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I have a Playmobil set that I've been thinking of upgrading into a proper garden railway. I'm not keen  on the playmobil track. 

 

Has anyone here used the plastic track sold by ECR (eg on eBay) and how does that fare? 

 

Any new additions to the line will most likely be battery powered so I don't need metal track to conduct electricity - although obviously having that option might be useful  in which case what's the most cost effective way to purchase metal track?

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Posted (edited)

I'm a bit doubtful about plastic track in the garden but I do live in Western Australia, where the sun tends to eat polymers rather quickly. 

 

I've often thought that, for a small, not too serious setup, the Mamod/MSS die-cast metal system has a lot going for it, and assuming 32 mm gauge stock. 

 

For 2-rail electric operation, you're probably stuck with Peco for a rtr solution, or building your own with wooden sleepers, spikes and flat-bottomed rail from somewhere. 

Edited by PatB

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It's Gauge 1, so that's what you would be looking for.  LGB track has plastic ties- so if you are somewhere not too close to the face of the sun (aka, not WA, or a desert) it would be one option.  You could do your own using Tenmil ect, if that interests you.  

 

Otherwise, I believe at least one person on here has built a layout with the Playmo track in the garden.  I don't know, because my large scale layout is Lego, not Playmo :).  (the Niece has both the Faller Hit Train stuff of our youth, and a rather vast collection of Playmobile trains...).  The largest issue I can see with the Playmo track is the lack of anything approaching a reasonable radius for garden use.  I'd suspect it matches LGB #1 radi...

 

The other plastic option that I know of, is that LGB used to make plastic track as well.  No idea of what the cost would be, but I suspect you'd do better just buying regular brass railed LGB track.  The only advantage I could see is that it would likely directly connect to LGB track.

 

James

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Having looked at the ECR track, whilst very cheap, I have serious doubts that the points would last very long at all, and, unless you will not be using it very much, it is probably a false economy, or at best, will be a frustrating experience, as bad as the Playmobil.

 

As for the cost of metal railed track, the question is more about how long you want to spend on laying it. If you want a fairly quick result, then the Peco G Scale flexi track system is probably your best bet (it is also readily available). But if you don't mind taking longer over it, then Tenmille (or even Peco) self-assembly track, with separate wooden or plastic sleepers, rail and, if you are adventurous, self-build points might fit the bill. It will work out cheaper, but not by a great deal, I have found.

 

LGB is undoubtedly the strongest G track out there, but is not cheap, and has been hard to obtain (although that has improved recently).

 

Second hand track, off Ebay or at shows, might be the cheapest method of all. But be wary of buying points using this method. Just don't ask me how I know this.......

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