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Interested in large-scale model railways and perhaps thinking of building your own  layout in the garden. Welcome to what is claimed to be the fastest growing model railway hobby.

History of Garden Railways

Gain some insight into the origin of Garden Railways. The hobby dates back further than you might think.

Prototype Railways

A little background information on real life railways and  railroads to assist you in making the appropriate choice when it comes to choosing the type of model trains you want to run on your garden layout.                   

A Question of Scale or Gauge?

The concept of scale versus gauge can sometimes prove hard  to grasp for beginners. This clarification may help (or even confuse matters further?)                                                                             

Choosing a Theme

Which type of railway do you want to create? What is it about railways that appeals to you most? If you have not yet given much consideration to this important question this may help you to fine tune your vision.                                                                               

Site Survey & Planning

It has often been said that "failing to plan is planning to fail" and this maxim has never been more true than when it comes to garden railways.  Before building your layout you would  be wise to undertake some degree of planning. This module outlines the various approaches to this key initial measurement and planning phase.

Layout Design - Creating the ideal Layout

Designing a layout can become so absorbing that there is a danger that the process can become into a hobby iteself. There is nothing wrong in this but if you are to ever achieve your dream of an outdoor railway you will at least need to finalise a track plan at some stage if the construction is ever to start - although you can usually make some changes as you go along.

Operational Planning - Basic Elements of Track Planning

Where to find track and layout plans which reflect the type of train movements you are interested in carrying out on your railway. Are you aiming for high reliability, scenic interest, computer controlled operations or simply moving freight in a realistic manner. Do you need to incorporate mining or lumber operations, international expresses or local goods traffic.

This module contains food for thought and a few helpful tips especially as to the track configurations one should avoid.

More Layout Ideas

A further selection of layout plans from the very small to the most challenging. and further advice on track design including Grades, Easements, etc.

Firm Foundations & Construction

Practical suggestions concerning construction methods for ground, medium or high-level layouts including advice on roadbed creation and other railway infrastructure (Old & New Techniques).

Choosing the Right Track

Make a sound investment in durable quality track. Sources of 32mm and 45mm gauge track and components.

Track Suppliers

A summary of the major international track manufacturers and how they differ in terms of  scale, footprint, materials used, availability and performance.

Aristo-craft Track

Bachmann Brass Track

Accucraft / AML Track

LGB,  Llagas,  Micro-Engineering and Peco Track

Laying the Track

Tried and tested methods for laying track.

Track Maintenance

Regular track maintenance is vital to reliable operation and this module covers these jobs in some detail and also ways of making this chore a little easier.

Shopping for Large-Scale Trains

Numerous ways to source your equipment.

Major Manufacturers & Suppliers

A guide to some of the world's most important manufacturers and suppliers - current and past.

Starter Sets - Introduction
Starter Sets - LGB
Starter Sets - Bachmann Trains
Starter Sets - Piko Trains
Starter Sets - Aristo-craft Trains
Starter Sets - USA Trains
Starter Sets - Marklin Trains
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