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 rather than just "framing"
bedding areas. These rocks will be
reset as plants and buildings are added. 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 February 2018.