Lighten up, guys. This isn't exactly top-shelf equipment here. I bet he's got less than around $50 into it. I'm surprised he even got it to run as well as it does. It's amazing. I would have thought it would just slip and slide off the track. He must have a lot of weight in the loco.
I doubt the Athearn F7 was destroyed. Someone had some fun plowing snow with a temporary set up using a bunch of flex track.
Someone in another forum was thinking about building an HO layout outside. Here was one guys experience in southern California in G scale that made it sound like a bad idea:
"I tried G gauge I our back yard and gave up after two years.
I subscribed to Garden Railways Magazine for several years before I gave it a shot.
Installing the basic track and structures was a blast. Both myself and my wife spent the whole summer of 2004 building a great railroad.
Here in Bakersfield we don’t have much winter, I joke with “our winter is the first three weeks in January”.
The second year wasn’t nearly as much fun as the first summer. No one warned us of the up coming problems. Our grandson’s Lab lives with us, I spent some time repairing her damage, she like the insulation on the buried wire. I spent several weeks installing conduit.
By the end of May I had to buy a track cleaning car to get rid of the crushed ants off the rails. Come to find out the innards of the ants are corrosive and eats the brass rails. A G gauge track cleaner isn’t cheap. Spraying the rails with a deterrent doesn’t work very long if one waters the garden. That meant running the track mop every other train.
Next was the birds, bird droppings on everything. By August the frogs were occupying the structures.
The next year it was spiders, spiders everywhere as well as grass and weeds between and around the rails.
The third summer was spent removing our garden railway.
We had a lot of fun building and running it the first year but the maintenance did in my knees as well as our fortitude."