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Indoor "garden railway"

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At Warley club we are building a G scale layout to take to exhibitions that captures the feel of a garden railway. It is not a model railway as such, more a replica of a garden railway. The photos show progress so far.




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16 ft by 10 ft. All of the baseboards will fit in the back of my car but a second car is needed to carry buildings and stock. This will make it a relatively cheap layout for exhibitions. Although we will need either six trestle tables provided by the exhibition organisers or a third car to carry our layout supports. First exhibition will be Warley NEC this year.





Edited by Chris M
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I already have a G scale end to end layout named Battenberg that has been well received at mainly local exhibitions in Derby. It was the inspiration of Michael Marwood a member of the G scale society who passed away in 2014 and wanted to show G scale at exhibitions.

Each board of four is 2feet 3inches square (hence the name Battenberg) giving a total length of 9 feet. We will be exhibiting at Belper on 25th of March 2017 and at Railex at the brewery at Burton on Trent on November 5th 2017.The whole layout fits in my Nissan Note comfortably. We welcome invites for Exhibitions.


Contact [email protected]

Edited by 60700
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Indoor Garden Railways are certainly not new. Back in the 1980s, Astolat MRG built an indoor garden railway to go on the stage at the Methodist church where they used to hold their shows, and PECO built an indoor garden railway for a trade show which featured trains in four different scales (SM32, 0, 00 and N)!

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Yes and I'm sure Chris was inspired by the big ones they've had at their show over the years as there used to be a large one there most years with artificial plants etc. Main problem is artificial shrubs etc are big to transport and store ;) Our group of friends used to set up tracks at shows on grass mats and even that took a lot of space up.


Here are a few of our displays from ten to 15 years ago.












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  • 2 weeks later...

I love this idea. Big railways inside are always cool.

 I hadn't realised how cool until I read about Kelvin Barnes fully weathered mini-layout - well 8x2 in G scale has to be mini doesn't it. It was featured in the December 2007 Model Rail, using LGB Stainz 0-4-0Ts, a small diesel and a railcar. I just bought a pile of old MRs in a local charity shop. It is striking how much better the stock and scenery look weathered.

Edited by phil_sutters
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Not my idea of a garden railway I'm afraid  :scratchhead:

Fair enough. The point is to create a layout to promote G scale that is easy and cheap to transport to exhibitions. I hope it might generate some interest and get people to think about building a garden railway.

I much prefer running trains in my garden on a nice sunny day.

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Simulating a real garden with lots of plants has been done for shows but it's a lot of setting up and expensive, Maybe you should have called it Garden Trains rather than railway Chris ;)

 We tried using artificial grass and even Christmas trees but it takes a lot of room to store it and we baulked at artificial pot plants. I had to retire my G scale show layout because once I lost the use of a friends barn it was just too big to store in the garage, (which was full of other useful  . . . . er . . .  stuff).

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  • 11 months later...

Looking at this laterally aren't ALL baseboard founded model railways with their hills valleys and representations of plants indoor garden railways?


From my youth I remember a neighbour who had a collection of cactus in his greenhouse.


He had chunks of rock and a few plastic animals arranged within it, so his collection had a landscape in scale with the plants.


Admittedly there were no trains but that did not matter to my youthful mind; the collection and it's use of space was what counted.


You could be whimsical and run trains around your bonsai collection having sunk the planters into a plastic foam base and encouraged moss to colonise the area between which is a more valid 'garden railway'.


I propose that  'An Indoor Garden Railway' may constitute:


1 Any scale/gauge combination may be used. Live steam, battery or track power are permitted for tractive power; I/R, R/C, Analogue or Digital control is allowed


2 The railway must run through, past or around a collection/s of miniature growing plants.


3 The top of any containered plant shall be set to match the local 'track/ground level' of the railway.


4 Any suitable material shall be used as an outer container within which the railway operates and plants grow.

(i.e. stainless steel or galvanised horticultural trays of bespoke or commercial supply)


5 Scale buildings and structures may be used.


6 Only natural rock, slate, ceramic tile miniature brick and timber shall be used to represent rocky outcrops, stone/brick built buildings, etc.  Cork, plastic and resin are not permitted.


7 The whole must be entirely sited and operated within an 'Alpine Green-house' or other unheated naturally lit covered space.


Anything else is a model railway and ne'er the twin shall meet.

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