2005 was a very busy year! The garden RR was starting to take shape, my wife had gotten used to the idea and was getting more interested, and I finally had enough supplies to actually get something done. The mainline had started extending into the “woods” behind the house in order to do a large turn and loop back under itself. This is the roadbed at the start of 2005, looking back at the siding.

This is just another picture as the track begins to exit the woods and come back into the yard. It has been dropping between 1.5% and 2% for the last 60′ or so.

The cross-over that will eventually be a tunnel. It just started to rain, so I’m done for the day.

The Raised Bed Now that track was really coming together, it was time to fulfill a promise to my wife and finally construct a raised bed for her to have a garden in. This isn’t meant to be a vegetable garden, but is good for small flowers and herbs. We have a tremendous deer problem, so “smelly” herbs help keep away the so-called forest rats. This is “the point” where the construction started. I built a mold to pour the odd-shaped paver that fits in here. Eventually a bridge will cross from here over to the left. This is a real drainage area, so I need to allow run-off from my downspouts.

A pretty good view of the work site. The PVC simply runs from one side to another in case I need to run coax, extension cords, etc. This is the first time I’d ever laid this many bricks, so it was a learning experience.

Finally, Sui begins to plant! For those hams reading this, note all the coax along the side of the house. This goes to the little 440 vertical for connecting to another DX node, and some loose coax that goes to a receive-only vertical along the side of the house.

Jason is helping to install track. I bend it, he assembles it, then I join sections with the rail clamps. He really enjoyed helping with the layout, but it wasn’t as cool as the Power Rangers. The raised bed ends just to the right, so the wood planks form a retaining wall to hold the dirt until the bed is completed. The wire is #10 that joins with the rail every other joint for a good electrical connection.

On November 16th, I finally installed the last bit of track to complete the main loop. This is the first train going over the very last section of track. The bricks are laid out to show where the raised bed will go next year. They were also used to temporarily hold the roadbed during installation.

Get out of the way!!! Looks pretty real, eh? That’s a USA Trains GE 44 tonner. True Pennsy fans will note the incorrect engine number. PRR had a unit numbered 9955, but not 0055.

2005 was a very productive year. Let’s hope 2006 is just as good!