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Inspector's train

We recently took delivery of a modified Planet and carriage so that our "track inspector" can drive around and "inspect" the track. The order was complicated by the fact we needed the train to suit the 134mm gauge track. Roger Jones delivered the train and we did a test to make sure the modifications were correct.

After the handover and a demonstration of preparing and driving the train our track inspector took the train for an extended run around the track. These new Planets have regenerative braking and improved electronics.

The amazing thing is that this tiny loco can pull two people around the track. This is amazing because the loco weighs little and the driving truck is heavy due to the 120AH battery under the seat. For extra comfort the Planet even manages an extra carriage sometimes and runs in reverse.

Yard clearing

Back in 2016 most of the property was covered in privet and dead branches and leaf litter. Most of this was cleared after the bamboo was felled. This effort took months and many hours with a small mulcher.

One outstanding issue was some tall trees that were too close to the house. These trees have accelerated the rotting of the barge boards and blocked access between the house and the bridges. Recently (Nov 2017) I spoke to a tree man who said he could remove one of the trees. I accepted his quote for the job. He also offered to fell two dead trees but rather than paying him I decided to fell them myself. The first one had to come down across the track so I protected the track panel before cutting the trunk and using the winch to fell the tree. The second tree was a large palm tree which just required notching and winching to fell it.

The next week a tree climber visited and cut and dropped the tree near the crossing sign. I'd covered the nearby track with planks in case any bits fell on the track but this was unnecessary as all pieces fell in the small drop zone between the tree and the trestle bridge. There was some damage to the large camellia next to this tree so we had to cut one of its branches.

While the climber was here I asked about removing some trees on the south side of the house. Two trees were very close to the house and two more were a little farther away. One was more than 3 metres away but it was dead and okay to remove without council permission. There were also four dead palm trees. The climber removed three of the four trees and then we felled the dead one. The next day I cut the four palm trees and pulled them down with the winch.

The final task here was to get the stumps ground and then level the area so I can get cars and other vehicles through the area to access the front yard. The cleared area still needs more levelling and packing and hopefully grass will grow here in the future. I can just drive a small car through the passage and around the front yard. This is probably the first time in a long while that a car has been in the front yard.

Last modified 2017-12-07

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