Outdoor: O or G?

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by NBS2005, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. NBS2005

    NBS2005 New Member


    The outdoor bug has bitten me bad, running in all weather, being out in the fresh air, it just looks like great fun.

    I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons of going either G or O. Money is of course a factor with O being a bit cheaper. Are any of the O loco's weather sealed? (particularly the atlas O's, anyone runnig those outside). Has anyone here tried both?

    Any and all feedback is appreciated. We break gound this spring!

  2. simmonds

    simmonds Member

    Personally I would go with G. I have never built an outdoor railroad but a good buddy of mine has and I remember once he was asking the same question regarding gauge. I am not sure why he went G but he did alot of research before making that decision. Personally, unless I was in the desert where low humidity and year around nice weaher (like Arizona) I would never run my O gauge stuff outside.

    Also my buddy recently stopped powering his garden railroad by transformer and went with battery operated trains. Now he doesnt have the constant battle with continuity and track maintenance that can be alot of work when maintaining a outdoor railroad. He was about to tear it all up and give up till he discovered battery op trains.
  3. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    I do not know of any 'O' gauge trains, engines that are weather sealed like an LBG 'G'' engine is. Anyone that I know that does 'O' gauge outsides, do not leave any of the trains or transformer outside.

    Here is a link for a very large outside 'O' gauge layout


  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    If you're going to go year round and have a lot of climate changes, go G gauge.
    I really want to do something outside but I'd like to do a temp track that could be taken down and stored in the winter. Might have to look into those battery powered trains though.

    Simmonds- Any idea where your buddy got his?
  5. simmonds

    simmonds Member

    Cannonball- I will talk with my friend John at work tomorrow and get the low down on his trains and let you know.
  6. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Thanks! :thumb:
  7. Geno

    Geno Member

    A friend of mine from AGHR (3-rail club in San Pedro, CA) is building an outdoor layout in his backyard. Although part of it is in his garage, much of his mainline will be outdoors.

    I considered doing the same myself, but since I have so much stuff in the garage and use it as my woodworking area, I decided to use my bonus room upstairs instead.

    Another reason I passed on the outdoor layout idea is that most of the year it gets hot (95-105 F) outside, and I know I'd rather run trains inside with the AC on. My friend in Palmdale has already experienced a typical High desert summer, and he couldn't even go in his garage (TOO HOT!!)- imagine when the rest of his layout is outside.

  8. NBS2005

    NBS2005 New Member

    I was over at Cabose Hobby in Denver over lunch. OMG the G scale stuff is huge! And so cool!

    The cost of the locos didn't bother me to much (lots in the 200-275 rang). The cars were a little pricey, but I think doable. The price of the track scared the hell out of me though! I know hand laid is way more work, but can it be cheaper than pre laid track?

    I'm just wondering how you can keep your track costs down.


  9. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    if your going to make a permanent outdoor layout you will need non corroding track,i know there is G scale track like this but im not sure about O.and as for trains staying outside NEVER :D!even if they are water and out doors resisitent id doesnt mean there corrosion PROOF.there is a difference.i just wanted to save you some serious cash.and yes track is quite expensive but you should practice alot of handlaying before you set up the layout cause if its outta gauge you have to re do it all.--josh
  10. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    A friend of mine has an outdoor layout of 550' in O gauge. The track is Atlas with UV resistant ties. He uses MTH DCS and the old Del Air switch controls. It has been up almost three years. It has with stood snow, rain and heat. It is outside of Reno Nevada so the elements are as extreme as you can get. His biggest problem has been rabbits and the family dogs. He does not leave the transformers out when not running or the equipment. Also there is a gentleman in Oregon who has O gauge outdoors and it is an impressive layout also.


    O gauge can be used outside on the ground, the only caveat is, its like maintaining a real railroad. :D

  11. D&Hp-burgh

    D&Hp-burgh New Member

    good resource

    http://www.thortrains.net/ has a good Large Scale and Garden Railways section that might give you some good tips and suggestions. Look around for a starter kit - I bought one - engine, boxcar, caboose, power pack - 10' oval for about 300 which i think is very comparable to o scale prices

    good luck

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