Greetings from Zimmerman, MN

Anglian

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Welcome to the forum Shane. As has been mentioned, this is the place to come if you have a railway/road interest. As I was told, there are no silly questions, although there maybe many different answers. Just enjoy yourself.
Best wishes.
Trevor
Plenty of pictures please as you progress.
 

mike

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Welcome to the madhouse
 

Gavin Sowry

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G'day from Downunder, I know where MN is (been there), first bit of advice I got about the place was when driving, look out for old Smokey. Sure enough, crossed the border from IA (that's Iowa, for our English friends) on I-35, and snuggled up behind the first billboard, was the cruiser , looking for easy pickings. I believe it can get a wee bit cold in MN, and is subject to frost heave, so therefore, as Greg says, avoid concrete based track formation.
You say you were into S scale, was that scale, or hi-rail?
 

Fred2179G

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Greetings Shane,
Yes, you'll get lots more adivce than you need. I find this website is full of useful ideas for folk who are new to garden railroads. Family Garden Trains™ - Your First Stop for Garden Railroading Fun

The guys around here are a bit UK and Euro -centric, so they have no idea what a MN winter can be like (I hope you do!) As PhilP mentioned, there is Mylargescale.com and also Largescalecentral.com based in the USA, with probably a few members who are well versed in Airwire.
 

GAP

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The big omission from that site is battery power, r/c. DCC... he only talks about DC power...
This article touches on battery and R/C, it is 7 years old but could be a starting point for further research.
I have found some of the "Primer Articles" informative, if a bit dated and the list of people who have reviewed the articles is quite impressive.
As Fred says "this website is full of useful ideas for folk who are new to garden railroads." and I agree.
 

korm kormsen

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... The first thing I need to decide is what material to build the raised garden beds with...
Nope!

first thing you have to decide on what scale to use.
from what you write, you'll start buying before building.

do you want just trains through the tulips, or do you want a lot of scenery and trackside buildings, cars and figures?

inside the "G" scales there are differences.
for instance, if you are not so much into modelling and tinkering scale F (1:20.3) is not for you.
1:22,5 has more buildings and figures avayable for buying.
1:24 is nearly extinct, but has many acessories from the dollhouse hobby.
1:29 seems to be "the" scale in north america, but my impression is, they are more into Diesels, than steam.
1:32 is the real standard size for the 45mm track. but you dont get much buildings or cars.

if i were you, i would start "window-shopping". to reach some "solid" estimated guesses, what rocks your boat.

and welcome!
 

Gizzy

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Welcome to the forum Shane....
 

dunnyrail

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Fred2179G

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first thing you have to decide on what scale to use.
from what you write, you'll start buying before building.
Korm, respectfully, I have to disagree. Only after you get a garden railroad runnning do you have a chance to decide what you prefer to look at. It is often said - don't do too much planning, just lay some track, run some trains, and see what catches your eye.
 

Greg Elmassian

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I agree, if you have already decided to use 45 mm track, and are not too worried about prototype tie spacing (as more garden railroad people are not concerned), then you can do what I did is compare sizes and the look of the various rolling stock.

In my case I wanted to emulate the class 1 railroads, so that made the scale decision between 1:29 and 1:32 and LGB gummy scale.

Since I came from HO and N, proportions and realistic appearance was important, I did not want my trains to look like my 1950's Lionel toys. That eliminated LGB immediately. Their passenger train cars and locos look like bigger toys.

So I put a 1:32 and a 1:29 train on the ground, (my layout is on the ground) and looked them for the size and if I was upset about the recessed sideframes of the 1:29... I chose the 1:29 and have not looked back, for me it was the right decision.

Had I been a narrow gauge buff, the decision would have been more difficult back in the day, 1:20.3 was not well developed, and 1:22 and 1:24 were prevalent.

Greg
 

Paul M

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Of course you can run anything you want, as long as it fits.
 

Gavin Sowry

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Of course you can run anything you want, as long as it fits.

I do. The secret is to not mix different scales together in the same train consist. I successfully run 1:29 American, 1:24/1:22.5 'Bachmann', LGB Feldbahn, and 7/8ths scales on my line, which I say is scale convertable, I simple put out a few appropriate buildings to set the scene for what ever trains/scale take my fancy on the day. One of the reasons I got back into 'Large Scale' was because blind adherance to Scale , Prototype, and Era was causing me to get bored, and lose interest. Not to say that I have abandoned my old stuff, I have a lot of 'small' exhibition type layouts that I take to shows. I often exhibit up to 5 layouts at a time, and if I can't pack up, and be on the road within 10 minutes of show closure, there's something wrong.
 

LGB333

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I just joined here and looking forward to learning more about G Scale. I received my first G Scale car yesterday which prompted a trip to the local hobby shop where I acquired some LGB track and a 4-wheel caboose. It's not much but it is a start. The journey has just begun! I have been into model railroading in HO Scale for 40 years and still collect that to use at train shows on my Free-mo modules. In HO Scale I model Norfolk Southern in the late 1980's. In December I bought my home in Zimmerman, MN and started building my S Scale basement layout. Model Railroading is NOT my hobby, it's my lifestyle! My S Scale layout is based in Columbia, SC and is based on the Columbia, Newberry and Laurens. Both of these are operating railroads.

Now the wife has approved a G Scale railroad in the future raised garden bed in the back yard. This will be both for fun and also be a bit of a working railroad. It will begin in the third bay of my garage (for storage when not operating) and cross a large trestle onto the 26' x 30' raised garden bed built in U-Shape. It will make a full loop around the outside edges of the garden and offer continuous running. I will include a half dozen or more spurs to spot cars. In the late winter I will be starting my vegetables in the heated garage and use the railroad to transport them to the various spurs for planting. During the season, I will use gondolas (which is why this was my first purchase) to transport smaller items like small tomatoes, peppers, and herbs back to the garage. I will be using CVP Products AirWire system for control so the tracks will not be powered. Since both my HO and S scale layouts are diesel, I am planning to run Steam in the garden.

I look forward to learning from the community and sharing my progress. Unfortunately it will likely be late fall or early next spring before I start building the garden beds so for now I will be more focused on collecting equipment for the future railroad.
Welcome aboard! Glad you find the forum here.