Development of the
Sandflea and Redbud Garden Railway
Rocks and Terrain
I constructed tunnel walls at a high point in the terrain.
The tunnel is about 4 feet long. I first built a base out of concrete
to support the structure (see photo below). I made the walls out
of brick mainly because I had them available. I put four steel rebar
rods across the top to support a rock cover (see second photo below).
I then (October 1, 2004) began
filling in dirt to bring the terrain up to the desired level.
(see photo below).
After filling dirt to the level of the track base, I covered
the dirt with wood chips to protect it from heavy rain and wind erosion
during the winter. I also added rock over the tunnel to improve its temporary appearance.
In early November, I purchased three tons of decorative rock. But, due to foul weather,
I wasn't able to begin laying rock until December.
I first laid the rock in place, selecting pieces that fit together as much as possible.
I was able to chip off some minor pieces of rock to ease the fit. I then set each rock
in place in a small trench so that each rock was "coming out of the ground" and
not "sitting on the ground" for a natural appearance.
After setting 8-12 feet of rock, I poured concrete behind each rock to hold it in place (see photo).
I also put concrete between the rocks to give a smoother, continuous surface.
In some places, a second or even third row of rock was needed to bring the
rock up to the level of the nearby railroad bed. In some places I tilted the
rocks back to give a gentler rock slope; in other places I wanted a
shear rock, cliff-like face.
I made two gullies or washes out of rock for interest; both go under the
railroad bed where I had left an opening for a bridge.
In a few places I left the rock below the railroad bed level so that I can
place in-scale retaining walls to add realism.
After the concrete set up, I filled between the rock and railroad bed with dirt and added chips on the
surface to prevent erosion over the winter.
A few rocks were scattered carefully
about so that the rockwork blends together; these rocks will be
reset as plants and buildings are added.
I continued with construction of the rockwork around the layout. I added
some specimen rocks to the hill. I also placed rocks in the bed to transition
between the cliffs and create a more natural flow of rock. Some of these were
placed strategically to serve as stepping stones for access to the track and plants.
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Shoppe Foreman is the family website of Larry and Sandy Foreman.
Revised November 2008.