(If you’re racking your brains on that lyric, it’s The Cure, “It’s Friday I’m in Love.”)
Well, this morning I woke up early. I won;t say bright and early as itwas
still dark outside and my manner wasn’t bright either. In fact I drifted
into wakefulness only realising I was awake after some time.
I don;t know why, but it seems that playing with little Christopher and his
train set has rekindled my interest in model railways which has been domant
for nigh on 20 years now. And it was a subject about which I had been dreaming,
namely, building a garden railway in my back garden and all the complexities
of the engineering involved.
As I lay there I could do nothing more than think of the way of building
such a thing based upon biulding my own pre-cast concrete viaduct sections
and the difficulties of making the foundations for the bases so that they
were perfectly level and to a hieght tolerance of under a millimetre.
Anyway, this is all dreaming as (a) it would cost a huge amount of money
just to buy the tools necessary and hire the digger, (b) I’d have to totally
redo my back garden, and (c) I’m not sure I have the skills to do the foundations
to the accuracy necessary. Oh, and then there’s the concrete cast moulds
to design and build.. which would require Norm Abram’s level of wood working
tools. In total, I’d guess the up-front tooling costs would be in the region
of around £2-3000 (bench saw, mitre box, jigsaw etc.) plus the hire
of a mini digger, surveying gear, laser levels plus the matterials. And this
is merely for the civil engineering to create the viaduct and embankment!
(There’s still the shed to enclose the electrical workings and to store the
rolling stock, the track bases, the wiring, track, scenic matterials and
control systems to buy after that before the first train can run.) And after
that I’d have to start on getting the garden into a good state again.
I’d imagine, all in, to build the permanent way and get a running railway
would probably cost in the region of £5-7000 before adding rolling
stock. Way out of my spending league.