Building a garden railroad on any scale is a challenging endeavour. Constructing an outdoor layout capable of weathering the elements poses a unique set of challenges and should not be attempted without some specific guidance. But don't let this keep you from getting started; building a garden railway can be a great way of bonding with a spouse, friend or family member who has a green thumb.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- G scale train set (standard gauge and O-scale trains can also be used)
Design your garden and your railroad at the same time. You may want to plot out your track plan first, or you may need to lay your tracks around plants already growing. If you haven't made your garden yet and you are doing a joint project with a gardener, decide what plants you want to grow and what kind of layout you want at the same time so that you can fit your ideas into the same space.
Make certain that the earth and soil underneath your garden railway is stable. You may want to lay a foundation of bricks in the earth underneath your tracks to guard against erosion. Be prepared to erect bridges to go over any streams or culverts.
Dig out any tunnels with a shovel and lay a bed of brick for the track. Use re-railers inside the tunnel so that the train doesn't derail inside the earth where you can't reach it. Lay a large inverted pipe (perhaps PVC) over the track, and then cover with earth.
Place the buildings around the track in places where they won't get stepped on. Treat them with some kind of sealant to protect them from rain. You may also want to run some tracks into your house or another structure to protect the trains from the elements when you're not running them.
Don't hesitate to use your trains for utilitarian means. If you're growing peppers or tomato plants in your garden, lay tracks nearby, run a hopper car or gondola consist past them, and place your picked tomatoes right into the cars. Then, if you have laid track for it, you can run them right into your kitchen!
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