Category Archives: Where To Start?

Working with a steep garden – terracing

6115480471_2f30a88ea9_bIf you have a steep garden, terracing is a great way to make your garden more attractive and useful.

Realistically, if your garden has too extreme a gradient, you’re not going to be able to run trains up them without serious problems. While you may have to make some compromises on your layout with a terraced garden, it’s better than the alternative of not doing it at all!

As these things tend to be, it can sometimes seem an intimidating project to start, especially with no previous experience. It can be useful to browse the Internet for some inspiration and see what others have done with their gardens – especially if they’ve managed to incorporate a railway.

As well as making your garden look more attractive, terracing stops rain water washing all of the soil and nutrients to the end of the garden, and allowing more than weeds to grow.

Terracing can allow you to separate more than one railway line from eachother, perhaps with different plants in each area to add extra interest.

DSC01059Depending on your timescale and budget, there are a few different options for achieving this. The more long term – though unfortunately tending to be the most expensive – is to use stone walls. You could also use wood, but you’ll be doing more ongoing maintenance.

Make no mistake, this is a serious project in terms of time – and you’ll be amazed by how much earth needs to be dug up. It may be worth speaking to a professional landscape gardner – even if just for an initial consultation and assistance with planning things. Their fee may end up saving you time and money in the long term!

Images by Lynn Friedman and Elanor Martin.

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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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