Over view

Here are some recent, and not so recent pictures of the entire line.

a panoramic view
A panoramic view of the LM&B
   
 
The pond and trestle bridge
 
   
 
Same picture 2 years previously
 
   

The Lynx Mountain and Blackberry started out as an HOn3 Shay, given to me as a present. I lettered it with my wife's initials, then had to come up with a name the acronym fit. I'm guessing I was inspired by Bruce Bates' Birdwater and Raspberry and the LM&B was founded.

In 1994 we rented a small house in Tsawwassen ( tah-WAH-sen, not sah-wah-sen as anyone who doesn't live here and only knows it for the BC Ferry terminal pronounces it ). I had just been to the 1994 NMRA meet in Portland, Oregon and saw G Scale for the first time. I decided that the double cedar tree out back was a great place to build a small loop.

The first thing I discovered was G was expensive. I mean, I know LGB is quality stuff and would probably last through a nuclear blast, but I was not going to spend several thousand on a train set!

The only other option was to "go cheap". I cut my own ties, use aluminum code 250 rail, made my own equipment and built my own structures. OK - it took the better part of two summers to get things running, but it was pretty sweet when it did run. And OK - maybe I spent more time cleaning the track and fixing derailments, but when you've only got a 45' loop of track to work with, that passes for action.

As you can tell if you've read the history of the LM&B ( see here ), I was pretty choked when I had to pull everything apart because the landlord wanted the house for his son to live in. Of course, it was a relief to leave as we were getting pretty tired of the idiot neighbours and their stereo ( we got a call from the new tenants shortly after asking us how long we had put up with the 2 am parties and did we have the name of their landlord. We did, as we liked to call him at 4 am when the parties really got going ). I've often thought they should make communites just for idiots who like to party through the night. ( Insert your own Surrey joke here )

After spending six months in another 60 year old house that, oddly enough, was also the house where I went to kindergarten 30 years previously, and was also home to a family of squirrels in the attic and another family of rats in the basement, we bought a house of our own ( we had a lot of incentive to buy ).

We moved in in October of 1997. I spent the first spring of 1998 knocking down "Cujo"'s Dog Kennel in the back yard. Whoever built this built it for a grizzly bear, not a dog. It had 6" thick concrete walls supporting a chain link fence built on 2" thick steel pipes embedded in the concrete. It was also covered with ivy from years of neglect. Here's a picture of what I had to start with. Fortunately, it wasn't too difficult to smash apart with a good cutting saw and sledgehammer. The rest of the summer I worked on the front yard clearing the 10 yards of river rock and overgrown shrubs that passed for a yard.

The summer of 1999 was spent mainly a) landscaping and b) travelling through Great Britain ( hey, guess what? No pictures of our vacation here! You're welcome. Although I took some very cool shots on the Ffestiniog Narrow Gauge Railway in Wales. I can email you an image if you really want one) and c) fighting noisy neighbours again. I also put in the pond and spent the summer feeding goldfish to the racoons. Not that I wanted to, but had little choice in the matter. You know how the pond is supposed to be deep so the fish have a palce to hide from predators on the surface? The raccoons dropped rocks in the pond to scare the fish up. Good thing goldfish are cheap.

The summer of 2000 saw real, actual track being laid and trains being run. Just FYI, here are the details:

Period Late 1930's British Columbia
Scale 1: 20-something
Track cedar ties, hand spiked code 250 aluminum, painted Krylon primer red
Power ancient 250 Watt surplus power supply, Aristo Craft Train Engineer powers track
Structures trestle bridge, Howe truss bridge, both hand made
Roadbed crushed limestone
Ballast 1/4" screened crushed limestone mixed with decomposed granite
Plants lilac tree canted at 45° angle for some odd reason, ivy, morning glory, periwinkle and other nasty tenacious weeds. And a few things that may have survived the winter.
Reason for Being Keep me out of trouble and I don't golf.

 

I can't say what the future will bring. My current work load consists of feeding and changing my infant son, Brendan. I don't anticipate much work getting done this summer. But I would like to see

  • another loop of track
  • switching yard
  • turntable
  • live steamer ( hand made of course )

Like my Boss says, " Make a list of your priorities...". Yeah, and those change on a daily basis....

 

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