I had an opportunity to attend RCX with my kids as it was during spring break. My expectations were set from a 2016 video by RC Sparks:[Read more…]
Garden Railway Track Work Part 3 – Paint and Ballast
Racing against incoming snow in 2021, I was working to get the track work (including ballast) down before it was buried for 4 months. The last step was to finish painting and add ballast over the top.
The tracks were already covered with a silvery-gray base-coat primer. The next coat of paint would be a rusty brown to paint the ties and the sides of the rails. I purchased a quart of the cheapest flat exterior paint I could find at Menards. The color I landed on is called Fudge Truffle 😋[Read more…]
Garden Railway Track Work Part 2 – Decking
Looking at several garden railway roadbed installation methods, I wanted to mount my track to boards for smooth operation. We’ll use the crusher fines as a base under the boards, and later on the top and sides as ballast.
I started by cutting my 1″x4″ cedar boards to the exact length needed for the straight sections. I did rough cuts for the curves on 1/2″ pressure treated plywood:[Read more…]
Garden Railway Track Work Part 1 – Base
With my area leveled, I laid the track out to make sure everything would fit. This was when I discovered I had to make a few minor changes to my design.
You can’t have a left turnout switch immediately following a right turnout switch. This is because the manual switch mechanism on the left-hand switch will interfere with the track coming off the right turnout. You have to put one straight section in-between the switches. You can see the first left-hand turnout operation switch between the tracks here:
You can also probably spot my SCX24 Subaru brat up there. I wanted to make sure there was room for a small fire road between the tracks and the garden edge.[Read more…]
Garden Railway Bed Installation
After choosing a suitable layout and location for the crawler course and garden railway, it was time to lay the foundation.
I called 811 to make sure I wasn’t going to run into any buried pipes or wires, it was time to start digging ⛏️ The issue I needed to solve is that the selected area for my garden railway and crawler course is sloped.[Read more…]
Crawler Course & Garden Railway Design
We had a 1:24 scale Christmas last year, which was fun to set up under the tree. While the SCX24 RC crawler is small, the G-scale trains are decidedly big once you factor in the layout. I’ve always loved model trains and had a layout as a kid, but in my home it would be impossible to dedicate a room to model trains. Why not go outside?
Large scale trains are popular for garden railways, and I had a section of yard that was completely unused. But it won’t be for just trains – I want it to be a multi-modal play area: trains, crawlers, maybe even a landing pad for an RC helicopter 🚂🚙🚁
This site isn’t transforming into a model railroad blog (at least not permanently), but the next few posts will be about the train setup as groundwork before the crawler course is installed. Hopefully you can enjoy it all under the guise of RC and Trail & Scale 😎
Garden Bed & Trains
For the area, I purchased some Vita 4’x4’x11″ vinyl garden beds from Costco. They came as a 2-pack that you can combine to make a 8’x8′ area. I bought two of those packs which let me combine them to make a 12’x20′ area.
Before I did any digging, I loosely fit the vinyl bed parts together in the yard to make sure I knew that the space would be appropriate[Read more…]