Garden railway plan.

Discussion on OO, and O gauge garden model railway design and construction. (scenery, track laying, electronics)
bristolmidland
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:54 pm

Garden railway plan.

Postby bristolmidland » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:20 pm

We have just moved into a new house which does not have a loft like the old one so my railway has ceased to be. We are going to have the garden landscaped and then I will have a 12 x 8 ish garden room which is a superior shed, ( My wife is paying for it and she doesn't want some old shed spoiling the view! Lucky me!)

I plan to have a terminal layout inside the shed with track or maybe two going outside. The inside bit will hopefully have an engine shed and a diesel depot along with sidings and a goods depot (Maybe!!) The outside will consist of a double track tail chaser and I am hoping that the only points will be at the shed end and perhaps a goods loop on one track. I am planning to keep any outside moving parts to a minimum and will try and figure out some method of operating the points. Possibly the ones near the shed could be electric. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of a suitable way of making an exit through the shed wall without doing to much damage and which would have a means of a well sealed closure when not in use so I could leave the tracks in place.

I have lots of stuff left from my old layout including a bachman 4 track steam shed and a two rail diesel tmd and other things. I realise that my main expenditure will be flexitrack and was wondering if second hand would be good enough. I take it Peco will be the best but is there one type I should use? Most of my points (insul frog) are code 100.

Why have photobucket started charging for a subscriptio? I am sure they never used too.

Regards.
On top of everything else my football team is owned by chicken farmers.

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Mountain
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Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Garden railway plan.

Postby Mountain » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:51 pm

It is a grand plan. Peco points can certainly be used outdoors, but for long term hastle free running, it does help if you can keep points in a sheltered enviroment. It depends where you live as well. Where I live I would need to change them every few years as we seem to get battered by salty mists or rain and wind etc.
00 gauge works fine outdoors. Just keep controllers in a dry enviroment. 0 gauge really comes into its element outdoors if one has such a budget.
One thing I noticed with 00 gauge running on a concrete trackbed is that trains run so quietly that if you didn't see they were moving, you would have thought they had stopped, and this is when I tried a Lima GWR railcar. Concrete seems to absorb sound.

Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Garden railway plan.

Postby Bigmet » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:10 pm

Outdoors, use Peco 100 with 'wood' coloured sleepers. Unless you can get some unused or lightly used s/h Peco I'd go new. You will need a heavy copper wire to run the rail supplies around the route to prevent voltage drop, with regular rail connections. All the rails need to be bonded with wire links, conductivity through rail joiners quickly degrades, and they will split over a few years due to frost expanding trapped water.

Power, DCC is easily the best plan, permanent higher voltage just for a start.

Points outdoors, as few as possible and use large radius, you will have the space. Use slow motion motors above the point, driving from the side of the track, ideally mounted on an open frame so there is no chance of water trapped under it. An inverted plastic storage box over the top to keep it totally dry, just one small hole in the side for the drive rod. (You can disguise the box with a plastic building shell over the top.)

Traction tyres aren't suitable for outdoor use. You will find the heavy centre motored diesel models are stars for outdoor use, lots of weight for good rail contact, and loads of wheels both driving and picking up.

It's great fun, more like real railway route engineering. Do not, whatever else you do, attach any part of the layout to a fence. Fences move a lot in high winds and will quickly destroy your work,

The shed opening. Ideal method is to have a removeable track section going through the shed wall, and a 'plug' for the shed wall which can hinge down from outside. A small rain shelter above the opening to keep rain off is a good plan. Trust me on this one, I flooded my shed and storage due to a thunderstorm deluge. The water will run along the outdoor track support, through the wall and then go where it wants inside! A waterfall off the end of the outdoor section some distance from the shed wall is a better plan! If you can arrange a very slight upward gradient as the shed is approached, even better as it keeps the waterfall well away from the shed.

bristolmidland
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: Garden railway plan.

Postby bristolmidland » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:06 pm

Thanks for the replies. A couple of queries.
1. What gauge copper wire should I use? I will be running DCC as I have a few sound locos.

2. I do have some large radius points which I can use. I have quite a lot of points and crossovers etc and some flexi track but as you say new is best. I will look out for a good cheap source.

I was thinking of putting the main track on decking boards with posts into the ground and running the curves through flower beds on a solid surface. The garden is going to be terraced so I will have to take that into consideration. At very early stage as the garden has not been landscaped yet or the shed built. I am thinking of spending the winter with planning and track design. I built my last layout with little planning and it showed as I was always having to find ways to adapt it. Lesson learned! I have a six foot section of double track on a wooden frame, ready ballasted. It also has a goods loop. I would like to fit this in somewhere with protection from the weather.

Thanks V much for the tip about the hole in the shed. I wouldn't have thought of that or the flood!
On top of everything else my football team is owned by chicken farmers.

Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Garden railway plan.

Postby Bigmet » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:21 am

bristolmidland wrote:What gauge copper wire should I use? I will be running DCC as I have a few sound locos...

I would use the cores from 30A twin and earth, as sold for house wiring. I got mine 'free' when our previous house rubber insulated wiring was stripped out. Lots of cross section for low impedance.

I was thinking of putting the main track on decking boards with posts into the ground ...

I think this is the best method of construction for speed, and easy change and adjustment, and disposal. It is worth bracing the board between posts with another piece of timber to make a T' shape when viewed end on. That prevents sagging between posts. (I look with bafflement at those who put in enough concrete to support a seven ton truck. What's the next owner of the property going to do with that? Timber construction is a few hours to rip up and done.)

...running the curves through flower beds on a solid surface. The garden is going to be terraced so I will have to take that into consideration...

I would suggest keeping the rails above ground surface as much as possible, because in heavy rain dirt splashes up at least nine inches. My own one time garden layout was a foot above ground as a minimum. We surrounded it with low growing evergreen shrubs like hebe and euonymus to conceal the supports.

...I have a six foot section of double track on a wooden frame, ready ballasted. It also has a goods loop. I would like to fit this in somewhere with protection from the weather...

Remember that you have to protect well beyond the end of the scenic section. When it really pours with rain, water runs along the track bases. You will need a drain section either end, already under the weather cover to prevent this. That'll keep you busy with the design effort.

Finally, it is great fun outdoors, and I would do it again like a shot. But our present garden backs into woodland and between squirrels, badgers, corvids and the like, the first section I laid was quickly damaged. Since I had a large indoor space available, indoors the layout went - for now. I am wondering if an electric fence kit applied to the rails when out of use might prevent the damage, but that's for the future, rather busy at present with elder care issues.

Buelligan
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:18 pm

Re: Garden railway plan.

Postby Buelligan » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:16 pm

bristolmidland wrote:
2. I do have some large radius points which I can use. I have quite a lot of points and crossovers etc and some flexi track but as you say new is best. I will look out for a good cheap source.


I got a pack of peco flexi earlier this year, from Trackshack, worked out a fair bit cheaper buying a box of it rather than individual lengths.


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