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New and looking for a project

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Hi all

I while ago I had to change my job and working pattern which has left me with a fair bit of spare time on my hands. It's also left me with the desire to take on something new to keep my brain going, not that my job isn't challenging just that its not challenging in the right way. Many years ago I started installing a 00 gauge layout in my garden shed but due to time, family and a decrepit shed I never got very far, so now I'm looking at taking those original ideas and pieces and putting it in the garden .

I have a space of about 9 metre x 5 metre, although not all of that is usable of course, and a pretty severe drop from one side to the other, the top 3 metre drops 17cm but the next 2 metre drops another 60 cm. Initially my plan would be to have a line running along the top of the garden with a loop at each end, but eventually I would like to utilise the lower end and run it into part of the shed. So based on the overarching plan I would like to have the track running at the top end of the garden at or very near ground level and the bottom end very much raised.

I've read through a few of the layouts here and got some ideas, I'm not keen on concreting throughout the top part of the garden and am thinking of using ply or something like Wickes Value Deck Board which I've seen on someone's thread, I guess these would need attaching to posts somehow which as said I would want very close to ground at the start, 

I know this is in theory the wrong time of year to start this idea, but I'm not much of a gardener and been looking at what I can do with the garden prior to next year so am trying to get a feel for what I need to get started.




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Welcome to the forum.

Warning, you never have enough spare time for a garden railway!! As someone who stopped working full time last year l wonder how l did everything l did then when l have double the time to do it in now.

So to the plan, l see no problem with using decking boards, many here use them with no problems, but the will need braceing underneath to stop them drooping or twisting. Also remember to give them a good coating of preservitive, even if you are covering with roof felt.

Again no problem with having it close to the ground, but remember it does mean your on your kness laying track and when track cleaning as well. Remember also you may get splash back on the track from the surrounding soil. Depending how low you are going you could use fence posts laid across the base boards or the tried and tested mera post system if you are going higher.

There is no bad time to start either. With autum coming it means your not trappling down growing plants, or thats my excuse anyway.

What ever your choice have fun with it post plenty of pictures as well.

This forum my not be the font of all knowledge but its dam close.

Some techi isusse mean its been a bit quite here of late but l 'm sure there will be others along to welcome you soon



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Cheers, biggest problem at the moment is too many ideas, need to prune them more than the vegetation.

At the moment I'm toying with the idea of a brick base along the top end of the garden with raised boards at the bottom.

Will get some pictures sorted soon. 

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Hi bpbill

As Jim says, the forum's been a bit quiet lately due in no small part to the fact that the software hasn't been behaving itself but there's also the fact that many of us just seem to need to take a break from it all every now and again. However, I firmly believe that a model railway isn't just for Christmas and once you're hooked it seems it stays with you for a lifetime. In fact I was reading somewhere a day or so ago that stated the model railway season is just beginning - though I assume they mean the indoor variety rather than the outdoor one, so I expect a flurry of activity anytime soon!

Deciding where and how to begin that initial construction is the most difficult part but I hope the cumulative efforts of our members in the past will be of some assistance in helping you make the right decision. It's very easy to just go outside and start hammering nails into lengths of timber but if you're looking for something that might last more than through a single season then take plenty of time to think about it.

It's difficult to recommend the best materials as it all depends on personal circumstances and the actual location but it does need to be secure and solid. At ground level it's frequently damp and there's a lot of debris, especially after rainfall and as I think Jim has already mentioned, there's also the fact that it involves a lot of bending and kneeling down. However, ground level does provide a very realistic scene.

Incorporating the shed as part of the layout would be very worthwhile in my opinion - in fact yes, it's the way to go even if there's not a lot of room in there. It will provide storage and a covered area where you could locate controls etc.

My best advice would be no gradients and large curves but I know that isn't always possible. If you have to have gradients they need to be very slight and keep curves as large as you possibly can. That will greatly lessen your chances of problems when you commence running.

If you can add some photos of the intended location that would be great so that we can see what you have to work with.

Above all else, have fun. Construction is one of my favourite parts even though it takes me a long time to get there. 

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