uhoh, garden railroad fantasy

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by nachoman, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I've always liked the idea of a garden railraod. My reasons:

    1) I like to garden
    2) I love to just sit in gardens, watching birds and lizards and thinking
    3) I like trains

    So, after sitting on my new patio that I just finished last weekend, I noticed I now have an adjacent flower bed that could hold a loop of track about 13x6 ft. I probably am doing myself no good by thinking about this possibility because I have too many other projects and a limited budget that may be better spent on other things. Nontheless, it is fun to dream :mrgreen:

    So, now my questions:
    1) I was thinking about a simple loop of 13X6 feet with maybe a single spur or a short passing siding. I would prototype this after N. American narrow gauge 1:20.3. Do I have enough space for this?
    2) What is the best track for outdoor use?
    3) What is a typical minimum radius for this scale? The largest engine I imagine using is a bachmann spectrum 2-8-0.
    4) What are the concerns about getting track stolen? With the price of copper, I could see garden track being a target.

    Again, this is probably a long-term dream, but should I stumble upon some unexpected money :mrgreen:

  2. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Sep 15, 2004
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    Ahhhh, Nacho... it was only a matter of time!!!! I just got bit by that bug as well and am currently working on a backyard layout. I'll start a thread on it as soon as I've made enough progress. While, I'd love to have one of those 1:20.3 mudhens, I can't stomach the price and so will be sticking with G scale. You might check minimum radius for 1:20.3 but I'd think that 6.5' diameter should be adequate. I'm going with brass, some 4' diameter, some 6.5' diameter and a little bit of 8' diameter. Enough space?... I think that is up to you. Unless transients can see into your backyard, I wouldn't imagine losing your track would be a high concern. Then again, they're climbing on the roofs of abandoned houses and ripping out the wiring from the AC units so go figure. I've found the best deals on G scale track at the ACE hardware hobby stop in Tucson. They have a better supply of track and are charging about half of what it's going for here in Phoenix. They also offer the Euro style track or American style in Brass or steel. Good luck. Start by buying a little at a time and it won't be such a shock to the wallet.
  3. platypus1217

    platypus1217 Member

    Feb 28, 2007
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    I would love to have a garden railway. Unfortunately living in an apartment I have no garden and have to content myself with a small N-scale layout. Best of luck with your railway, and post lots of pictures!
  4. Geno

    Geno Member

    Jan 4, 2006
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    My wife has repeatedly urged me to move my train layout out of our 20 x 20 bonus room and into our backyard (about 1500 s.f.). I've thought about it, as it would nice to have room for 6' and larger radius curves, but aside from the deconstruction, reconfiguring, and building of a new right-of-way, I would still have to negotiate with her on the relocation of her beloved roses, as well as other plants and flowers.

    The weather here in SoCal also plays a big factor in my decision to defend my existing layout- on a day like today (it's about 100F outside) I'm glad the trains are inside, where the A/C is on and I'm not melting.