Garden Railways

This post was written by Scott
Posted Under: Model Train Layouts
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All aboard! You may not be able to visit the train station on a regular basis to see the trains but if you have a backyard, garden or have a mostly flat plot of land which can be watered you can always build yourself and your family a large scale model railroad which is also known as a garden railway.

The building of large scale or garden railways has become very popular for a reason. It is a hobby that everyone in the family can enjoy as there are the train cars, tunnels, bridges, houses and other buildings and there are also flowers, figures of people and animals, etc. that can be played with and placed in various places in the garden railway set up.

If you are interested in starting to build a garden railway, go ahead and purchase a large scale model train starter kit from your local hobby store and then lay it out on your floor at home to get a feel for how it operates. Once you are used to it, then you need to start thinking about where you want to build your garden railway.

The first thing you need to do is to think about where people walk as you do not want to put the railway where it will trip people up or otherwise be a safety hazard. But you do need to put it somewhere where those who come into the area can see and appreciate your creativity and the hard work that it took to create such a wonderful garden railway.

Find an area which is relatively flat. If the area has has some small plants in it, so much the better as they will become part of the railway landscape. A slight slope and large rocks may give interest but avoid putting your railway under any big trees as they will shed their leaves and make a mess which will require frequent cleaning,  impair the functionality of your trains and prevent the small plants in your layout  from getting enough sunlight.

For some other considerations you might want to check out this page: Train Track design.

You need put your garden train layout close to a source of  electricity and need to use it with a Ground Fault Interrupter or GFI in order to make your train layout safe. You will probably want to purchase additional track to make your garden railway big enough. You will need straight pieces, corners, etc. Ask your hobby store dealer for assistance to get what you need once you measure the space you will be building your train on and have a basic idea of the shape you want your train to run in.

For assistance in getting  making a layout and building your Garden Railway, you can read Garden Railways Magazine and other publications or visit You can also, again, ask your local hobby store staff for assistance.

Once you have constructed your train layout and have it just the way you like it, then you will want start decorating the area with the small low growing plants, figures, buildings, etc. You and your family can have much fun doing this… and the good thing is, your garden railway is only limited by your time, effort, and your imagination.

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