Interested in large-scale model railways and perhaps exploring the possibility of constructing a layout in the garden? Welcome to what is claimed to be the fastest growing sector of the model railway hobby.
History of Garden Railways
Gain some insight into the history of garden railways as a popular pastime.
A little background information regarding real life railways and railroads to assist you in making the right choice when it comes to choosing the type of model trains you want to run.
A Question of Gauge or Scale?
The concept of scale versus gauge can sometimes prove hard to grasp for beginners. This clarification may help (or possibly confuse you even further?)
Which type of railway do you want to create? What is it that appeals to you about railways the most? How do you plan to operate your railway? If you have not given that much consideration to this important question this may help you fine tune your vision.
Site Survey & Planning
Before you start building your layout you need to undertake a degree of planning. This module outlines the various approacheds one might adopt to this key phase.
It has been said that planning a model railway can become a hobby in itself. There is nothing at all wrong with this but if you are ever to achieve your dream of a fully operational outdoor model railway you will need to finalise a layout plan at some stage if construction is ever to start - although you can always make some changes as you go along.
Essentially this is an important facet of designing your layout. Will it be simple branch line operations, a main-line terminus with lots of platforms and inter-connecting tracks, complex multi-train operations (possibly computer controlled?) . Are you planning mainly for visual appeal, operational flexibility or high reliability. Proper consideration of these elements is essential in realising your concept.
Layout Planning Design Considerations / Prototype Operations
Also linked to layout design are the basic building blocks for designing a layout from scratch or modifying an existing layout plan of which there are literally thousands in print and on the world wide web. This module helps you avoid some of the big "no-no's" or possibly challenge them with fresh inspiration?
Firm Foundations & Construction Work
At last the chance to get out into the garden and convert your ideas into practice. This module deals with the practical issues of groundwork, raised track beds, tunnels, and just about everything else that is faced by the gangs who create the real permanent way. Unlike indoor model railways an outdoor layout obliges you to face up to the topography, elements, natural hazards, obstructions, ground-heave, etc.
Choosing the Right Track
lt goes without saying that good quality trackwork is of paramount importance if your layout is to perform to its optimum. Investment in a robust and durable track system (the cost of which is likely to absorb a significant part of your budget) will not be wasted provided it is laid correctly and can be expected to produce excellent running characteristics in the long run.
Sources of 32mm and 45mm Gauge Track & Components.
Laying the Track
Track laying methods for reliable results.