??? about garden trains...

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by ozzy, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    ok, now that i will have my O gauge layout done this winter thats in the house. i been looking at pics and videos of garden trains, it seems most people run G for there outside stuff, i want to know if anyone run 3 rail O? and do company makes, or sells 3-rail O gauge track for outside? and will it stand up to iowa winters? rain, snow, in the summer time i like to be outside , so i think id get use out of a garden train, and then when the winter hits, just go run my inside layout. i want to run O-rail outside so that way i just have to by track, and not have to go out and buy a new gauge of engines and rail cars.,

    i think this will work good, as the wife wants to put up a nice flower garden next spring, and even tho she thinks i have too many trains now, i think i can get her talked into this as she wants the garden, and you know i would be more apped to get started on her garden if i could put a train in it...........lol see how that works....lol

  2. Philinbos

    Philinbos Member

    G scale trains and track are designed to be used outdoors - The motors are sealed and the track is UV treated. I'm not aware of any smaller gauges designed for outdoor use. If you must have an outdoor layout, pick-up an inexpensive starter set or some used equiptment, I think you'll be better off! Good Luck.:thumb:
  3. JoysBoy

    JoysBoy New Member


    I think that there is some MTH outdoor O gauge available

  4. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    what are the rails made of that makes them work outside? how about [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Solid nickel silver? i just found atlas O 3-rail, that says its indoor/outdoor. [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]40 Inch Flex Track With Solid nickel silver rail and Simulated Cement Ties, $ 9.89 ea , on www.wholesaletrains.com

  5. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member


    I don't know where you live but I have a friend who has an outdoor layout on the ground. It's O gauge 3-rail Atlas O track and he's using MTH DCS for control. His mainline is 550' long with two sidiings and a future yard for holding trains in the plans. He runs 50-60 car trains without a problem. It has survived three winters here in the Reno Nevada area. One winter it was under 4' of snow for a couple of months. Last winter we had a huge amount of rain for this area and he had some wash outs to contend with. The only time he doesn't run it is during rain or deep snow. He has the same switches in that he started with and they still work. The track has survived the summer heat and sun quite well. The Atlas track has UV resistant ties and are the wood looking type. Can 3-rail be run outdoors, yes it can. One thing he does though and that's put his trains away after running them. Although he's left them outside for a couple days at a time this time of year if it isn't raining. Next weekend he's part of a layout tour and will be exercising his equipment and I'm hoping to get over there and get some new pictures.

    Greg Elems
  6. johntealn30

    johntealn30 New Member

    Outdoor track


    I run On30 in my garden, I use peco nickle silver track, It does get the usual dulling given time but is nothing a track rubber cant sort out. Before running i walk round with a track rubber and get it all sparkling in about 10mins, (About 120' of track) Rain is the worse thing for causing the dulling. I could happily run with no cleaning for about 3 weeks when it was dry.

    Ps ive found using a track rubber on wet track a mistake !!! It turns the rubbings into sludge that smears. Give it a quick wipe first !!


    RJR Branch Line
  7. anozirarr

    anozirarr New Member

    Here is an outdoor, 3 rail, O

    O gauge outdoors? You bet your bippy. Take a look at ours by trying http://www.photoshow.net/AnoziraRR

    All track and switches are GraGraves, 3-rails, Stainless Steel w/combination of plastic and wood ties. Wood ties MUST be treated w/preservative to defeat the termites. The plastic ties will not stand up to desert, PM direct sun exposure if track is mounted on solid base. 95% of our track is supported by an open ladder system. The open aspect keeps the ties cool in direct sunlight. Go to http://www.btcomm.com/trains/primer/roadbed/ladder1.htm
    to see the HDPE Flexible Roadbed concept. We modified the dimensions to fit O.
    Installing O track out-of-doors requires that one allow for rail expansion and contraction. Do this with constant curves, avoiding straight track sections longer than around 2 feet or so. The track has a tendency to expand with the bow of a curve, so one can have simulated straight that is actually a loooooooooooong radius curve. If there is not enough curve to absorb heated rails expansion, the track will jam against the adjoining track sections and will bow upwards. We installed 2mm of expansion gap between each track section and the next section (that's 2mm on each end of a track section). We only screw the track section to the support at the sections' ends -- mid-section is not screwed and is allowed to float - move with the expansion/contraction induced by daily temperature fluctuations.
    Draw-backs with putting O outside are the elements. Can not use anything that is not waterproof, treated against termite digestion, resistant to UV radiation, and will not degrade such as glue. Non-UV resistant plastic is sprayed with clear UV inhibitor once a year. 95% of all buildings are the popular Christmas village, ceramic ones. The ceramic holds up excellently, but the paint used on them do not. They must be sprayed also. People figures and vehicles must be sprayed w/UV inhibitor.
    Rust and metallic corrosion is a problem unless ventilation is provided. Example: Lionel 262 automatic grade crossing. The base sits on flat surface. If the area under the base is not provided with free air exchange - the thing will rust in a New York Minute. We have elevated the base with spacers to allow air flow. Drilled holes in the support/floor directly under the 262's base and sprayed a liberal amount of WD-40 on the 262's underside. So far, so good into 6 months.
    Twelve gauge wire is used for supply runs from electric source to distribution end point and is landscape, low voltage lighting wire which is UV treated during manufacture. This cuts down on voltage loss and wire coating degrade due to the elements. Outdoor Christmas tree lighting wire is used between 12 gauge and accessory or device.
    The track MUST be wiped clean before running of trains; even if only overnight interval due to atmospheric dust settlement. Track can get very dirty in only a short time due to the stuff in the air.
    That's about it. Go out -- go fun. Cheers.

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