The trials and travails of a garden railroader.

Today was another one of those beautiful days in DC that makes living through the awful summers in this town worthwhile. A good day to work on and run my garden railroad, I thought. With all the travelling lately it has been a few weeks since the last train ran. 

It is amazing how a little G-Scale railroad acts just like the big ones. Neglect a few weeks of maintenance and all sorts of nasty things happen.

Could be Amtrak track! (Photo by Ralf Meier)

The track was in a bad state. As can be seen in the photo, the rail just heaved and bent out of alignment in quite a few spots.  And I really hadn't been away for that long. Also the ballast keeps diappearing. I just can not figure out were it goes.

So after a few hours of tamping, realigning and cleaning, I got out my trusty Santa Fe RDC and gave it a go. It did not get very far, as can be seen in this photo:

Derailed Santa Fe RDC (Photo by Ralf Meier)Now what, I thought. I had spent hours getting this all right and running! Turns out a rather large acorn had fallen from the oak and lodged itself on the inside of the rail. There is a huge oak tree in the middle of my yard and of course this being autumn, it does drop a ton of acorns every fall. Mostly on my track.  OK, back around the track I go again, collecting the acorns off the right of way. Too bad one can not eat the darn things, there are enough of them!

Now things seem to be running smoothly. Time to sit and watch the trains go around with a martini in my hand.