How to Lay an LGB Track

Written by thomas ferraioli
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How to Lay an LGB Track
Ballast, or crushed rocks, holds the track in place. (ballast et traverses image by rachid amrous-spleen from Fotolia.com)

LGB trains are known for their large size, known as G-scale. These are a favourite of outdoor train enthusiasts who build elaborate displays around gardens. The key to laying LGB track for a realistic look is to place the track onto a mound of rocks, known as the ballast. For indoor track, this gives the track a fun, detailed look. However, on outdoor track, the ballast serves a practical purpose. The ballast keeps the track level and in place, while allowing the track to expand and contract with climate change.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • G-scale track
  • Crushed rock, small
  • Level

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Dig a trench, if working outside, about 2 to 3 inches deep. The trench gives stability to your ballast and allows for water drainage.

  2. 2

    Fill the trench with ballast to the level of the trench. Use a brick or mallet to tap the rocks to make the ballast level and secure. The jagged edges of the rocks will lock together.

  3. 3

    Place the track onto the ballast and level. This is time-consuming, slow work. Do not try to rush it. Making sure that each section of track is securely in place and level will result in a smoother running train line.

  4. 4

    Add extra ballast material around in between the track. Tap the ballast to make sure it is secure.

Tips and warnings

  • Ballast material can be any small, rough rock with jagged edges.
  • Line your trench with a weed guard to prevent weeds from creeping up.
  • Inside track layouts do not need a trench. Create a mound of ballast on top of your base material, such as covered plywood.
  • Do not use river rocks for ballast as they have rounded sides. The smooth sides will not "lock" together to form a secure base.

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