Totally new

L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Hello to all,
For years I’ve been aware of the model railway fraternity and attended a few exhibitions without really noticing the larger scale layouts. This all changed however when, on a short holiday with friends in Wales, we visited the garden railway at Tywyn. We’ve visited Tywyn many times over the years and never knew it was there!

Running around the track was a radio controlled live steam engine complete with chuffer pipe; I was hooked!

I realise a live steam model railway would be prohibitively expensive so I intend to start off with one of the many starter sets available (not live steam) and go from there.

Any thoughts would be welcome.
Les.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,617
180
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Hello Les and welcome to the forum. A starter set, say from LGB or Piko is a good way to get into the garden branch of the model railway hobby. I'd suggest you look into joining one of the 2 principle societies covering this area. - The "G" Scale Society (GSS) or the the Association of 16 mm Narrow Gauge Modellers (16mm NGM). Both, despite their names are pretty broad churches. However, the GSS is focused more on track powered layouts and the 16 mm NGM those who prefer live steam or battery operation. But they are not mutually exclusive by any means. A lot of people start with a simple track powered set up and develop from there and may add live steam later. What matters is the track gauge you chose to start with, 45 mm will give you the widest options to develop your interests. Max
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Phase 1 complete, roll on Phase 2
23 Feb 2018
1,888
284
65
Weston-super-Mare
Les welcome, to expand slightly on Max's comments, and again this a generic statement, GSS is mainly 45mm gauge track, and 16mm NGM though a larger scale tends to run on 32 mm gauge. There are a lot of posts on here about gauge and scale and would recommend a bit of a read to grasp the differences.
I asked some questions last year this thread provided some answers
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Les welcome, to expand slightly on Max's comments, and again this a generic statement, GSS is mainly 45mm gauge track, and 16mm NGM though a larger scale tends to run on 32 mm gauge. There are a lot of posts on here about gauge and scale and would recommend a bit of a read to grasp the differences.
I asked some questions last year this thread provided some answers
Hi, thanks for the link. I’ve just read your replies and, to be honest they seem to have ‘muddied the waters’ a bit but it’s early days yet. I’ve plenty of time to delve deeper into the intricacies in our hobby.
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Hello Les and welcome to the forum. A starter set, say from LGB or Piko is a good way to get into the garden branch of the model railway hobby. I'd suggest you look into joining one of the 2 principle societies covering this area. - The "G" Scale Society (GSS) or the the Association of 16 mm Narrow Gauge Modellers (16mm NGM). Both, despite their names are pretty broad churches. However, the GSS is focused more on track powered layouts and the 16 mm NGM those who prefer live steam or battery operation. But they are not mutually exclusive by any means. A lot of people start with a simple track powered set up and develop from there and may add live steam later. What matters is the track gauge you chose to start with, 45 mm will give you the widest options to develop your interests. Max
Hi and thanks for the welcome. I’ll dig a bit deeper before I decide on the gauge. I’m planning on attending the exhibition at the NEC in November, hopefully there’ll be a few offers on.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,617
180
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
The railway that has fired your imagination and the locos that run on it is the Llechfan Llechfan Garden Railway A very well known example of a "traditional" (mostly) 16 mm scale/32 mm gauge live steam operated garden railway. Most of the off the shelf live steam and battery powered stuff you will have seen running there is sold to be readily adaptable for 45 mm gauge running too at the turn of an allen key. Probably resulting in the Llechfan developing an accompanying 45 mm gauge line right now. Nearly all track powered product made to be run on 45 mm track systems is not regaugable. Which is the entry point with a "starter set"

Don't let the waters be muddied. The garden rail hobby will allow you to indulge pretty much whatever your locomotive desires may be, whether freelance or prototypical and in wide range of scales all able to operate on the same track system - so long as it is 45 mm gauge. There is that much out there. Enjoy. Max

P.S. November, NEC - Warley show ? Nice busy show but very little in the larger scales there to look at or buy in my experience. Would recommend Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition or the slew of shows next year operated by the 2 principal societies mentioned Home - National Garden Railway Show (sorry could not find GSS 2020 event listing) or Midlands Garden Rail Show - Warwickshire Event Centre
 
Last edited:
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,797
194
North Essex
Thanks, why is it most, if not all of the decent hobbies are expensive?
It's all relative.... yes, Garden railways can be expensive, especially once the "bug" has well and truly bitten - but then much of what you buy, if chosen carefully, will keep a good resale value for the future - which is more than can be said for a lot of hobbies such as flash cars, fast women or golf..... :D

It IS possible to partake in the hobby in a budget-conscious way too, if you're handy with general modelling techniques and prepared to build some stuff yourself and/or convert and modify cheaper items.

Oh, and welcome to GSC! :)

Jon.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Phase 1 complete, roll on Phase 2
23 Feb 2018
1,888
284
65
Weston-super-Mare
Later this month is the Exeter garden railway show, if you’re up for the trip.
 
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L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
The railway that has fired your imagination and the locos that run on it is the Llechfan Llechfan Garden Railway A very well known example of a "traditional" (mostly) 16 mm scale/32 mm gauge live steam operated garden railway. Most of the off the shelf live steam and battery powered stuff you will have seen running there is sold to be readily adaptable for 45 mm gauge running too at the turn of an allen key. Probably resulting in the Llechfan developing an accompanying 45 mm gauge line right now. Nearly all track powered product made to be run on 45 mm track systems is not regaugable. Which is the entry point with a "starter set"

Don't let the waters be muddied. The garden rail hobby will allow you to indulge pretty much whatever your locomotive desires may be, whether freelance or prototypical and in wide range of scales all able to operate on the same track system - so long as it is 45 mm gauge. There is that much out there. Enjoy. Max

P.S. November, NEC - Warley show ? Nice busy show but very little in the larger scales there to look at or buy in my experience. Would recommend Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition or the slew of shows next year operated by the 2 principal societies mentioned Home - National Garden Railway Show (sorry could not find GSS 2020 event listing) or Midlands Garden Rail Show - Warwickshire Event Centre
Very comprehensive reply, thank you. Regarding the shows you mentioned, they’ll certainly be in the diary for next year. Les.
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
It's all relative.... yes, Garden railways can be expensive, especially once the "bug" has well and truly bitten - but then much of what you buy, if chosen carefully, will keep a good resale value for the future - which is more than can be said for a lot of hobbies such as flash cars, fast women or golf..... :D

It IS possible to partake in the hobby in a budget-conscious way too, if you're handy with general modelling techniques and prepared to build some stuff yourself and/or convert and modify cheaper items.

Oh, and welcome to GSC! :)

Jon.
Thanks Jon, once I’ve decided on the gauge I’ll have a look at buying used bits & piece. Never had the opportunity to have fast women as a hobby, or flash cars come to that. Les.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
23,676
557
Tamworth, Staffs.
Welcome Les..

There is plenty about in the Midlands..

Have a think, over the winter, perhaps? About what YOU want from your railway?? :think:
Do you want bucolic Welsh Narrow Gauge?
British outline? - Mainline express, or local goods?
Track-power? Live-Steam? Battery? Manual, or radio, control.
Do you want to 'operate' a railway, or just have 'something' running round the garden, whilst you potter? - Or sip a suitable beverage. :)

A serious think about these questions, will mean you do not 'waste' too much money on items which will not fit the 'grand scheme'.. :nod:
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
32,566
291
Cambridgeshire
www.gscalecentral.net
Welcome to the forum Les.

My advice would be to visit as many garden railways as you can, and stay well away from fast cars and flash women, like wot I didn't....
 
L

Lez2000

Registered
2 Oct 2019
22
7
68
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
Welcome Les..

There is plenty about in the Midlands..

Have a think, over the winter, perhaps? About what YOU want from your railway?? :think:
Do you want bucolic Welsh Narrow Gauge?
British outline? - Mainline express, or local goods?
Track-power? Live-Steam? Battery? Manual, or radio, control.
Do you want to 'operate' a railway, or just have 'something' running round the garden, whilst you potter? - Or sip a suitable beverage. :)

A serious think about these questions, will mean you do not 'waste' too much money on items which will not fit the 'grand scheme'.. :nod:
Thanks Phil,
Initially, once I’ve decided on gauge, I just want something running round the garden for my grandson who loves everything about model railways. I’m not too sure about power yet but a lot depends on what’s available when I start spending!
Les.
 
Madman

Madman

Registered
25 Oct 2009
13,128
198
Pennsylvania, USA
Welcome aboard Les.
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,287
272
56
Royston
Welcome Les, take your time and as Gizzy said try and visit some lines or look in at one of the local groups, as for cost, a good loco can keep there looks longer than a dodgy woman
 
T

Trainman 864

Registered
24 Sep 2015
256
1
Another advantage of using 45mm gauge track you might want to consider - is that it gives you the option of venturing into standard gauge modeling in the form of gauge 1 if you wanted to at some point in the future - or at least you can have any friends with gauge one stock run on your line.

See their association website at .......

The Gauge One Model Railway Association | Official Website
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
15,056
469
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Welcome to the Forum Les, if you want to see how not to build a Garden Railway have a look at my ’new Railway is started’ thread linked below.
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
3,287
272
56
Royston
Another advantage of using 45mm gauge track you might want to consider - is that it gives you the option of venturing into standard gauge modeling in the form of gauge 1 if you wanted to at some point in the future - or at least you can have any friends with gauge one stock run on your line.

See their association website at .......

The Gauge One Model Railway Association | Official Website
But if you use 32mm you can have o gauge meetings