Lyon Valley Northern

This site is designed to promote the hobby of ferroequinology. It also provides an opportunity to show the development of the "Lyon Valley Northern": an HO railroad featuring CN and BNSF action in the West. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments at

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


Monday, June 15, 2009

Garden Railway Operations

Fred Mill's has a wonderful G scale railway that runs on standard gauge one weekend and steam narrow gauge the next. He uses Rail Ops and we pre-position all the rolling stock before operations. It runs with drop off pickups and local moves. The railway is point to point and allows for switching at towns and yards along the way. From a garden railway approach you will see many of the popular techniques and innovations to roadbed and trackwork...Enjoy.

Here is the passenger terminal at one end of the layout

A road engineer enjoying a pop during the operation. That is a CP safety vest he is sporting.

Switching at Spruce. Most towns have facing and trailing switches to the industries and run around from the main on a passing track.

The rock work and paving stone approach provides for a nice venue for the trains and provides distinctive walkways for the trainman to walk with their trains.

A derailment in the yard demands attention from the engineer as he had the switch thrown against him.
A overview of the action from the shade. This is Maple.

A small way freight rounds the curve as it approaches Maple.

Nice scratch built bridges add to this great scene.

I really like the blockhouse fort which was a common fort in Ontario.

Tiptoe through the tulips with me ee.

Action around Maple. See the dispatcher's shack where the trains are controlled by radio communications in a prototypical fashion.

Yes that crossing signal does operate though it only operates with the permission of the neighbours on special visit days.

Note the over sized switch stand.

Classification is a fun job on this road.

Nice to see this young lad providing the proof there is hope for the next generation of model railroaders.

The dispatcher hard at work.

My wife Lela operated as the trainman directing the engineer on tasks along the route. Her job was to ensure the manifest was correct and the proper cars were dropped, picked up or moved as well as aligning the switches.

More action with dispatch
Setting the turnout for the meet.

Radio control was a very effective method and is the way to go for garden railroad engines

Waiting for clearance. Our train arrives for the meet.

This road has a very interesting crossover so to ease the curve in this tight space.

Sometimes things get blocked up in the yards and you just have to wait for clearance to the next town or there is an oncoming train..

Sometimes you need to take shortcuts to the turnout and it looks like he is in a hurry to get ahead of his train before it reaches a turnout which is thrown against him.

We have rail fans too

You can see the 2x6's used as sub roadbed.

Switching action. We used screwdrivers to separate the couplers. A radio call in from the engineer on the left.

A happy brakeman holding his train orders. Getting ready to switch out the town sidings.

The other end of the line and the final preparations for train 301.

When all is done we remove the trains by location so the next computer print out will continue the operations from where we left off.

Yard work while the engineer calls the dispatch for a radio check.

This is the newest area and was a rebuild of an older yard. The raised construction was very impressive. like building decks.

Sometimes you have to get right in the garden to uncouple.

Now I know what they mean when they say a hidden siding.

It sure was a fun time.

As you can see by these last two shots the boys sat back and socialized over a few hot dogs and pops:)
Hope you enjoyed this tour of another great aspect of the hobby.


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