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smallest gauge in the garden


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I know most of us (myself included) run 16mm scale on 32 or 45mm gauge track, and some have taken to gauge 1, O gauge, or at a push 00 gauge, but has anyone here tried anything smaller in the garden? Say, n gauge or even Z gauge?

Edited by Killian keane
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Many moons ago, the neighbour of my best school friend spent a small fortune laying 00 gauge track in quadruple around his back garden. Alas he'd bought track made with steel rail so it all went rusty within months...

 

All the best,

 

Keith

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I guess it all depends on the size and type of garden,

and how keen you are on gardening, if you are like me

(not a keen gardener!) it would have to be 0 gauge or

larger, otherwise I wouldn't be able to see it!

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There has been some N gauge featured in magazines etc in the past, generally with some very precision laid concrete groundwork to support it - there was even a photo posted on A.N.Other forum of a chap out in his garden, wearing a hat which had an N gauge circle of track around the brim! (which caused a huge argument over the distinction between "garden railway" and "railway in the garden" :nono: ).

 

It's worth bearing in mind the old phrase "You can't scale nature", and even the smallest bit of detritus on the track will cause huge problems the smaller you go in scale terms.

If I was to go 'minimum', I think it would be 7mm Narrow Gauge running on 00 track.

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Bert Groves, an early 2mm finescale modeller, had an N gauge garden layout in the late 1960s/early 1970s.  I think it was featured in the Model Railway Constructor.

 

It ran around a rockery and a pond so was in a reasonably sheltered location.

 

Mark

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A local modeller here in Africa has built an 00 gauge garden railway. Due to extremes of temperature and the usual garden wildlife he has built wooden covers for the track which protect it when it's not in use. N gauge would probably work better with some sort of track protection. It must cut down on cleaning too.

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Bert Groves, an early 2mm finescale modeller, had an N gauge garden layout in the late 1960s/early 1970s.  I think it was featured in the Model Railway Constructor.

 

It ran around a rockery and a pond so was in a reasonably sheltered location.

 

Mark

"Rhydes Valley" by Bert Groves, RM August 1967.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know most of us (myself included) run 16mm scale on 32 or 45mm gauge track, and some have taken to gauge 1, O gauge, or at a push 00 gauge, but has anyone here tried anything smaller in the garden? Say, n gauge or even Z gauge?

I had a dabble at N Gauge in the garden between 1985-97/8. Mainly as I had been into N gauge since 1967, and had no wish to change scales. The project gradually grew and featured in the Railway Modeller April/August 1995. The line ended up fully track circuited and with automatic 4 aspect signalling. Below are a selection of pictures from those 'crazy' years.

 

post-31978-0-99393200-1497531162_thumb.jpgConstruction, and how to test load a bridge.

post-31978-0-25585800-1497531174_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-77114700-1497531180_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-68742400-1497531187_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-08328100-1497531193_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-31278700-1497531201_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-94220900-1497531205_thumb.jpg

post-31978-0-62152900-1497531229_thumb.jpg Early days and temporary control set up

post-31978-0-11307800-1497531464_thumb.jpg Bridging the gap. Lift out bridge connecting the garden section to the new indoor storage and control set up.

post-31978-0-45974900-1497531243_thumb.jpg The Indoor panel once the line had been automated and quadrupled throughout.

post-31978-0-80457000-1497531215_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-94727800-1497531401_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-18700500-1497531413_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-28797300-1497531428_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-56843200-1497531443_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-88795200-1497531456_thumb.jpgpost-31978-0-70953200-1497531486_thumb.jpg

post-31978-0-83002400-1497531808_thumb.jpg

One problem, couldn't run on these days, but they didn't happen that often. The top of the church spire just about visible in the centre.

post-31978-0-49613400-1497531820_thumb.jpg

post-31978-0-48097000-1497531496_thumb.jpg Other problems seen in a 'tongue in cheek' way.

 

Andy.

Edited by anroar53
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  • 7 months later...

Do it proper and go to 5" narrow gauge if you want roundy roundy or out and back in a U.

 

BUT BUILD IT SCENIC. Tunnel, cutting and bridges. BIG chunks of rockery stone

 

Modern radio gear with FPV means you can drive it from the comfort of a line side chair. (FPV = First Person View aka driver/pilot's eye)

 

Life is too short to resume the pre-natal squatting hunch to drive 5" at ground level, and who wants to sit astride on a crash barrier? Unless you are modelling the Grenwich to London Bridge viaduct.

 

I wish I had gone with the first instinct to put in 5" scenic as it would have cost less than SM45 mounted on 2000 concrete blocks and founded on 42 tonnes of best redimix.

 

In narrow gauge 5" works out at 2'6 gauge when you scale at 1:6 aka 2"/ft.

 

Pax/Footplate crew from Act ion man or Bar-bie and Ken. You don't need many to populate a small industrial line.

 

Set up costs on a par with SM32 or SM45mm when you look at loco,stock and track.

 

You can have your a GWR BLT in SG if you go to 1" scale aka 1:12 and use the wealth of Dolls house accessories and building plans. Use the American muddling gauge of 4.75" and you are snuggling up to Mr Stephenson's chosen chariot trackway.

 

Yes the semi-engineering scales are BIG, BOLD and intrusive, but they hold their own against nature.

 

Leaves, snails, cats small dog hedgehogs foxes etc all take a second place to large engineering scales.

 

5" is about as large as can be lifted by one average male, plus it will fit in the back of a medium hatchback when you a ta-tas go.

 

It is also of a size to be worthwhile as practical garden transport be it from house to compost heap or Garage to Gazebo via back door. A 30'garden being 180' at 2"/ft and typical of brickyard, quarry and small industrial lines.

 

I commend the idea to the house.

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I had a dabble at N Gauge in the garden between 1985-97/8. Mainly as I had been into N gauge since 1967, and had no wish to change scales. The project gradually grew and featured in the Railway Modeller April/August 1995. The line ended up fully track circuited and with automatic 4 aspect signalling. Below are a selection of pictures from those 'crazy' years.

 

Andy.

 

"Dabbling" obviously isn't the right word for a superb model railway like that.  Outdoor buildings like those would be impressive in any scale, but in N they are heroic.  Each to his own, but those photos should certainly give pause to those who seem to think that a garden is no place for the smaller scales.

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Just because you can run 11 car loco hauled trains in the garden does not mean you should

 

 

I think you are forgetting the 'fun' element. That it certainly was, and very rewarding. I now run even longer trains but back indoors.

 

post-31978-0-11767300-1517059731_thumb.jpg

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