- The most difficult part of Garden Railroading is
- Every garden railway needs a track plan, era, and
theme to model after. There is no wrong combination.
- Remember, this is a hobby. There's no hurry. Half
the fun is the process of designing and building.
- Keep GARDEN in garden railroading. Focus attention
on a iniature landscape with a railroad running through it. The entire railway should never be visible from any one vantage
- Use the widest radius curves possible. It adds realism
and lets you use a greater number of rolling stock.
- An outdoor garden railway is never finished. There
are always structures to be built, landscape to be cared for, new track to be laid and rolling stock to be modified
- Your justification for the financial commitment is
the many hours of pleasure in planning and building.
- Special features add interest and character to your
garden railway. These features include; tunnels, trestles, bridges, waterfalls, streams, ponds, stone walls, fences,
sound modules, lighting, etc.
- There is nothing wrong with various scales using
the same gauge track.
- Time will corrode rail joints, use jumper wires or
rail clamps for best electrical connections.
- If the above sounds like a lot of extra work, use
radio controlled trains, and let the rails corrode!
- In building your road bed remember, brass rail will
expand and contract and the ground constantly moves.
- In the long-run plastic outlasts wood. Weatherproofing
is a constant battle with wood. Wooden structures should be on a foundation - cement slab or Styrofoam to avoid dry rot
- Wood models typically will last two years untouched,
glued plastic kits last about five years, and concrete buildings can last longer than you.
- Rebuilding and revisions are mostly directed at making
things simpler and stronger than they were.
- Use silicone sealer on the inside of your outdoor
buildings. It seals out water and adds strength.
- When ready to repaint old weathered plastic
buildings use Armor-All instead! They'll look new.
- Never throw away extra parts; wire, plastic, screws,
etc. You ever know when you'll need them again.
- Your railway has two lives, one in the daytime and
one at night. Don't forget to use lighting; for buildings (inside and out), signs, signals, rolling stock, lamp posts,
switch stand lamps, etc.
- The smaller and finer the details, the greater the
chance they will be broken or lost due to wind, rain, leaves, fallen branches, accidental traffic (cats, dogs, humans),
- My preference to signal placement has always learned
toward ascetics rather than prototypical installations. Place signals were the operator and visitors can see them.
- Electrical problems are fewer if lines are above
ground rather than under ground. Use power poles.
- Always use conductive paste on outdoor electrical
connections, rail joints, light bulbs, etc.
- Buy a volt meter to check track voltage and other
- Have short jumper wires with clamps for quick connections
until repairs can be made. Good to have when having an open house. That's when shorts occur!
- Buy a transformer with more power than you think
you'll ever need. Later you'll thank me.
- Kit bashing is an extension of your imagination,
skills and research. Try it you'll like it.
- Remember our hobby is more of an art form than a
- Model paints don't hold up to the effects of weather,
exterior latex house paints do.
- In designing your railway use as little grade as
- Add "audio animation" where possible; in stations,
churches, barns, rolling stock, engines, etc.
- American realism begins with steel wheels and KaDee
- Added weight to you locomotives equals added pulling
- Put a video camera on a flat car. It will show
you the details you missed.
- A good product warranty is worth paying a higher
price. It is like receiving an insurance policy.
- Never pay retail! There is always someone who
will save you money!
- Ask questions! Everyone is willing to share
experiences and knowledge of the hobby.
- Subscribe to G-scale magazines, buy garden railway
videos, and go to model-train shows, conventions, and garden railway society meetings. You'll get lots of ideas
and meet new friends.
- Promote your hobby, join a garden railway society.
Join more than one! Attend meetings!
- Share your experiences (good and bad) write articles,
take pictures, send them to G-Scale magazines.