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I am looking to expand my OO layout into the garden this year. whats the best type of track to use? I dislike peco and have used SMP indoors...will this stand up to the outdoor environment? Alternatively, I cvould sue copper clad....but i have heard that the copper comes adrift from the fibre backing outside.
I am intending to lay the traqck directly onto creosoted boards with drainage holes. Has anyone balasted track outdoors?
 

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You may just have to overcome your dislike of Peco track. While I am not particularly enraptured about its' appearance, the sleeper base of the 'wooden' sleepered flexible track is a proven product when it comes to resisting degradation caused by UV exposure when laid outdoors. I have Peco code 100 flexible still in use in storage yards, that spent a dozen years as running lines outdoors, until I moved house fourteen years past. There may well be other brands with equivalent or better performance, but others will have to advise on that. I have quite recently seen reports of the rail joiners failing after a few years; that wasn't something I experienced, but that is well in the past.

The points worked reliably, but the base is (or was then) a different polymer formulation from the flexi track base and embrittled over time. The replacements had the sleeper base painted two coats of gloss black before install and there were no problems with them. Try to have as few points as possible outdoors, very vulnerable to windblown and rain splashed dirt in the flangeways and between the open blade and stock rail. Need to check them before every operating session.

As far as I was concerned, life was too short for ballasting the length of run easily achieved outdoors! My solution was a grade of roofing felt with fine mid grey mineralised chippings attached, on top of a timber structure. From the sort of viewing distance typical outdoors, this gave a pleasing apperance, but then I never went for fully scenic anyway. Good to read you are going for timber structure BTW. I am regularly amazed by acccounts of construction of brick, concrete, blockwork, structures which must run tens of kilograms per metre of route, to support a distributed load of a kilo or two per metre maximum. Timber is so much easier to erect, adjust, alter, and finally remove on departure.
 

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I just want to echo 34C's commments.

we had a garden layout for 10 years in gloucester. wet is not a problem but UV causes the sleepers to go brittle.
Expect to have to replace 15-20% of the track each year, so dont be too fussey. forget trying to be too scale and just enjoy the thrill of the long trains and giving them a good run.
we used very thick roofing timbers laid on their sides.

Peter
 

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Hi good to hear someone else is doing an OO outdoor railway.

I would say the same as 34c peco track is probably your best and cheapest option although there is another make of track called Garnet (from Italy i think) which is even cheaper!!. It does not look quite as good as peco but lets be honest when you are running full length trains who really is looking at the track!!

I have used timber before and was very pleased with it but I would just like to show you some pictures of my trackbase it is made from thermalite blocks and very easy and quick to lay.









Hope you like the pictures and don't think it will be hard to do it this way because it isn't. I don't lay hardcore or concrete foundations because like 34c said there is not a lot of weight on these blocks so I just dig out where the trackplan is going and mix some mortar up and lay then straight on that and YES it does work as I have done it on another out door layout in the past.

Anyway which ever way you go good luck and please don't hesistate to contact me for any advive if you need it.


You can always PM me.

Kind regards

Paul
 

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I'm certainly no fan of Peco generally, but I agree that it's probably the best bet - it has a proven track record (excuse the pun) for use outside.

As long as it is laid with care it is certainly up to the job.
 

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I shall keep an eye on this thread as my o gauge will be languishing in the outdoors over the next few months.Lots of tourists venture up my back passage (is that the correct phrase?)so it will be something extra for the small people to look at as contempory art is'nt every five year olds cup of tea!
(we've got a contempory art gallery next door with five items of pottery and a log in the window) spot on!!
 

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Hi Frame we meet again on a different thread!!

I too will be putting O gauge in my garden alongside the OO so I can run any amount of stock I like.

Perhaps you could have a look at my thread in on my layout section in "Paul's garden railway".

I will be doing some more block laying this week so shall put some pictures on.

Lets have a look at some of your's


Kind regards

Paul
 

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Hi Paul,I've not really started mine yet,some small boards have been put together for a bit of practise but a few weeks work to the garden is needed before I can put anything out there.Carefull planning is important as my house is a listed building and its too easy to upset the second home owners! Also I've got to sort out the wisteria and grape trees as they have gone a bit crazy! The garden layout will only be approx.15' long and single track with maybe a scratchbuilt turntable near the gate.One other drawback is that being a chef and tourist season approaching I soon will be doing a 6 day week and 12 to 14 hours per day.I shall be laying some supports for the track next week,its going from the grapes to the wisteria so this will give it a good basis for a name and purpose."Wisteria Lines INC."or "Frames Grape Line"or leave it open to suggestion! I did say it will only be 15' long but I also told my girlfriend the downstairs layout would be 8x4 and its allready 15x7 1/2 so we'll see. Just off to take a look at yours...cheers frame.
 
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