Where to start: Purchasing Locomotives

This is the first in a series of posts aimed at those who would like to build a railway in their garden but have no idea where to start. We were all beginners once!

When just dipping your toes in to the waters of garden railway construction, you almost certainly want to do things on a budget – there’s no sense getting carried away at the start before you know what you really want. You don’t want to end up with “all the gear and no idea”.

The obvious choice is eBay – conventional wisdom nowadays says that if something exists, you’ll find it on eBay, and this is true for garden railway locomotives. The <a href=’http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/Trains-Railway-Models-/479/i.html’>trains & railway models</a> category is vast, with just about every common item available.

This is fine for the smaller/more common scales, but if you’re after a locomotive capable of carrying human passengers – perhaps in 5″ or 7 1/4″ gauge, you may prefer to look to a specialist supplier. Some of these can be found below:

  • Polly Model Engineering
  • Compass House
  • Ride on Railways
  • Maxitrak
  • Station Road Steam

Purchasing this kind of locomotive is a significant investment in your railway, but costs can be kept down by purchasing in kit form (and what better way to learn exactly how it works?) and building it yourself – or considering a second hand locomotive. Most of the suppliers above carry listings for second hand locos in addition to their own ranges.

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