Well, after all these years I think I need another Garden Railway.
It's still cold outside here. Snowing and below freezing weather. The front garden area is a shambles and needs to be revived. I want to have a small table and chairs surrounded by plants and shrubs. Of course, I also want a railway in this relaxation zone.
What can I say? Once you've run your trains on a really long mainline, that is bigger than you've ever had, it's sort of impossible to think of going back to a tiny indoor layout.
I tried planning for small practice layouts. Yet I have 8 car passenger trains! Sure, I may build an oval test track for table top use indoors, but these trains need to really be able to stretch out and race on a long mainline track.
List of items I want to incorporate:
-Recycle as much of my old flex track as I can.
-Use recycled materials as much as possible.
-I have no yet decided if I want shingles and bitumen, or creosote soaked lumber.
-A swappable control system of Analog or Digital.
-It will be a low layout this time. I love having things at table height, but I want to try having the trains passing through flower beds and rocks for natural scenery.
-I am aiming for a double track oval to race my trains on at highly unrealistic speeds because that is what makes me happy.
Things I learned on my last layout:
-I didn't seal my lumber well enough.
-Some of the places on my layout did not turn out as well as I planned. I need to make truly solid woodwork.
-Having the oval be at table height made access to the garden a problem.
-Build as you go really worked for me. I will just start making flower beds with risers and track platforms and slowly work my way around the oval like I did the first time.
-I may consider using clear caulk sealant to bind the track to the baseboards. The track nails worked well, but the vibration from wind loosened some areas.
-Switches/points did not deal with the sun well. The Atlas products I used seemed to melt and warp unlike the flex track. I may build small sun roofs for these areas or use removable covers to keep these areas protected from sun light when not being used.
-Keep the layout very minimal. I may not even place structures on it. The addition of details is one of the things that made me give up last time. I never reached a point of completion. I need a goal post I can reach and say: Ok, the layout is finished!
-I have already collected some nice garden rocks from a trip to the mountains, I need more.
-I grabbed some scrap wood from a construction site, I need more.
-I purchased a pack of Zinnia seeds for one of the flower beds.
Fingers crossed for warmer dry weather.