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all right, it is a lighter day today as far as people posting it seems so i offer this for discussion. this is something i plan to do in near future, not this and not next year but eventually when my son old enough to help, i'd like to take on garden railroad project. i stopped by local hobby strore this Saturday to get the 25degree cross tracks and used the opportunity to look at other stuff. holy shmoly! over 100 per g scale train, and the tracks are expencive as hek. i realize it is not cheap hobby and quality stuf costs but i definetly had sticker shock.
so with that, how viable you think HO is in garden? how long nikel silver will survive outside? if i had to do it today , most of the road will be on raised viaduct to help against rian, flooding and such vith several sections on ground for yards and grade crossings. anyone with experience how HO tracks survive when heavy equipment such as typical lawnmover crosses those tracks?
 

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HO actually has been successfully run outdoors in the past, there are several older issues of MR that feature them. On that note, Tworail is correct in that it is very high maintenance, every one of those past layouts featured indoor storage of some sort. Wind was a big factor as well.
 

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Tankist

Although some people have had success running HO outdoors, it is not the best outdoors solution. Usually the smaller the scale, the greater your track upkeep is going to be. Things like leaves, bits of grass, and dust would pose a problem as well as excessive UV rays from the sun.

G scales may be a bit pricey but they were designed for outdoor use. It is their durability that makes them the perfect choice to be used in the garden or the outdoors.

Good luck :)
 

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This is also something that I have been thinking about. So much infact that I nailed a couple foot long strips of flex track to a sample of 1/2" thick plywood and set it out side to see how it holds up to Chicago weather.
One length was just a length of track, and the other length is two shorter sections soldered together with feeder wire running through the plywood.
I am going on my second winter now and other than the paint from the plywood pealing off, and the track being dirty, I have not noticed anything that would prevent you from doing this.

Disclaimer... Like I said, I only did two foot long lengths of track to see how it holds up to the weather. I was told that the ties would melt in the summer or freeze/ crack in the winter and thus have not. I have not tried running anything on this track yet.
 

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I've tried this in the past with some luck. As stated above there will be alot of stuff that can get onto the rails and mess with them. If you have cold winters where you are the ice will expand and mess with the gauge on the track.

I have a garden railway with all LGB stuff and I could not be happier. I built a rotary snow plow that works to a certain extent. My final soloution was to install stuff to defrost the ROW.
 
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