GARDEN RAILROAD OPINIONS WANTED

    My family is asking about building a garden railroad. Any opinions on roadbed & track since it gets really cold here in winters?
How about what other equipment to use?
Cordially, Ken (NY)
"In the wake of 9/11, conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban; in the wake of 9/11 liberals believed it was time to submit a petition." - Karl Rove
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My wife has granted me limited, experimental, don't you dare touch my flowers, access to a bed near the house where I've had a 30' loop for going on a year. I laid Aristo track on pressure treated 2x4 buried flush with the ground surface, and it survived here in the Virginia Blue Ridge foot hills (some near 0 F winter nights and some near 100 F summer days) just fine. Given the restrictions on my ROW, I was not allowed to use the poured concrete with an incased nailing board as some recommend, but have not seen any need for that. I would advise against the fine gravel sub-roadbed some advocate only because I used 5' track flexed, and found I needed the firm base to hold the bends. I also found it important to use the patented rail clamps offered by a couple suppliers, and not rely on the Aristo slip-on rail joiners.
I had been concerned about using brass rail outdoors after past experience with HO brass rail in a basement, but have had no problems. I did get a spare pair of trucks, mounted them under a rectangle of Plexiglas, and made a weighted sliding Masonite block track cleaner car just like I use for HO and it seems to get the thin layer of black crud from drips off the overhead leaves off the rail just fine. I've been able to operate year round, but one snow last winter was preceded by freezing rain, and none of the engines or my track cleaner car would break through the thin layer of ice on the rail heads.
My roster includes an LGB US prototype 2-6-0 which I like a lot and runs very well, an old REA (now Aristo) FA, and two Bachmann cheap old 4-6-0's. I put a Barry's Big Trains chassis in one 4-6-0 which would not run when I got it, and have been so very impressed with the results that I've ordered a second for the other 4-6-0. Rolling stock is mostly Colorado prototype Bachmann 1:24, some old Delton (now Aristo), and some Aristo 1:29 std gauge prototype stuff I run with the FA. All work OK, and while the different brand Janey style couplers all mate, I find them less compatible than the Kadee-EasyMate-McHenry coupler interfaces we complain about in HO. Gary Q
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On Sat, 25 Jun 2005 20:30:55 -0400, "Geezer"

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There are some excellent websites out there that provide a variety of techniques. As others have suggested, anchoring the track is important. I do O gauge in the garden and would add to other suggestions that the right of way not go under or even near trees and bushes that are likely to dispense leaves and berries onto the track. Also consider lawn edgings, of which there is incredible variety these days, if the track borders any areas covered with mulch. Mulch can migrate onto and under track rather readily.
http://www.kevinboone.com/railway_garden_II_track.html http://www.hrtrains.com/classnotes6.html http://www.ontrackscart.co.uk/graphics/guide_gardenrail_trackwork.htm http://www.btcomm.com/trains/primer/howbuilt/howbuilt.htm
Told of Mr. Rove's remarks, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, replied: "In New York, where everyone unified after 9/11, the last thing we need is somebody who seeks to divide us for political purposes."
Ken [NY] wrote:

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On Tue, 28 Jun 2005 18:21:47 -0500, RRGrandad

    Only in New York could a politician who campaigned at ground zero issue instructions to the President of the United States - commander in chief of all armed forces fighting terrorism - to never again mention what terrorists did on September 11, 2001 to his constituants. In Noo-Yawkeese, that's what's known as "chutzpah".
Cordially, Ken (NY)
email: http://www.geocities.com/bluesguy68/email.htm
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Ken, how far north in New York are you going to build this?
I am in northeast PA near Binghamton. I've wanted to build outdoors also, but winters here sometimes get down to minus 10-15.
Stan in Susquehanna

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That temperature might bother brass monkeys, but not brass rail.
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claims:

    I am on Long Island, and we got buried in snow most of the past few winters, which was my concern. My snowblower is about worn out. I guess the snow gods missed the global warming articles.     Anyway, now the bride has decided in favor of a thick flower garden, so my On30 indoor pike will have to do for now. Negotiatons continue, but it is like negotiating with bin Laden. :-)

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