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The Bushey Miniature Railway – by Daniel Siddal

Here you can see a few pictures of our new 5” railway in the village of Bushey in Hertfordshire.

The 70m loop of the track was built with the PNP clip fit system. We chose 16mm Aluminium rail with plastic sleepers and clip-in chairs that you slide down the rail. This provided a simple and fast way to build the track at the same time keeping the look we required. We spaced the sleepers at 10cm centers.

One of the reasons for choosing the PNP Clip fit system was that it makes it so easy for younger helpers to build the track panels while I got on with the heavier work.

Building any miniature railway is hard work but it was made even more of a challenge due to the overgrown state of the garden.

Every section had to be OK’ed with my mother who owns the garden and cleared of undergrowth before anything could be laid, this compounded the delays already present due to work commitments, etc.

Work progressed and we laid the track up to our first gentle radius to the left. I have to admit- we didn’t have any rail benders so we just bent it carefully without some, seemed to be fine as it was only a slight curve.

At first, I had the track sent off and pre-bent by another company which was expensive. After I had this 10-foot radius curve made I decided to bend the rail myself.

My son helped out while I did the digging by fitting the fish plates and getting the correct inclination on the curves.

At this point, I got a rail bender from PNP Just wish I had done this sooner. It enabled me to put the subtlest bends in the track as you can see, and I could have put a lesser radius of the curve going into the tree tunnel instead of using the spare 10′ radius curves I had. Anyway, the rail bender was to be a great help for what was to come…By this point, I had used about 7 tonnes of ballast.

I found it easy to screw directly into the PNP track panels to create a simple but effective crossing out of garden decking: The difficult task of forming the radius around an old tree stump and then joining up with the existing track was a challenge – impossible without the rail bender: We completed the 70m loop with a removable section to enable access to the garden when the track wasn’t in use

The PNP track was built up with treated gravel fencing boards to make up for the incline at the near end of the garden. We are now building a 20m siding that goes over the old pond and then to re-join by the station:

The new Station:

You can read more about the Bushey Miniature Railway and keep up to date with our progress. Please contact me via the website if you would like to know any more or have any advice for us, We’ve still got much to learn!

Just Google ‘Bushey Miniature Railway’ or go to:

Written and submitted by Daniel Siddall.

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