Still a new boy.

steve the dreamer

Registered
25 May 2020
31
1
67
norfolk uk
Well, I have inhabited total novice pages for a day or two, but I have to ask questions that have probably been asked and answered many times before, I will be starting to build outside very soon, I have a large garden, divided into hard concrete area from a new shed (yet to be built) to a largish pond and mountain area, I want to build elevated to save my back and hopefully discourage various hounds. I have what I hope is a simple question, I intend to use steel fence pockets (4" steel boots to accept 4x4 wooden uprights on the hard standing areas) - Any idea on the spacing between posts? - how do I link between posts? Angle iron supporting plywood? if I use wood to link between posts do I cover with roofers felt to weatherproof it? do I use cable trays welded and filled with gravel for drainage? Initially I intend to go about 50 foot each way, out and back, but I have a lot of room for future expansion which will be done with brick and block pillars, I am about to convert a couple of my loco's to r/c to save too much aggro with voltage drop and multiple section wiring (this could be very amusing to those who know how it should be done!) I don't wish to seem lazy but any suggestions to speed my ambitions would be very welcome, Please be gentle with me!!
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
27,406
2,828
Tamworth, Staffs.
Steve,
The only 'silly' question, is the one you don't ask... We all start from different levels of knowledge, so no harm in asking..

We need to ask you a little, then we can make more informed judgements and suggestions.. What type of railway do you want?
Main line, Narrow-gauge, long sweeping curves and multi-carriage expresses, or short local mixed-traffic?
Era? Track power or battery. - As you say a RC loco or two, can get something running very quickly.
What 'Nationality'? - Or will you just 'play-trains' and run what you have, or takes your fancy?

If you have a rough idea of what you want, we can make better suggestions.

For the track-bed:
Building 'on legs' is a safe investment for getting less able, and keeping your loco's away from the dogs..
Buy the best you can afford. Plan in stages (get 'something' running early-on if you can) this will encourage you to continue.
Do have a dose of realism in your ambitions! - Possibly start a little smaller, but with an eye to extend later. - Cheaper, and easier on your muscles!
The spacing of supports, depends a lot on what you are supporting! Brick pillars, and concrete gravel boards. - Length of the gravel board dictates the pillar spacing.. If you are using wood, then the bigger the section of timber, the longer it can be. - Though it may warp, or twist??
A covering of 'roofing felt' tends to look 'better' and gives some protection. - Also consider your local climate, when choosing materials..

Others will be along soon, with their suggestions..

PhilP.
 

steve the dreamer

Registered
25 May 2020
31
1
67
norfolk uk
Steve,
The only 'silly' question, is the one you don't ask... We all start from different levels of knowledge, so no harm in asking..

We need to ask you a little, then we can make more informed judgements and suggestions.. What type of railway do you want?
Main line, Narrow-gauge, long sweeping curves and multi-carriage expresses, or short local mixed-traffic?
Era? Track power or battery. - As you say a RC loco or two, can get something running very quickly.
What 'Nationality'? - Or will you just 'play-trains' and run what you have, or takes your fancy?

If you have a rough idea of what you want, we can make better suggestions.

For the track-bed:
Building 'on legs' is a safe investment for getting less able, and keeping your loco's away from the dogs..
Buy the best you can afford. Plan in stages (get 'something' running early-on if you can) this will encourage you to continue.
Do have a dose of realism in your ambitions! - Possibly start a little smaller, but with an eye to extend later. - Cheaper, and easier on your muscles!
The spacing of supports, depends a lot on what you are supporting! Brick pillars, and concrete gravel boards. - Length of the gravel board dictates the pillar spacing.. If you are using wood, then the bigger the section of timber, the longer it can be. - Though it may warp, or twist??
A covering of 'roofing felt' tends to look 'better' and gives some protection. - Also consider your local climate, when choosing materials..

Others will be along soon, with their suggestions..

PhilP.
What a fast ,thoughtful reply, thanks, I had not thought of gravel boards must be virtually maintenance free ,The initial thought of what period I will model is U.S. early 20th century, solely due to availability of stock at reasonable prices plus memories of the other Casey Jones and Petticoat Junction- the Hooterville cannonball!. I would love to build southern or great eastern branch line but I don't have the time yet to justify it, this may well change as enthusiasm grabs me, but it's still frosty outside at the moment and I've just had Z gauge and N gauge track delivered! I forgot the other part of your question, I want to see hidden corners, surprises round the bend, the small unexpected vignette.
 

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
6,083
1,034
57
Royston
Using plywood may not be the best of ideas, unless you go for real marine ply. Cable trays have been used to good effect, some one on the forum is using it, but can be expensive.
 

GAP

G Scale Trains, HO Trains, 1:1 Sugar Cane trains
Well, I have inhabited total novice pages for a day or two, but I have to ask questions that have probably been asked and answered many times before, I will be starting to build outside very soon, I have a large garden, divided into hard concrete area from a new shed (yet to be built) to a largish pond and mountain area, I want to build elevated to save my back and hopefully discourage various hounds. I have what I hope is a simple question, I intend to use steel fence pockets (4" steel boots to accept 4x4 wooden uprights on the hard standing areas) - Any idea on the spacing between posts? - how do I link between posts? Angle iron supporting plywood? if I use wood to link between posts do I cover with roofers felt to weatherproof it? do I use cable trays welded and filled with gravel for drainage? Initially I intend to go about 50 foot each way, out and back, but I have a lot of room for future expansion which will be done with brick and block pillars, I am about to convert a couple of my loco's to r/c to save too much aggro with voltage drop and multiple section wiring (this could be very amusing to those who know how it should be done!) I don't wish to seem lazy but any suggestions to speed my ambitions would be very welcome, Please be gentle with me!!
My steel posts are anywhere between 2.4M and 2.8M apart.
To link between posts I used 90mmx20mm recycled hardwood decking planks with cross members forming a ladder at about 600mm to 900mm apart.
The baseboard I chose was fibre cement sheeting (Villaboard in Aust, Hardiebacker O/seas) used to line bathrooms 6mm thick, it easily cut using the score and snap method or if like me a cutting disc in an angle grinder. I painted mine with a cheap paving paint to give some water protection.
A troll through the construction logs pages will give an idea of what I did.
Ringbalin Light Railway G Division: Construction Logs (ringbalin-light-railway.blogspot.com)
My suggestion is if you have to buy timber use treated, the stuff in Aust is mostly pine and is easy to work with (as opposed to what I used which sheared off screw heads if I did not pre drill).
All my locos are battery R/C so I don not have any issues with dirty track, voltage drops etc, I started out like this after experience with HO track power in tropical Nth Queensland.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me and I will try and answer any questions.
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
18,709
3,812
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Have a look at my build thread linked below perhaps a lot of your queries will be answered at least in part. I got lucky as my neighbour had lots of 8x2” joists that he was squirreling away for an extension. Sadly he did not store them well so they got donated to me for my Railway. Was very very quick doing the section that I sued them for. Some 60-70 foot done in a few days. Metposts supports with fence posts roughly every 6ft. The other side was a station area and predominantly decking. Make sure you get non twisty stuff. All topped in felt, BQ has a good black sanded felt. Not their cheapest line but well worth the extra, after all you will want it to last a good long time.
 

ebay mike

Retired, but still hoarding. (GOF)
6 Dec 2011
3,605
647
Norfolk - edge of nowhere.
Ooooooh, a Norfolkite garden railwayer! We're a bit thin on the ground in these parts. I'm on the edge of nowhere - a few miles north if Great Yarmouth. Are you far away?
 

steve the dreamer

Registered
25 May 2020
31
1
67
norfolk uk
Ooooooh, a Norfolkite garden railwayer! We're a bit thin on the ground in these parts. I'm on the edge of nowhere - a few miles north if Great Yarmouth. Are you far away?
I'm always close to Yarmouth & Norwich in spirit, My mums family came from the Rows in Yarmouth and Ber Street in Norwich, I can just remember the quay railway and the links around to the Beach station. (And the bridge over the Acle new road!) - When times are better would like to arrange a visit, I've almost got a private room at the Star Hotel!
 

steve the dreamer

Registered
25 May 2020
31
1
67
norfolk uk
I like the idea of a ladder system using decking boards, even though our part of Norfolk has been classed as a desert (the Brecks) my garden seems forever wet, but if I can get a few years use out of decking boards that will be fairly quick to build and cost effective then I will try that route. (I think I've spent too much money on tiny scales, Trumpeter battlecruisers and ancient Dinky toys) But at least my personal Jimmy Cricket just says "Yes dear" and thinks I pursue the lesser of two or three evils (not Her) I can indulge my third or fourth childhood!