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OK first off please excuse the blasphame, /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif , and hello this is my first post here but hopefully not my last.

But truth be told I am not a gardener and dont really have any desire to become one. I am really only interested in running an outdoor railroad with my G scale loco's.

I am curious if I am alone in this or if there are others that feel the same way as I do and have built there outdoor railroads gardenless. If so how did you go about it?, any tips would be helpfull.

I am planing to build a 16'x65' raised area off of my deck in which to construct the railroad. It's not large by most standards but its where I am going to start.

I would also like some info where I can find some track plans/layouts that will help me decide on a layout for my railroad. I would like to be able to see what the layout look like before I start laying track.

Thanks in advance, Ron

(just a note I posted this on a couple of different forums so I could get wide range of opinions)
 

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GASP! Horrors!

Err ah... well... if you read around on this forum you will not a bazillion photos of various "Garden Railroads" that seem to be totally devoid of "Garden". Even those that are not elevated sometimes are just barren ground and rocks with artificial botanical decoration.

Personally, with my horticultural expertise, wherein I am eminently qualified to tell the difference between a weed and a brick, I have opted for an elevated railroad in my backyard and totally ignore those that ask what I have done with the "garden" aspect of it.

Build your "Railroad" and enjoy it. :)
 

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Ron,

Welcome to MLS. There is a great bunch of people here with a wide range of interests. I find that the folks here are SOO much more tollerant of differing opinions and tastes than anyother site I've come across in Model Railroading. There are gardeners, rivet counters, whimsical fans, live steamers--all living in harmony. I mysefl am sort of in your boat--a model railroader that choses to run outside: 1 because I like the fresh air and 2 the size of the trains is addictive--I like my trains with some heft.

That said, what you propose is not all that unusual. Here is a link to a thread on my layout I am building, and other than the fact that it is in the dirt--it is a model railroad outside, and I might plant a few live plants if I have room (at this rate doubtfull).

http://www.mylargescale.com/Community/Forums/tabid/56/forumid/9/postid/37582/view/topic/Default.aspx

Sorry still don't know how to make links active--just cut and paste into your browser.

The man's work you really need to see is Richard Smith. Do a search for his Port Oregon Coast railroad--there is even a PDF file put together with its construction. It is raised on pressure treated benchwork and I think it MAY have a few live plants, but Richard himself admits to being like you and me--not a gardener. Sorry Richard if I got that wrong, but I recall seeing such a comment in one of your posts--it made me feel at home. If it is green I can kill it. Not sure how my grass stays green in the yard--but then again St Augustine grass is really a weed--I believe you folks up north call it crab grass. I call it easy to care for!

Good luck with your plans, I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just a little clarification, I'm not going to build a deck extension.
It will be on the ground
I plan on using a double layer of 6x6x16's pressure treated wood, to make a 16x65 foot area, I'll use clean fill to bring up the grade to about 9", from there I will have to figure out where to go as far as roadbed ect., I am thinking about putting in a pond or 2 to run over and maybe a mountain to drive though.

I plan on using aristo craft stainless steel track with 12.5 foot curve radius, and some form of DCC for track control.

I am looking for peoples experiance and some pointers on what they did.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow what i wouldnt give for free time like that, /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif

But some very nice idea's thanks Mat.

Does anyone know of a good website that has a large selection of track plans?
 

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That's the beauty of large scale! You can pretty much make up any track plan you want! ;) Seriously though, because there are different manufacturers of sectional track ( and some measure in metric while some measure imperial) it is difficult to point you to one source for track layouts. I would recommend doing your research here on MLS and by talking to and experiencing the layouts of others. The archives are literally filled with questions that have been asked and answered by people like you! I would also recommend Garden Railways as it is a bi-monthly magazine that has a plethora of information. A number of GR's contributors are regulars here on MLS! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not looking for exact piece by piece track plans, just some place were I can look at different track layouts so I can get some ideas, they dont even ahve to be G scale for that matter.
And omg are there any video's of Richards POC rail road?
 

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Hmmmmm.... Do I detect a little double speak?
Bodsrailroad - I am thinking about putting in a pond or 2 to run over and maybe a mountain to drive though.
Would that be a water garden and rock garden?
/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I pretty sure I wont be able to kill the water or the rocks, so I should be ok with that/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif
 

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We have an "outdoor layout" not a garden layout ;)

There's just something I like about about a layout that follows its natural soundings. All of the plants, trees, ground cover, etc... on the layout are natural to the property. This decision was made partly due to the look we wanted and partly due to the extreme environmental issues of having a layout in the harsh southwest mountains. Very few "garden plants" will grow in this environment without a lot of care and watering. And we already had lots of wild grasses. I'll occasionally trim these, but other then that I don't have to do anything for them. As far as the "garden" aspects go we're a pretty low maintenance layout.

And the only really garden like aspect on the layout is a small water feature. But even this is somewhat natural. Our well head is artesian. In years of normal snow this artesian well will typically overflow until late July. This overflow works perfectly for a flowing river through town. In years with heavy snow it can run all summer and then some (this year happened to be a heavy snow year). In years of low snow it may never overflow. So sometimes there isn't a water feature.

Here are two photos (second one shows the river) that show we're pretty much au naturale:





For more photos and a video clip, take a look at our layout website:

Snowshoe & San Juan Model Railroad
 

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I am not a gardener and dont really have any desire to become one. I am really only interested in running an outdoor railroad with my G scale loco's

Ron,

I'm not a gardener either. My front yard had a 20' x 50' area that I could run a track around - it was about 12-18" above grade so I figured that would help my aching back. We had remodelled the house and had new septic tanks installed, so the landscaper put the soil back and planted a few bushes.

I then dug a trench, filled it with crushed rock and tamped that down, and them laid track on top. I made no attempt to 'improve' the garden - in fact, those thorny barberries the landscaper installed were a literal pain.
 

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in fact, those thorny barberries the landscaper installed were a literal pain




That's what Roundup is for: Weeds:D
 

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Posted By BodsRailRoad on 07/27/2008 6:15 AM
I'm not looking for exact piece by piece track plans, just some place were I can look at different track layouts so I can get some ideas, they dont even ahve to be G scale for that matter.
And omg are there any video's of Richards POC rail road?


 

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Posted By BodsRailRoad on 07/27/2008 6:15 AM
I'm not looking for exact piece by piece track plans, just some place were I can look at different track layouts so I can get some ideas, they dont even ahve to be G scale for that matter.
And omg are there any video's of Richards POC rail road?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Posted By toddalin on 07/28/2008 8:01 PM
Posted By BodsRailRoad on 07/27/2008 6:15 AM
I'm not looking for exact piece by piece track plans, just some place were I can look at different track layouts so I can get some ideas, they dont even ahve to be G scale for that matter.
And omg are there any video's of Richards POC rail road?






Thats exactly what I meen when I say I'm looking for track plans/layouts.

Now if anyone knows of a good website that has stuff like that I would be greatfull.

Thanks, Ron
 

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Here's a link to the trackplan for my railroad:
http://www.trains.com/grw/objects/pdf/tuscarora_plan.pdf

and a video, if you're so inclined:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNqCM70ZuK4

I don't know that you're going to find a web site with track plans. It's the nature of garden railroads to be somewhat integrated into their landscape, so it's not like the indoor railroads where trackplans can simply be altered to adapt to various size rooms. What works in one person's 65' x 15' space will likely be entirely different from what works in another's because the existing topography, placement of the house, large trees, etc. will likely be completely different.

What will help you greatly as you do plan your railroad is to figure out what kind of railroading appeals to you. Do you like long mainline freight trains or short, quirky narrow gauge stuff? Do you want lots of trains running at once, or is one train meandering around the landscape sufficient? What about prototype-style operations (dropping cars off at one industry, picking up others). You don't have to nail these concepts down before starting, but if you do know where your interests may lie, it's easier for us to help you along the way. Know also that tastes do change over time, so you may find yourself liking one style at first, but then becoming more enamored with others and adapting your railroad to suit. Leave a little room for change in whatever you do, especially if you're just starting out.

Later,

K
 

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Heres a pic of my gardenless "garden" railroad:



Its basicly just laid floated over a continuous 3" bed of crushed gravel over weedblock fabric (it didnt BTW) This pic was when I was building it, I had to pull it up for construction but I recently cleared out this area and will likely lay down the track once again, after I get a couple headache "Hom'impruvm'nt" projects out of the way. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif
 
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