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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I posted in the intro section, I've got a pair of twins that absolutely love trains. I don't have room in the house for a setup for them right now, but I just finished a patio outside with a great planter area that would be a good location for an outdoor setup.

From browsing the forums and from seeing local model train shows and other reading, it looks to me like the predominant size for outdoor setups are G scale, but I'm not sure I have room for that. The garden area that I want to put this setup is basically "L" shaped, with the smallest outside diameter for a turn of 60" (that's edge to edge in the garden, so the track might need to be slightly smaller). Is that too small for the smaller G scale engines? If I just stuck with a loop on the leg of the "L" it's closer to 68" outside diameter.

I'm leaning toward O scale because of this turn (plus the scale might look better in the smaller area), but I don't see any information about people running O scale outside. Are there O scale tracks and such that can be left outside? It seems like the G scale have brass tracks, are there O tracks like that?

Also, what online sources would you recommend for buying trains, or if you know of a good store in Albuquerque, NM, where is it?

Thanks, I'm looking forward to the great information you folks have!
 

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I think you'll find that most G scale equipment will work fine with 5' diameter curves, in fact most train sets actually come with 4' diameter curves. I wouldn't run a UP big boy on that since it's 5' in length but some 2-4-0 or 2-6-0 steamers would look great.

As far as where to get it, I think you'll find that SPTrains.com has the best prices around, I've also had good success ordering from wholesaletrains.com

Here are G scale Steam Locomotives

Passenger Cars

I'm in the process of getting our G scale train sets up on the site. That might be a good way to start so you get some track, a few cars and then just need to expand. I hope this helps, if you have any questions just let me know and I'll help you as much as possible.
 

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The smaller scales are typically not built for outdoor operation; particularly the track and wiring.

Youngsters frequently like model trains that look like the real ones they see. You might also check out the diesel trains. The GP-7 looks like a good entry level unit.

G Scale Diesels


See the G Scale forum. I've posted about the National Garden Railroad Convention 2008. Its in Chandler, AZ. I know that's a several hour drive from NM, but at least its not Vermont or Florida.
 

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The garden area that I want to put this setup is basically "L" shaped, with the smallest outside diameter for a turn of 60" (that's edge to edge in the garden, so the track might need to be slightly smaller). Is that too small for the smaller G scale engines? If I just stuck with a loop on the leg of the "L" it's closer to 68" outside diameter.
I've checked SP's G scale track listings and the smallest I found was 5' diameter AristoCraft track. That might just barely fit in your 60" area, but would definitely go into the 68" area. You have to scroll down a ways to find it.

G scale track

O scale would obviously fit better, with diameters under 4 feet. Maybe Boston&Maine knows something about running O scale outdoors.
 

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Okay.... I'm starting to feel like I'm talking to myself. :D

I found a site about outdoor O scale layouts. I started a new thread in the O scale forum with the link. I also emailed the owner of the site and invited them to join the discussion. Let's hope we get some response.
 

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most sets come with 48" curves which is why I thought it would work

I'd be concerned about dirt and grime in O scale. G scale was really made for outdoor running, I just don't think you'll be happy with o scale
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys, sorry I got busy all of a sudden.

I'll have to check out the outdoor O scale, but I'm leaning more toward the G now, if it fits. I'd really like to make it as big as I can with that somewhat limited space.

I'm not to worried about running a big boy right now, I'm not going to get elaborate (or expensive!) until the boys are a bit older.
 

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I've been giving some thought to this since sptrains posted that the sets come with 48" diameter curves. You could actually do a twice-around loop in your space, which could be really interesting. If you don't mind, maybe I'll see if I can scare up a track plan. Check tomorrow and see.
 

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Here's a twice around "L" I threw together. Template was Aristocraft Brass. Don't worry about the gaps. Real life track is far more forgiving than CAD programs. You could do a really nice arched concrete bridge for the crossover. and maybe a small pond in the middle.

 

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You know I just noticed Boston & Maine better watch out. Lownen and I are hot on your tail. (sometimes it feels like we're talking to each other through a series of threads :D )
 

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You know I just noticed Boston & Maine better watch out. Lownen and I are hot on your tail. (sometimes it feels like we're talking to each other through a series of threads :D )
Hmm, what are you talking about? Post count does, uhh, not matter to me at all :rolleyes:

All that matters is that the information is good, and that silly one liners are not spammed everywhere, LOL :D

I think Tworail is the one that should watch out, oh wait, too late, muhahahaha!!! :p
 

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Here's some really neat Garden Railway accessories. Unfortunately the source is in the UK, which means expensive shipping for accessories that aren't cheap to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here's a twice around "L" I threw together. Template was Aristocraft Brass. Don't worry about the gaps. Real life track is far more forgiving than CAD programs. You could do a really nice arched concrete bridge for the crossover. and maybe a small pond in the middle.

I was really thinking a single loop, but that looks sweet. I've got a little more length than that, so I could easily stretch the middle a bit. No worries on the pond, there's a fountain in the middle of the patio, this if for a small garden area on the side.

SPTrains - I'm checking out your site now, I'll probably be calling you in the near future.

thanks guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Lownen - could you email me a PDF or other larger format version of that so I can read the numbers? Hopefully either with my "stimulus" check or some other cash I'm expecting I can get this layout running! email is bad-influence --at-- comcast.net

Thanks!
 

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When you're ready to go, we'll want to stick you with the Bachmann curves, they are the the ones that Lowann used for the radius.

It's going to be awesome!
 
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