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G-scale Garratt

11425 Views 18 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  dr5euss

I have just launched myself - perhaps blindly - into G-scale for a Garden layout... Am I nuts

How much should have I paid for this Garden Railway Specialists Darjeeling Garratt built on two LGB chassis
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The likely answers are:

1. Definitely
2. Probably less than you did.

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......or anyone else to whom no would be the answer to your first question.

Seriously welcome to Garden modelling even if you have gone for electric.
The space is wondeful but don't fall into the trap of thinking as an indoor modeller. The foundations for your track are vitally important & need to solid & weatherproof. Also beware track joints which will cause all the problems that we discussed in the BUS topics if you are not very careful & do something to prevent them.

You will need a big soldering iron to solder to LGB track outside!

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What is the difference between LGB track and Peco G-scale track?

Gary has seen where I may build this outside layout. Looking forward to this project.
Hi Doug,

Welcome to the world of G-Scale!! I made the jump a couple of years ago. One of the problems of using LGB locos on Peco track is that the LGB pick-up shoes short out on the frogs of Peco points as they are built to a finer profile. Problem can be solved by adding some insulating material to the frogs so that the pick-up shoes don't short out.

On the layout I'm building I've used LGB track but recently have started using Aristocraft track (apart from points which are still LGB) as it's considerably cheaper and there is a greater choice of different radius curved track. Aristocraft track can be obtained from Bachmann stockists.

You might think about joining the G-Scale Society - there are some members in France who are affiliated to the Kent area group as well as the Sussex area group (of which I'm also members!!)

Like the Garratt - just waiting for the time when LGB do a plastic version of the WHR Garratt.

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I thought that LGB did a very WHR type Garratt a couple of years ago for £2750 that was reviewed in the Sept 02 - Issue 97 - Garden Rail magazine. It is a NGG13 Class Garratt which is a development of the NGG11. If you are interested in Garratts try this which is generally 32mm but still of interest:


LGB points are generally reckoned to be good but there can be wear in the plastic parts around the frog which can cause derailments. It is also a very good idea to avoid all radius one track & points as some stuff - quite a lot actually - does not want to go around it & most just looks silly.

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Accucraft's NGG16 Garratt is quite a beast but with an 18 month waiting list for the next batch. At £2950.00 RRP it is amazing how many they've shifted!

Hi ChrisE,

Yep, I knew about the brass Aster/LGB Garratt but I'm waiting for a plastic version. Number of years ago they did a brass Aster/LGB Harz 2-10-2T which was followed a few years later by a plastic can but hope that they will do the same for the WHR Garratt.........

My G-scale Garratt arrived. It was slightly damaged in the post and it had some damage that wasn't mentioned in the eBay listing. I was ready to send it back, but in the end worked out a deal with the seller. So I have a litte work to get it looking good and back in to good running order.

I have to get some G-scale track sometime too...

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Doug has a nice little spot which enables the family to have dinner in the garden and at the same time watch the Garrett going around. And if memory serves me right there will be a sort of cat flap type of device at the end of a siding which takes the loco indoors. There could be some sort of track zig zagging up to the field at the back with a return loop at the end. That could be interesting although its about 100 yards!

Happy modelling
I keep seeeing a few Garratts around - what's the point of the two tenders, when they could just use a longer one?

(Ask a silly question, why don't you?!)
The main advantages of the Garratt are high tractive effort, large boiler size and the ability to negotiate sharply curved track with ease. If you think of the minimum radius needed for twelve or sixteen coupled wheels you can see at once where the advantage of an articulated loco lies. Mallets achieved much the same but did not have the flexibility of the Garratt - the combination of two power bogies with a boiler slung between also allowed much bigger boiler / firebox combinations than would otherwise be possible, particularly on 3'6" lines or narrower. Apart from the first couple, Garratts were also built as simple engines and thus avoided the complication of compounding (as with many Mallets) which meant they were better suited to the rough and tumble of colonial lines.

The front power bogie supports the large water tank and the rear power bogie supports the coal bunker.

In South Africa and Australia the locomotive would be connected to a water tanker, pulled immediatly behind, enabling it to cross the large deserts.
I forgot Doug's illustration - good example, 4-8-2 + 2-8-4 - sixteen coupled wheels!

The other innovation developed for the Garratts was the rotating, self-trimming coal hopper to carry more coal than a fireman could ever reach from an ordinary shovelling plate. Did they try under-fed mechanical stokers?

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