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english-electric

Newcomer to the scene...

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Hi everyone, 

I've been toying with the idea of building a garden railway in the past few years, and since major clearance of Leylandii trees (28 of them!) along the border wall and subsequent landscaping (small part of it done so far) and it has enabled me to have the blank canvas to start from, sort out the plants and paths while incorporating garden railway as well, so that the line blends in landscape and not dominate the garden. 

I am fortunate to have a decent sized garden, the border wall is 100ft length and this is where I envisage running OO gauge railway at approx 2ft level with a simple loop giving an impression of a double track. I don't plan to have any pointwork or fiddle about with lot of electrics, my philosophy is to keep it very simple. At one end, I plan to build a Summer House where track would run into, for stabling and swap train sets. 

What I'd like to ask is, does the OO scale rails rust when get left outside, do they not? I once left a small piece of Hornby track outside few years ago (when idea of a garden railway first surfaced in my mind) and they were completely rusted and unusable by the British weather! I see various OO garden railways on YouTube and how do their rails not get rusted? That's what I'd like to know. 

Initially, I would just power the track with conventional power unit based in the Summer House and run trains, but would it be enough power for that length? DCC would be a longer term plan as I have a large collection of locos and units that are not DCC fitted (you can imagine the expense...) so if anyone has any suggestions on suitable power unit for garden railway, I would be pleased to hear from you. 

I will put some pictures of my forthcoming construction of the garden railway when my time allows. 

Thanks in advance, 

Mark 

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Welcome to the forum Mark, looks like you are planning pretty huge layout outside, in the 100 feet of space you have, looking forward to seeing what you come up with your  track plans, Peco nickel silver flexi track is the best for outside, lucky you don't have the high temps I have  down under, Peco points are ok as well.

I am still using old Pec track from the third past layout , I have a very large pergola and car port joined together covered roof but still open to the weather, most of my new indoor outdoor layout is under cove, my layout is a module set up and is stored in a garden shed pretty hot in summer with no problems.

You are best sticking with DC to begin with as what I am doing with the power for my layout, are you planning double track that way you can have a couple of trains running, a lot of work to get more than one train running in the same DC track,  have you got a hobby shop close to you, you can visit , they will help you out with the best power supply for DC running, I had two 6amp trannies made up to power my layout..

We love to see lots of pics of your progress.

Tony from down under keeping on moving ahead.

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Steel Track will rust over time, Nickel Silver will tarnish and pick up dirt, but won't rust.

Like many others, I'm planning on using Peco SL-100 Wooden Sleeper track. 

 

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Hi Mark - good to hear from you so welcome to the forum.

As the two posts above have already mentioned, Peco 'Streamline' nickel silver track is the way forward. Unlike the old steel rails, nickel silver rail doesn't rust but it is sensitive to atmospheric conditions and pollutants which cause it to lose its lustre, creating the 'tarnish' we've come to be familiar with. However, unlike rust on steel rails the tarnish on nickel silver rails can be easily cleaned away with a fine abrasive track rubber restoring the lustre and enabling trouble free running in a few short sweeps. It's a task best carried out prior to each running session although it's not always necessary depending on how the weather has been over the preceding days. You can sometimes get away with it. Depending on the size of your layout cleaning the rail tops is something that takes about 10 minutes or so.

I'm sure you'll find that almost any DC controller will be sufficient to get one or two trains moving although some will undoubtedly be better suited than others if you intend running more than that. A standard DCC controller certainly works so why not a standard DC. I'm sure I would have used a transformer from a Hornby trainset at some point when I first ran anything but you'll doubtless want something better for permanent operations.

Getting something running is the most important part in my opinion and spending as much time as possible getting tracklaying right from the outset will pay dividends later on. You can change a controller in a matter of minutes - relaying track and its foundations takes a good deal longer.

 

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Thanks for the replies, and I certainly will post my track plan and pictures at some point. Peco SL track with nickel silver rails is definitely the best option, though it may be quite a while before inaugural train runs, a lot of landscaping and mini engineering work beckons... 

Regards, 

Mark 

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Welcome EE,

Yep Peco nickle silver track is the way to go, but l think someone here did say on here to avoid the concrete sleeper versions as the sleepers go brittle in the sunlight, sure someone will correct me if l'm wrong. 

Theres no such thing as simple electrics! I started of by using an old H &M controller which coped quite well on a looo the same size you plan. Most here will advise you to run a bus wire around the track as the track joiners will fail after time causeing dead section.

The other rule of being on the forum is post plenty of pictures!

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