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The man is a lunatic!


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I have been lurking for some years. Not contributing very much I am afraid. I started a garden railway back in 2013 or thereabouts. It worked fine but was ill thought out really, and my small garden needed too many crossing points of any construction. I have not left the Forum though, nor lost the interest. I have been following progress quietly.

Now, with the news of poor Tony, and Mick's own plans for his future, I need to step up to show that I still support everything that this Forum stands for. 

One of my biggest problems was the small size of my garden. It occurred to me that N gauge effectively doubles the available size. More than 6 months ago, I bought an Autocoach that seems ok for my arthritic hands. I then bought an 060 tank engine, and have accumulated 5 small locos, another coach, more than 30 wagons and vans and some track. It's all a mix of Southern, GWR, LMS, and even BR, but who cares? I am building on the borders of several railway companies, and in the early BR period before the painters have finished!

My intention is to build a Branch Terminus/Junction based on Bodmin, and it will all fit on a board measuring 6ft x15" (1800 mm x 380mm) I can fiddle with that to my hearts content over winter, and next year perhaps create a loop that my board can slot onto.




I have the buildings in kit form, and I even have a new eye after a cataract operation on Monday of this week. What an immediate difference that has made!

You can see that there are two single track branch lines that can be sent off to a loop and or sidings, and or the rest of the world. Station, goods yard, Engine shed, shunting, it's all there and is why this track plan has been created so often. Nothing complicated, and why should it be?  I do really think that is a huge problem for a new modeller. Get as much in as possible, and it doesn't work somehow. Simplicity is the key and is an important lesson to learn.

Will N work in the garden?  OO does, and the only difference is that my rails are closer together.

Wish me luck while I quietly carry on with my own plans. 

What name for my layout is the big problem just now. Rodmin? haha.

Take care folks. Stay safe and well. 



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Hi Roddy,

I have to admit to not knowing much about n scale. We've always had OO and I thought it would be too much trouble and expense to change.

What I always wondered was if there is enough weight in the stock? I think with modern OO, especially when led by a locomotive, there's enough weight in it to deal with a leaf or bit of grit coming loose on the track. I imagine n is going to need the track to be cleared fastidiously.

As I say, I've never handled n scale stock to get a feel of it.

I have a small garden too and access requirement means a large removable crossing point and removable staging area so I appreciate the problem.

Good luck and it'll be interesting to read your experiences.

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8 hours ago, roddy said:

....I started a garden railway back in 2013 or thereabouts. It worked fine but was ill thought out really.....

That's all how we all start out I believe Roddy. I'm sure none of us have got it right first time.

N gauge in the garden will pose it's own problems but I'm sure they could be largely overcome with some very careful planning. The board section should be fine of course but any connecting loop of track would need to be on a perfectly level and firm foundation without the kind of undulations we can get away with to some extent in OO gauge. I take it you are thinking of a permanent section outdoors?

A layout based on the Bodmin plan you posted above would offer great operational potential and the board section itself will give you plenty to work on over winter for sure. There's also the possibility that you could then add another modular section for erecting outdoors if a garden section proves too problematic. You are still welcome to participate on the forum without a permanent outdoor layout!

I wish you luck with whatever you decide but if it is something you really would like to do then don't spend too much time thinking about it - someone on this forum just has to get a layout completed!!

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I have made a start. Today I have made two baseboards, 36" x 15". Those boards have been hinged together and fitted with legs, so that the whole will open up and lock into place as my main station area which I shall then hopefully link with a garden loop. I can equally create a storage come fiddle yard on a third small board if I want to. Legs need adjusting for a little more splay, but let the pics do the talking.





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Great stuff Roddy. You've done well getting that far judging by the rain spots on the car.

What plans have you got for the station area? I take it you'll be planning buildings and so on? You're not going to have the boards fold with buildings fixed permanently in position then....I've seen that done before. Still, I don't suppose it will take much setting up and it certainly makes planning and initial construction much easier.

Have you got a suitable place to work on it during the winter months? When I decided to do the attic layout I feared it would be far too cold up there but I've been quite surprised by just how comfortable it can be. I have a small heater but I rarely have to use it, especially if we have the log fire lit in the room. You just need somewhere light and warm.

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I was working outside the garage this morning. It is full of my stepdaughter's furniture. I can create enough room in there to work, but there is not really so much to do. I think I can create the necessary embankments and fix platforms and still fold things away. The choice really was have the foldable boards nice and compact, or go deeper to house the buildings and have it start to get cumbersome. I will have to put stock out, so what difference half a dozen buildings? I am not looking for any accuracy of operation or setting, and have bought Metcalfe station, goods shed, signal box and engine shed, as well as the platforms. All intended to occupy time more than anything. 

I am quite comfortable in the garage, and temperatures can drop quite low before I start to feel things. It's nice and dry in there, and if push came to shove, those two little boards could come into the house if I behave myself. I have a small campervan, and can make the buildings and some other work in there. 

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Here I am again, logging out as one and in as the other!

Yes the garage sounds good Roddy. You could always add an heater if it dropped below your comfort level. And yes, you're right about the boards becoming more cumbersome the more you add to them. For easy manoeuvrability (always have to check that spelling) you're better off keeping them as light as possible.

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  • 6 months later...

Crepello_100 on YouTube started out running N gauge in the garden (all his YT content is OO), somewhere on RMWeb there was a section on it with details and pictures, unfortunately I can't find it now.

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