OO in the Garden??

Hi there
I used to have a model railway in OO gauge as a child (some 10 years ago!) and m interest in the hobby was recently rekindled by the Garden
Railway series on Discovery Home and Leisure.
I really like the idea of having a model railway outdoors however the space I have available outdoors would make a fairly small 45mm gauge layout.
The same space however would be awesome for OO. However! ISTR when my old layout was in the attic, the track would tarnish if not used for a few days and would have to be cleaned - presumably this problem would be accentuated outdoors.
My question therefore is has anybody here got experience (good or bad) of running OO outdoors? If so, any pointers, gottchas etc. Is there OO track that doesn't mind getting wet?
Many thanks
Alex
(alex at longhill dot brighton hyphen hove dot sch dot uk - work or remote the obvious SPAM plea to reply via email).
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Alex Harrington wrote:
> I really like the idea of having a model railway outdoors however the > space I have available outdoors would make a fairly small 45mm gauge > layout. > > The same space however would be awesome for OO.
Or even better in N! You might also think about narrow gauge in OO9 or O-16.5.
> However! ISTR when my > old layout was in the attic, the track would tarnish if not used for a > few days and would have to be cleaned - presumably this problem would be > accentuated outdoors.
You probably had steel rails, which tarnish easily.
> My question therefore is has anybody here got experience (good or bad) > of running OO outdoors? If so, any pointers, gottchas etc. Is there OO > track that doesn't mind getting wet?
Nickel silver is much better although you will still need to clean off general garden dirt, bird droppings, etc. And run a track rubber over it every month or so.
Peco flex track stands up well to weather and UV. Something to remember is that even a box of 25 3' lengths doesn't last long outside. It's worth buying several boxes at once even if you don't use them all immediately - the retailer will probably give you a bulk discount if you ask nicely.
Peco points, which have harder plastic, don't stand up well to UV and the sleepers tend will become a light grey-white and become quite weak afer only a couple of years. If you intend to have any pointwork outside, in the long run it's probably best to build your own with printed circuit board sleepers.
Standard rail joiners are not always reliable for electrical connections over long distances. It's best to have regular elecrical drops from a higher capacity (e.g. 5 amp) bus cable following the track. Soldering the joints is not really an option because, llke the prototype, you will need expansion gaps because of the variation in temperature.
See if you can find the May 1999 Railway Modeller which had a good article about OO in the garden.
Cheers David
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I'll do that! Many thanks for all the hints
Alex
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I'm involved with an HO (same gauge, different scale) garden railway, so can probably add a few pointers. (For more info on the layout, see http://www.adnalm.org.uk )

We use a GaugeMaster HF track cleaner, which seems to work well once the initial detritus has been removed with a Roco track rubber (used in preference to Peco because it doesn't leave bits on the track). We've also started using a chemical product called RailZip, which is applied to the track and then spread by the trains.

We've never had a problem with the sleepers on pointwork and many sets of points were in a perfectly good state to use elsewhere after they'd spent 10 years or so on a previous garden railway. However, the concrete-sleeper effect plain track seems far more susceptible to UV damage than the wooden-sleeper effect.

We use thick metal wire bonded to the rails either side of the gap to provide electrical continuity, this allows expansion at the joints. To allow for expansion, the 'fake' Peco expansion joints are also used. Despite being designed just for effect, they do the job well, and are similarly bonded.
Where point blades are required to touch to provide electrical connections (Electrofrog especially), bonding wires are also soldered between the blades and running rails of the points, and polarity switches added if necessary.
Hope this is of help
--
Spyke
Address is valid, but messages are treated as junk. The opinions I express do
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Definitly!
I've ordered some Peco flexi-track today - well quite a lot actually!
Cheers
Alex
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It is possible to by UV filtering clear coat paint from specialist suppliers. May be useful.
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Take a look at my website (details in sig.)
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John Sullivan
OO in the garden http://www.yddraiggoch.demon.co.uk/railway/railway.html
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