Introduction to a garden railway.
The aim of this site is to help others with a few ideas collected from others & some of my own alternatives to some of the problems of building a garden railway on a budget & some of the pitfalls that will be encountered. Yes!, it's still going to cost, & its not an initial cheap hobby to get a large size track up & running, but will hopefully give you some cost saving ideas to help your wallet & a good break down on prices, plus the ideas i have picked up on the way.
Now, i am after an easy maintenance track & a fare amount of easy switchable points, signals & lighting with a track at a height that i can work on while sitting on my plastic garden chair.
Some of these ideas have come from quite a few online chats with like minded people of similar ages suggesting that i won't like the kneeling down & getting back pain as i get older. "I'm 66 at the moment".
So i have planned to have a twin rail at around 75 metres at a height af 450-700mm of the ground allowing for the grounds undulation, giving an average 600mm/24" to play with & should be comfortable to work on once built, this will still give plenty of room to get the mower/strimmer under the track for the garden upkeep . But this i will go into more on the design page.
After some chats with others & some deliberation, i have chosen to go down the route of onboard RC control via battery power for the trains & Wi-Fi to control most other item like signals, points & lighting. At this point i can say i am lucky in being an electrician & when doing some building work on the house we run cables out to the garden to three points for any future ideas, & this will help a lot with power for the above points, lighting & Wi-fi system. Cont >>
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I found with the amount of track & frame work needed to build the main infrastructure, the cost very much came into into it.,So much so, that much of it had to be secondhand. This, i was a bit reluctant to do at first, but found there are many good quality deals to be had out there on eBay, Facebook, Gumtree & a few good shops that have a good stock of secondhand but like new track at easely half the lowest new price i could find online. So its worth a look & dont be frightened to make a lower offer. It saved me quite a bit. The design above is what i have come up with for my garden & suites me for my needs. I can have at least 3 trains going around with no problems & will try a few more when fully set up. I have also allowed for a bit of expansion off the R5 loop & the middle of the 2 R3 areas at a later date. But i have got to look at the garden & grass not becoming difficult to maintain because this enthusiast went a bit to far. Hopefully as you look around the site you will find some good points & alternatives to building your garden railway. If you have some ideas that are relevant & might help others, drop me an email for a chat & i can put the info on this site for others to read.