Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Discussion of large gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (1 gauge, O gauge, S gauge etc)
mikehextall
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Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby mikehextall » Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:25 pm

Yesterday I visited the Rothley branch of the Great Central Railway and whilst there I saw a wonderful looking G Gauge Garden Railway and it got me thinking. Currently I am in the process of building a 00 Gauge railway in my loft and eventually I want my son (Currently only 5 months old) to be able to help me but it will be a while yet before I even attempt to get my son into the loft. So was ecstatic at the idea of a Garden Railway first of all for me to have fun building and eventually, when he's old enough, for my son to play with. The question is where do I begin, I know nothing really about Garden Railways apart from what I have read and have only scratched the surface, what is the ideal gauge? who is the best manufacturer? G gauge seems a lot less popular the 00 gauge so whats the best place to buy? How do I power it? DC? DCC? Batteries/remote control?

I know in time I will find these answers out for myself but I am already itching to get started this Summer so any help anyone can provide would be great.

Thanks

Mike & Samuel

b308
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby b308 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:17 pm

There are several very good books on the subject which will be worth your while getting (one was in my local library so it may be worth trying there first!), also there are several monthly magazines. There's an awful lot of decisions you will have to make... Scale, Gauge, Standard Gauge, Narrow Gauge, Radio Control, Battery, Normal DC or Steam just for starters...

Read up before taking the plunge...

That Mark Found guy also did a series on building one in his back garden which would be worth your while looking at, it appears from time to time on cable/satellite, probably on DVD as well, it wasn't at all bad as a pointer for beginners... (PS Check out Youtube!!)...

mikehextall
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby mikehextall » Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:12 pm

Thanks for the pointers, I have seen a couple of YouTube videos already that are very informative and several websites that made excellent reading. I have a couple of months before the warmer weather returns to do my research before I start building. Its just getting my head around all the different gauges etc. One thing I have noticed though is that a lot of the G Gauge locos appear to be American? Is it a different gauge that is English? I have seen some lovely looking diesel shunters in a large gauge on Youtube but cant work out what the gauge is nor find them to buy online???

Thanks for now

Michael & Samuel

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby flying scotsman123 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:19 am

As far as getting scale is concerned, there is very little to cater for the British outline modeller as it is not so popular in this country. If you really wanted to, you best bet would be to modify Thomas stock, (note the 14 + restriction!) which of course was originally based on real locos etc, but the whole scale.is very expensive. If you want something British but bigger than oo go for O, there's more British stuff around, but again, is also quite expensive, plus is not explicitely designed for the garden like G, so by that stage you might As well go for oo.
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b308
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby b308 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:56 am

Just starting with the Gauge, the two most common gauges used outside are 32mm and 45mm. If you are modelling Standard Gauge then these equate to O scale and 1 scale. If you model Narrow Gauge then the 32mm gauge track is used by the 16mm guys and the 45mm track by the G scale guys. Those latter two are the most commonly used I would reckon and there are clubs and societies that cater for them... There is a fair bit available for British outline but it is mainly kits and accessories to scratchbuilding, if you want RTR then you will be limited mainly to Continental and US unless your wallet is bottomless!!

http://www.16mm.org.uk/newsite/default.html

http://www.g-scale-society.co.uk/

Happy reading!

mikehextall
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby mikehextall » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:18 pm

I have browsed eBay and lots of forums but cannot decide which gauge is most readily available on sites such as eBay at the best prices and also what type of track to purchase, LGB? Bachmann? Piko?

b308
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby b308 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:43 pm

LGB is probably the easiest to get hold of and has cheap locos up to very expensive ones, use LGB or Peco track.

90733
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby 90733 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:59 pm

Garden railways don't have to be expensive. 32mm gauge garden railways are possible a tiny bit more popular in the UK. If going for a 16mm scale/G scale (although different scales alot of people overlap them) they are many budget kits available if you don't mind a little bit of kit building. To people to look at are HGLW (http://www.hglw.co.uk/) where a complete kit, bar paint and glue, can be purchased for £26.50! Another is IP engineering (http://www.ipengineering.co.uk/page33.html) whos Ezee range is a little more expensive, but when compared to something like a 00 gauge coach these days, look cheap! All are simple kits in laser cut wood, so are precise in how they are cut. A little skill is needed, but the HGLW kit is tabbed, meaning all pieces sit precisley. They can be assembled with decent super glue or even PVA (although it takes longer!).
For wagons theres also binnie engineering (http://www.glendalejunction.co.uk/BinnieEng.html) whos plastic wagon kits cost £7. Again you need glue and paint, but other than that, everythings there. Obviously there more expensive kits available (see the list of supplier here: http://www.16mm.org.uk/newsite/information_links/). Most of these kits can be built for 32mm gauge, or 45mm gauge, but its worth checking before hand. Whatever you go for, its worth joining the 16mm Association, for £17 you get 4 high quality magazines (about 70 pages, full colour), a DVD, and a brillaint begginers guide!
The only downside to garden railways is track, whatever you go for its generally expensive (unless you build your own), but look at secondhand, as bargains can be found. I use 32mm gauge, and points can be going on £40 new, so building my railway over time I have managed to pick up secondhand ones for as little as £11.
Hopefully this is of some use :P
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby GWR_fan » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:27 pm

Mike,
I have been into outdoor 45mm gauge garden railroading for many years. My You-tube name is Gscalenut. Before venturing outdoors there are several questions that need to be considered before outlaying any cash. Firstly, your commitment. This can be a very addictive and expensive hobby. Secondly, establish a 'theme' for your railway. This avoids nasty pitfalls like emotional 'spur of the moment' decisions. By having a set theme then your purchases will compliment your railway and not finish up in a box in storage.

I am predominantly into narrow gauge (1/22.5 scale), but also like standard gauge modelling. I would ignore Gauge 1 modelling (10mm/ft or the more accurate 1.32 scale) as it does tend to be rather expensive. If you wish a British theme then Accucraft do make some very nice models, albeit with a price tag attached. GRS do make some nice kits, but they do leave a lot of the assembly details to the imagination with very basic instructions.

The Bachmann Thomas range can supplement as pseudo Gauge 3 models (running on gauge 1, 45mm track). I have modified a few pieces of rolling stock to suit but the locomotives may also be modified to resemble the prototype. An English manufacturer does make kits to alter their appearance. Refer link.

http://www.smallbrookstudio.co.uk/#/pro ... /'G'-Scale


Tim

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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby Kentishman » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:30 am

Thanks 90733 for the links: filed for a future project!
KM

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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:57 am

If you google "Mark Found Garden Railway" you will get links to the TV series where Mark Found builds his garden railway, I thought this was a good series, and I quite lioked Mark's dry humour.

Jim
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Lancastrian
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby Lancastrian » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:34 am

b308 wrote:LGB is probably the easiest to get hold of and has cheap locos up to very expensive ones, use LGB or Peco track.
Aristo-Craft track (Bachmann) is compatible with LGB and comes in two styles, USA 14 sleepers per foot and Euro 11 sleepers per foot. I have mixed LGB and Aristo-Craft track and points without any problems.
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fatmac
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby fatmac » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:28 pm

Easiest/cheapest is G scale Bachmann. I would suggest trackwork outdoors to be brass rather than steel/alloy; it will cost more, but you probably won't be buying pointwork, as watching trains run is what garden railways are about.

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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby Lancastrian » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:55 pm

fatmac wrote:............... I would suggest trackwork outdoors to be brass rather than steel/alloy..............., as watching trains run is what garden railways are about.
Yes I agree on both points, (no pun intended :D )
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peterbunce
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Re: Where to begin? - A Garden Railway

Postby peterbunce » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:08 pm

Hi,
I have a garden railway, and nickel silver track is much better - yes it will still get an oxide coat but it is not as much as brass.

I use Peco G45, for all its faults (not enough parts - just points and track) with an LGB red plastic track cleaner.

I model Colorado in the 1880's and build most of my stock.

Here is the first loco I built - this has a modified Bachmann 4 6 0 chassis with the rest being scratch built, with specially designed transfers for it.

As Christmas is coming here is the same loco in the snow with a coach behind, and the depot - mostly obscured by snow for the trio - Happy Christmas!

The coach is a 'kit' from America, the depot is also scratch built, and is the rest of the village

Yours Peter
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