Considering a backyard run.

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Travellar, May 11, 2007.

  1. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    I was daydreaming at work today, and wondered onto the idea of setting up a large, garder type run of track around my back yard. It's EXTREMELY doubtful I would actually do such a thing, but figured I'd check in on a couple details anyhow.

    I can't hope to keep a hundred and fifty feet of track clean, are there self powered locomotives available?

    I wanted something sufficient to haul around a few flatcars of usefull cargo, like drinks. (Catering by Train, how cool would that be?) Do I want O or G scale for that?

    Say one (self powered) locomotive, four flatcars, and a caboose. I'm guessing about 150 feet of track to circle my backyard, with no scenery, what kind of cost am I looking at?

    What do I need to know about surveying, measureing, leveling, or grading to pull this off?

    Like I said, this was so much day-dreaming, but I value the opinions around here.

    COMBAT Member

  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Your biggest cost will be landscaping to get everything ready for the track and trains.
  4. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    I have been able to locate the track ) bachmann G scale on Scam Bay at about $1 a foot, minus of course the S&H... I was able to get 200 feet for $180 on Ebay.. You need to look for these dealios and be careful of the ratings that the sellers have...

    Good luck. BTW I am also looking for a self propelled Engine with a wireless remote..
  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Interesting that you should have those daydreams - the latest issue of Model Railroader seriously discusses moving HO layouts outside to join their larger-scale brethren, and there are some photos of a couple of such layouts.
  6. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    Worked out an estimate with the guy who runs the local hobby shop. He said about $5 a foot for track, so the estimate we came up with is obviously higher. At $1 a foot, I'd say I'm looking at about $500.
  7. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    mmm..... outside HO.

    Let the grass grow long and go to seed. You'll have instant trees!

    Wife- Dear, mow the grass please!
    Modeler- I can't! It will mess up my scenery!

  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I have read and heard NOT to use the Bachmann G track outside. It is not made with UV stabilized plastic, and the ties become brittle and discolored very quickly when exposed to direct sunlight. Most other makes do have UV stabilization in the plastic parts.
  9. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    What about hand-layed track? I've heard of laying one's track by hand, but as I primarily do N-scale I've never taken it seriously untill now.
  10. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    You can configure G-scale to run battery powered, so you don't have to worry about about keeping your track clean.

    I went through a short g-scale spell but abandoned it due to the very high price of quality track, turnouts, Rolling stock, locomotives, and the vast amount work needed to create level subroadbed and what not.
  11. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    One day I WILL do a Garden railroad..... One Day! :)
  12. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Should be quite feasible, and I've heard of it being done. Should be a money saver. Some wood ties may have to be replaced after a couple of years, just like the prototype. Life of wood ties will probably depend on how well your roadbed and ballast drains the track, again just like the prototype. Fashioning turnout parts should be much easier because of larger size, but the filing could be a little more tedious. No personal experience with hand laying track bigger than HO to go on. Sounds interesting, though.

    just my thoughts
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    One of my friends re-did the whole backyard for his G-gauge trains. He did all handlaid track but didn't wire it. They run mostly live steam and a few battery powered locos. He even made a pond and a waterfall for his wife.
    But he still can't run the birthday Shay that started it all.
  14. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    Well of course not, You can never run your original stuff, the gremlins won't allow it! :)

    This constant daydreaming is going to get me in trouble. I personally think live steam would be the coolest thing in the world, next to building my own live steam engine. Of course, with that thought in mind, I've been tinkering around with using a soda can as a boiler, and some square brass tubing as a burner. It works pretty well, as I've just finished my second round of testing with the rig. Of course, I'm pretty sure the soda can would not make a good final boiler for a steam engine, as I doubt it could safely contain the pressure.

    This of course lends itself to more daydreaming. How to make the pistons. How to regulate fuel and water flow. How to run the steam lines I haven't figured out to the pistone I also haven't figured out. Whether I'll need to make some ceramic componets for parts of the structure. In short, how to build all the myriad parts and pieces neccisary to go from a soda-can boiling water, to a fully functional steam locomotive.

    And then I'll worry about laying track.

    *edit* the best part about all this is that it's good to daydream sometimes, and there's a hammock in my backyard.
  15. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Travellar: not the soda can for a boiler! The usual boiler is a heavy grade of brass or something stronger. If you get into that you need to google terms like "live steam" and "model engineering".
    There are some live steam locos around that you can buy. Mamod make a very basic one; Aster make (or made) very impressive kits that are actual models.
  16. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Take a look at this. :)
  17. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    yeah, I knew a soda can wouldn't work for a boiler, that was just for testing the burner. Of course, I'd still like a boiler about that size.

    Of course, no sooner do I abandon this whole concept as unachievable daydreaming, than you all kindly show me how! :)
  18. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    $699.00 ????? :shock:
  19. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

  20. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Hey, I didnt say it was cheap. I said it works! :)

    Btw... I went to this place and they run the trains on electric outside. It had rained that morning too and they were still running them. Just a thought!
    BTW, dont let the pics on the main page fool you, they have smaller stuff there too. LOL
    Maricopa Live Steamers Adobe Western Railroad

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