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Discussion Starter #1
I've been toying with the idea of building an indoor garden railroad. I figure a 2'X5' inside measurement planter box would give me room for an N scale figure 8 with 11" radius curves. I'd like a general store with a train platform and a little shelf on a back corner for the power pack. I'm thinking an old west theme with a little steamer, a couple of coaches, and a freight car or two. I'd use ballast to hold the track in place. I'd landscape the rest of the free space with houseplants.

I also thought about two smaller planters, one on each side of a fireplace, and have track running in front of the fireplace to connect the two. It could be a dogbone or double reversing loop or ? One planter could be desert and the jungle.

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody else had considered or done such a thing? If so I'd like to see it. I've done all kinds of searches on the web and have found nothing. Maybe I'm calling it the wrong thing!?
 

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I've been toying with the idea of building an indoor garden railroad. I figure a 2'X5' inside measurement planter box would give me room for an N scale figure 8 with 11" radius curves. I'd like a general store with a train platform and a little shelf on a back corner for the power pack. I'm thinking an old west theme with a little steamer, a couple of coaches, and a freight car or two. I'd use ballast to hold the track in place. I'd landscape the rest of the free space with houseplants.

I also thought about two smaller planters, one on each side of a fireplace, and have track running in front of the fireplace to connect the two. It could be a dogbone or double reversing loop or ? One planter could be desert and the jungle.

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody else had considered or done such a thing? If so I'd like to see it. I've done all kinds of searches on the web and have found nothing. Maybe I'm calling it the wrong thing!?
Yes, I’ve thought about using houseplants on a layout but haven’t done it as yet. I’m an outdoor plant guy. My wife does the houseplants and so far her response to layout-scaping has been NO. Lol.

I see no reason why it couldn’t be done. The New York Botanical Garden does it with their Holiday Train Show. They run the trains through the dense foliage of the conservatories. This is G scale track though, which is designed for outdoor use.

You would have to of course watch electrical connections, water and select plants carefully.
Cacti and succulents would be perfect.
Bonsai could be used but most have to be moved outdoors in winter, being dwarfed forms of woody species.
One tropical I would avoid is Alocasia or any of its relatives. They exude water from the leaves.
I think it’s an interesting idea. Look forward to seeing how you do with it
 

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I would love to have a G scale or larger garden layout of the Rhätische Bahn. There are some impressive garden layouts in Europe depicting this railroad. Videos are on You Tube. In a couple of scenes you'd swear you were looking at the full scale equipment the detail is that good.

Locomotives run about $3,000 though, and passenger coaches run around $400. Not a cheap hobby by any means in that scale.
 

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"Indoor Garden Railroad"---
MichaelE lives in a biiiigg house...:ROFLMAO::LOL:

Did you see the part where he wanted to use n scale? lol When I seen indoor garden railway, I instantly thought of G then read the post and found out it was going to be done with N.
 

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Just the mechanics of making a survivable layout designed to resist dirt is interesting. Maybe cut a platform shaped like the track+ station out of a single chunk of 3/4" plywood, slather on a thick layer of paint to make it waterproof then mount on posts made of pvc pipe inside a 6" deep box?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would love to do it but unfortunately it's going to be at least a few months. We're in the process of getting ready to move. First to a hotel room as we look for a house then of course the house. The house will dictate exactly what I will do if I can. :unsure: Hmmm, I wonder if a community center or church or a public building or ? would like something like that?!

Prrfan, you need to incorporate your wife into the idea. Have her be the landscaper and/or planter designer? I'm lucky in that my wife likes trains.

Murv2, I was thinking of ballasting from from just below ground level to a little above to hold the track above the dirt. I want to have only the coated wires running through the dirt.
 

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I'd think there would be too much movement in the dirt to put the track down on top of it, even with ballast. I would expect you'll end up regrading often. Also, I'd consider using track with plastic roadbed like unitrack, it should survive water and dirt better. But it's your project and should be fun regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'd think there would be too much movement in the dirt to put the track down on top of it, even with ballast. I would expect you'll end up regrading often. Also, I'd consider using track with plastic roadbed like unitrack, it should survive water and dirt better. But it's your project and should be fun regardless.
Actually, unitrack style is running a close second. And the more I think about it the closer it gets. I was wanting to use ballast simply because I thought it would look better. Then again at that size and that environment would it really look better? I think someone would almost have to be looking for the difference to see it. I think a trip to a hobby store might be in order. Not to mention it would be easier to put down.
 
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