Sometimes plans change, either of pure necessity or you simply change your mind. In our case it was a combination of both, as an unexpected event lead to a need for change in one area, which in turn made us rethink other areas as well.
The garden railway is built in a corner of our property, with a rather steep slope down towards the river just next to it. Initially we wanted a stone wall to frame the layout perimeter, and had already acquired a truckload of blasted rocks for this. Then suddenly, there was a landslide at our neighbors, and they were evacuated as large parts of their property had slid right into the river and almost blocked it. The geologists who came to survey the situation strongly advised us against putting any kind of extra load on top of our slope, as it could cause the entire slope to collapse into the river!
OK, so what now? Tearing down the whole layout and moving it away from the slope isn’t exactly what we want to do, there has to be another solution.
Further investigations revealed that the neighboring property had been exposed to landslide earlier; back in 1958, only three years after their house (and ours) was built. Back then they put big poles into the ground to stabilize it, but our property has never had any such problem, so I guess the ground conditions are a lot more stable here. Nevertheless, the plans for a stone wall was quickly abandoned, and we started looking around for other and more lightweight solutions.
We needed some kind of framing to hide the framework, but instead of a stone wall we opted for vertical paneling around the outside of the layout. This was both a practical and a lightweight solution, but it also required that all of the framework was finished beforehand, to avoid complicated additions later on.
The first extension was at the corner towards the river, where an outer track could lead to a future loop towards the northeast. The following pictures show how we connected the new framework to the old one:
We also extended the framework at the station in front of the old terrace, in case of a future extension to the southwest. Then we discovered that the layout height would fit perfectly with a new and raised terrace with an integrated garden railway, which of course called for further investigation! More about the new terrace in a later article, this is how it started: