about 30 years ago me and my wife worked in "N" gauge
but have done nothing since.
(Any value in boxed Graham Farish stock from that era?)
Now we're thinking of starting again but in the garden as that's
what we've been doing since.
What's the best bet? G scale looks so toy-like and
expensive. Is 16mm the way to go?
Farish never seems to have become 'collectable' to the same extent as other
makes, so I guess you're not sitting on any significant value.
The best way to assess its value is to put it on eBay and see what it makes!
Sure, go for garden railway in the summer -- and OO or N in the winter. ;-)
16mm is almost entirely a scratchbuilding and kitbuilding scale, but I
suppose you wish to model the Welsh narrow gauge on 32mm track. If so,
go for it.
OTOH, G gauge has a huge variety of material available, mostly European
(LGB et al) and American narrow gauge (because of the large market
there.) Assuming you have the cash, you can a garden layout built pretty
quickly using G, as you would have relatively more time to lay track.
Search on "garden railways" -- you will get enough hits to keep you busy
for several hours if not days, but it will clarify the situation, and
(maybe) thereby make your choice easier.
16mm maybe, but I find a fair proportion of the stuff sold to be just as
toylike as LGB. There is some stunningly good 16mmNG UK outline, but a fair
bit of duff as well.
If you fancy scratchbuilding and a bit of light-weight model engineering,
its got a lot to recommend it.
For buying trains, I'd look wider than the UK. A friend has an extensive
garden railway using US outline narrowgauge, typically Bachman stuff. Its
incredibly cheap for the quality.
OO is marginally practical in the garden with careful baseboard
O and I are practical, again with careful baseboard construction.
G/16mm can be laid on a prepared base at ground level in the garden.
III also can be laid in a prepared base.
About now you have to decide what sort of trains/railway you want to
In article , Peter writes
It's most likely to be settled by what sort of trains, or what sort of
prototype you want to model.
I went 45mm gauge and G-scale because I wanted conventional track power
and needed 2-ft radius curves in my small courtyard garden.
Nothing bigger than a 2-4-0 and short 4-wheel coaches might not be
everyone's taste either, but running large locos and coaches would have
looked horrible to my eye.
I now have a couple of live-steam locos, but they really need easier
curves and more room to be happy. I'm moving to a new area, and there I
will be able to have at least a 3ft minimum radius, and maybe 4ft.
On toy-like: yes it can be (but if that's what makes people happy..)
But since I wanted UK trains, I tend to add my own or kit bodies to
German or American chassis.
Have a look at what's available at the Garden Railway Specialists
website for example.
IP engineering, who offer kits and bits for both gauges:
My locos tend to be very cheap, being converted from basic LGB or
Playmobil locos, often acquired second-hand on eBay.
Another factor may be what's more popular in your area, if you fancy
people helping out, or dropping round.
(Though 16mm folk and g-scalers are not at daggers drawn, at least in
most parts of the country!)
In the bottom right folder at the site below there are some pictures of
my g-scale stock and my recently deceased garden line.
Do contact me by e-mail if you wish, and I may be able to suggest other
"Greg Procter" wrote
Wasn't there a feature in RM some years ago covering a OO-gauge garden
railway built at ground level? I seem to recall it had some near-scale size
power station cooling towers.
In message , Peter writes
Two other things:
Whatever you decide, do let us know how you are getting on. And it would
be nice if you can find somewhere to post some pictures (either your own
web pages, or on one of those sites that lets you post pictures).
Don Jones of Sutton Colefield- I went to see it about 20 or more years ago,
when he used to have a charity open day every summer.
You might also want to look at :-
you haven't already.
I started to build an outdoor line at my parent's house in S W Wales about
35 years ago, which ran reasonably well, considering we had both a
steelworks and the sea at the end of the street to 'weather' the rail
surface. Modern stock has much better mechanisms, and so should present no
major difficulties- for us, 'state of the art' was a double-motored Hornby
Hymec, which drew about 2.5 Amps. Any badly- fitting railjoiners would hiss,
arc, and sometimes even smoke when that beast was in section, whilst the H&M
Duette radiated enough heat to keep the shed warm.
They appear from time to time, about once a decade from memory. (In RM)
There was one in the late sixties/early seventies (Sunlander or
something) which had two termini indoors on opposite walls of a room and
a double track mainline looping out into the garden and back. It had the
advantages of indoor modelling and no turnouts outdoors but a reasonable
length outdoor run.