Discussion in 'N Scale' started by oldrk, Nov 18, 2009.
Just a strange thought I had. Have any of you tried an N scale layout outdoors?
I've toyed with the idea of O around my backyard, but never N. Get the binoculars out.
Remembering what happened to my older brother's Lionel engine when I ran it outside 70 years ago, I don't want to even think how an N-Scale loco would suffer being run outside....:rn-shocked:
Our club set up in a tent one year at a RR festival. It don't work. You couldn't keep the track clean even if every train ran with a track cleaner car.
The local N-trak club in Vegas has set up the one trak in a member's backyard. Well its a covered patio, and only for a weekend here and there. Modules seem to fair alright, didn't need to clean the track too often.
There's lots of disadvantages to having an outdoor N scale layout.
But at least the ants, spiders, earwigs and pillbugs in your garden will have their own mass transit system
some time ago i stumbled across a website of a british gentleman running h0 in his backyard. all i remember is that he spents most of the time cleaning tracks.
somewhere on this site their is some pictures of a layout built in a flower box in their window...
I've encountered several outdoor layouts in different scales over here, but nothing smaller than OO/HO. I'd not consider my N layout round the garden!
I have heard of it being done in N scale. But whenever the thought occurs, or someone broaches this idea, I get an instant headache imagining the possible problems.
Not when a Ladybug can de-rail my trains and a hawk can mistake my locomotive for a mouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
well... with lots and lots of Kato Unitrack and a spiffy booster I would not completely brush this off...:tb-tongue:
I ran an experiment with Atlas Flex Track over this past Summer here in the Southwest and found that the Track built up a film over the rails where I felt it wouldn't sustain Trains running on it without quite a bit of work to do so. Kinda would take the fun rite out of running trains in my opinion. And it's a dry heatbiggrin: I couldn't even imagine in a moist climate.:tb-wink:
I tested it about 25 years ago with a small loop on an outdoor table. The sun baked the ties in about 5 days and oxidized the rails in perhaps 20 minutes. Maybe the track is better today. I was going to build along my fence line, and protect the larger layout with a curved plexiglass cover. The sun baked the cheap plexiglass in a few weeks.
Could you hand lay custom track out of more durable materials? Would solder joints to PC ties survive? How about wooden ties glued down with...I don't know... roofing sealant? (I don't know how you solve the track cleaning issue, though.)
If it could be done, it would have to employ fairly unconventional methods, and even then I'm still skeptical.
Most plastic products aren't UV-protected, that's what "bakes" them - the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
If you want an outdoor N scale layout I'm afraid the best option is to build a modular layout that you can set up outside, then put it back indoors when not in use. N scale trains are so small that you're really gonna have just a birds-eye (plane's eye, more like it) view of them when they're on the ground and not enjoy stuff like details.
I'm perfectly happy with accepting the fact that LGB and Live Steam are your only true outdoor model railroading options.
what ?????? lgb ? that is like if you'd say model power is the way to go.
imho and out of my experience lgb is crap. aristocraft and usa trains are of a far better quality. not to speak from superior details and reliability.
to be exact : usa trains have excellent details while aristos are much better performers.
You could film operations on your outdor N-scale layout and put it on you-tube as a poor-mans Sci-Fi film.
“Attack of the Giant Ants”
“War of the Moles”
“Battle of the Beatles”
“Fifi the Killer Poodle”
I think that the real problem is the wind. When working outdoors in summer on cars I have to protect them from the wind as a modest breeze will move them around on the table. I hate to think about what would happen to a 30car-train getting sideswiped by a gust....
I meant G-scale/gauge. I use "LGB" as a blanket term for "Those big-size trains that are larger than O-scale." Then again, what do I know about those larger scales? :tb-err: