what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Discussion on OO, and O gauge garden model railway design and construction. (scenery, track laying, electronics)
Jacob85
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what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby Jacob85 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:39 pm

im looking to build one to run locos on due to my layout inside its abit small ive got a few questions

do i need some sort of other power for my controller for the track as it will be quite big

what track should i use

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby luckymucklebackit » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:26 pm

Hi - I have never ventured into the outdoors but having seen a number of garden layouts my opservations are as follows
Must do's-
1) Track must be Nickel Silver, steel is right out due to the obvious problems of rust.
2) Power supply would be your standard 12V DC (or DCC) but you need to have regularly spaced feeds into the track.
3) Make sure the track is level and raised up clear of any potential problems with flooding, a properly treated timber frame with plenty of drainage holes is recommended.
4) Keep outdoor sections plain line, have all points etc in a shed or outbuilding


Advantages
1) Space to run full size trains over more prototypical distances.
2) Looks good
Disadvantages
1) Higher Maintenance, need to keep the track free from leaf fall, wildlife and their droppings, frost (see below)
2) Potential for theft, some folk will pinch anything
3) Weather, obviously snow, but also heavy rain, high winds and frost will disrupt services.

HTH

Jim
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thomas the plank engine
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby thomas the plank engine » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:34 pm

luckymucklebackit wrote:have all points etc in a shed or outbuilding


Sorry but must disagree with you on this point (pun intended) as the Grockle Garden Railway has quite a few points outside and they have all been there for at least 5 years now and still working okay (hand of God still).
From personnel use I have found for the DC power supply the good old H & M Duette does me just fine as it has a voltage selector that goes from the standard 12v to about 16v which is ideal when running outside and compensates for any voltage drop that could be an issue.

Ian

b308
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby b308 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:00 am

The main thing to realise is that it is a big undertaking compared with an indoor railway especially if you want it to run well, and will cost a lot more... The smaller the scale the harder it is to make it run well... I'd suggest that you get hold of a few books on Garden Railways, either from your local library or bookshop... Plus there are magazines too.

Something I looked at many years ago but decided against due to all the extra work and cost involved...

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Essex2Visuvesi
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby Essex2Visuvesi » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:41 am

Sorry to HIjack this thread but these could also be of interest to the OP.... Can anyone reccomend some good books on Garden railways and also whats the concensus of opinion on points.... live or dead frog?
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b308
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby b308 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:49 am

Can't comment on the points as mine never got taken forward, and as for books, there are a few around but it depends on whether you intend to run smaller scales or larger, most seem to be aimed at the larger scales. Mine came from my local library, though I've seen some in Waterstones and WHS...

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Essex2Visuvesi
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby Essex2Visuvesi » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:13 am

Well the plan is for OO/HO (But not at the same time lol) most of the books I've looked at are, as you say aimed at larger scales. So was looking for some reccomendations. My main problem is living in Finland. It's not easy to get this sort of thing from libraries or bookshops so I will I have to order online and this means there's no chance to browse the ook prior to purchase :(
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b308
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby b308 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:46 am

Mine was going to large scale as well, so I'll have to hope that someone on here has experience of the smaller scales and can help you!

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CraigB192
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby CraigB192 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:52 pm

Definitely one of the cons...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-15613032

... but on the plus side he got a free ride in a helicopter which can't be that bad! 8)

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spongie
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby spongie » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:35 pm

Essex2Visuvesi wrote:
b308 wrote:Sorry to HIjack this thread but these could also be of interest to the OP.... Can anyone reccomend some good books on Garden railways and also whats the concensus of opinion on points.... live or dead frog?



I've just tested this...

When I dropped my DC controller in the pond it was definately dead frog!

b308
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby b308 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:01 pm

Groan...

Going back to the layout, I think I've seen an article many years ago of an OO layout in the garden, but as mentioned earlier points out in the open were kept to a minimum... Trouble is that whilst the larger scales may brush off dirt and leaves OO isn't so forgiving!

Also they added extra pickups in the train and had feeds to the track at regular intervals to combat voltage drop... Re points as long as you add extra pickups (on the coaches or wagons) it shouldn't matter which version of frog you use?

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thomas the plank engine
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby thomas the plank engine » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:37 pm

b308 wrote: it shouldn't matter which version of frog you use


Unfortunetly it does. If you do use live frogs then you must use isolator fish plates in the approriate places. I have used both on The Grockle Garden Railway.

Ian

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luckymucklebackit
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby luckymucklebackit » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:55 pm

The most extensive 00 gauge garden layout I can remember seeing was Don's Miniature New Street, which appeared in an Old Railway Modeller and verious other publications. If you are a member of "the other place" ther is a gallery of pictures of this layout, including some of the garden section.
http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/gallery/album/790-dons-miniature-new-street-88-05/.

Jim
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b308
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby b308 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:04 pm

thomas the plank engine wrote:
b308 wrote: it shouldn't matter which version of frog you use


Unfortunetly it does. If you do use live frogs then you must use isolator fish plates in the approriate places. I have used both on The Grockle Garden Railway.

Ian


Yes, Ian but that's not an issue as such... The only reason dead frogs cause problems in model railways is that locos can stall over them thus giving unreliable running... When modelling outdoors if you are using the track to pick up the power (as opposed to battery or live steam) then by using additional pickups in the train itself you are spreading the "load" so to speak than therefore the "problem" of dead frogs does not exist in the same way it does indoors... Also as you are outdoors and consequently longer distances extra feed wires will be needed to prevent voltage drop which will also help... Thus i can't see any difference between the use of live or dead frogs if you follow that method of pick-up?

Blair

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thomas the plank engine
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Re: what are the pros and cons of a garden railway

Postby thomas the plank engine » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:47 am

Point taken, was only explaining what I have done on my own layout. Plus I do have a rather smaller section of the GGR in the shed to allow me running over the winter periods.
I have also got to change a few of my points to eletro ones as the plastic is wearing away making derailments a frequent occurance. So for the winter session I will be replacing points that are badly worn. Probably got about a dozen to replace.

OUCH

Ian


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