BlueHorse board from BlueRailTrains, as I already do it with the LGB Stainz and PIKO VT98.

Building a cleaning waggon

Rails get dirty by time – especially if they are outdoors all year long. It doesnt matter, if you are running dead rail (battery powered), but just in case you power your locolotives by using the rails, they have to get cleaned very often. Otherwise you will contact issues very soon. The LGB clean engine is way too expensive in my opinion. So what’s the solution?
Well – I shot a used Playmobil waggon on ebay for 30€, went to the local hardware store and bought a spone and a polishing felt for another few Euros. I used the sponge as plume between the cleaning pad and the waggon. It is mounted to the waggon by using two screws. The felt is fixed by four small cable strabs and now can exchanged pretty easy. The only thing I had to add are little weights into the waggon, that the felt get little pressure to the rails.

It’s working pretty well for just 40Euros.

If you want to rebuild it, please make sure, that the polishing felt doesnt contain any metal. You might get a short-circuit!

LGB Stainz update….

I build in a DC relais and connected it to the BlueHorse Board. I also replaced the original LGB smoke generator. Not it is possible to switch the new smoke generator on/off by using the BlueRail app over BlueTooth and the personal smartphone.
To avoid killing the smoke generator by running it dry, I also added a 3mm LED to be able to see, if the smoke generator is turned on.
Enjoy some of the impressions….

VT98 done with interia lights

The PIKO VT98 is changed to the “BlueHorse” board. For switching the front and rear lights – and in addition the interia lights – it is not possible to connect the LED’s directly. I connected the ACC outputs with a reed relay instead. One relay for each channel. The “BlueHorse” board is that intelligent, that it is switching between white front lights and red rear lights automatically depending to the drive direction. The interia lights are independent and can switched on/off seperatly.
As you may see in the pictures, it was a lot of tiny soldering stuff – but it is working in perfection.

putting lights into waggons

Putting some light into the wagons today. As you may know, I have a simplified power supply (18VAC / 6 Amps). So I had to add a bridge rectifier, a electrolytic capacitor and a voltage regulator into each wagon. The advantage is, that result is pretty nice and stable power supply for the LED’s, I build in. My personal goal is to hide all components as good as possible. The rear lights are 12V read LED’s. The interia lights are warm white candle lights.
I also had to exchange the axises from ordinary plastic to metal with power collectors. I replaced both axis and connected them in parallel for a better connection to the rails.

build Bluerail board into LGB stainz

Today I build the BlueRail receiver into successfully into the LGB Stainz locomotive. Because I decided to put 18 VAC on the tracks, I had to build a bridge rectifier and a 15VDC voltage regulator (7815) into the locomotive as well. To smooth the DC voltage and solve issues with the power supply due to soiled rails (connection issues), I also added a huge capacitor (4700µF / 63V). I also exchanged the micro light bulbs by LED’s, which also can be turned on and off seperately by the “BlueRail” app.

So what should I say? It is running really smooth and the control by smartphone over BlueTooth is a pleasure. I’m really satisfied with the result!

The only thing I have to discover is, how to control the smoke generator. Maybe I’m going to use a small print relais. The only limit is, that the board is supporting 12V/20mA. But this will be the next challange….