N scale as a garden railroad

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by oldrk, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

    Just a strange thought I had. Have any of you tried an N scale layout outdoors?
  2. Hoochrunners

    Hoochrunners TrainBoard Member

    I've toyed with the idea of O around my backyard, but never N. Get the binoculars out.
  3. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Supporter

    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:
  4. Larry E Shankles

    Larry E Shankles TrainBoard Member

    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.
  5. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    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.
  6. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    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 :)
  7. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

    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.
  8. Delamaize

    Delamaize TrainBoard Member

  9. Seated Viper

    Seated Viper TrainBoard Member

    Hi, guys!

    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!


  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    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.

    Boxcab E50
  11. H Lee

    H Lee TrainBoard Member

    Not when a Ladybug can de-rail my trains and a hawk can mistake my locomotive for a mouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  12. virgule

    virgule TrainBoard Member

    well... with lots and lots of Kato Unitrack and a spiffy booster I would not completely brush this off...:tb-tongue:
  13. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Supporter

    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 heat:pbiggrin: I couldn't even imagine in a moist climate.:tb-wink:
  14. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    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.
  15. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

    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.
  16. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    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.
  17. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

    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.
  18. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

    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”
  19. CMStP&P

    CMStP&P TrainBoard Supporter

    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....

  20. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    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:

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