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I started out with no real idea of what was going to be required to build a layout in the garden, but here are the things I considered.
First and foremost, the layout was to be HO scale, operating with DCC, and all locos to have sound.
My property has a fall of over 6' from side to side and a fall of around 20' from front to rear.
Next consideration was how to store trains after each session, and the obvious answer was in my garage, where they would be out of the weather. I dona€™t need this garden layout to be much more than a couple of loops for continuous running.
So, the basic idea came down to a couple of loops, with several crossovers for convenience, with both loops going through the garage with switches to the storage tracks. Obviously, most of the track would be laid on a structure above the ground, but I had 2 options for the portion below ground level. The final design was basically two loops, with around 60% of the loops running side by side and representing a dual mainline. And lastly, the layout would represent the South Australian Railways that I remember from my childhood years and into my early teens.
Next up was the 930 class, introduced late 50's with another US based body, but this time with ALCO V12 251 motors driving the electrics.
This loco is fitted with a loksound V4 decoder, and sounds almost as good asI remember the originals. Parts of this bulletin board may not function unless you enable JavaScript (also called Active Scripting) in your browser. Founded in 1987 Professional Layout Services (PLS Layouts) have over twenty years experience in the professional design and construction of model railway layouts and train sets. Whilst we are happy to construct complete model railways and train sets our specialist services are available in those areas that a client may feel they require assistance, for example baseboards, track work, analogue electrics or DCC digital.
Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article!
HO scale (1:87) model of a North American center cab switcher shown with a pencil for size.
Railway modelling (UK, Australia, Ireland and Canada) or Model railroading (US) is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modelled at a reduced scale, or ratio. Involvement ranges from possession of a train set to spending hours and large sums on a large and exacting model of a railroad and the scenery through which it passes, called a "layout". Layouts vary from a circle or oval of track to the realistic, real places are modelled to scale. The Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) at MIT in the 1950s pioneered automatic control of track-switching by using telephone relays.
The oldest society is The Model Railway Club (established 1910), near Kings Cross, London, UK. Later, modellers became dissatisfied with inaccuracies and developed standards in which everything is correctly scaled.
In addition to different scales, there are also different types of couplers for connecting cars, which are not compatible with each other. In H0, the Americans standardized on horn-hook, or X2F couplers, though these have largely given way to working knuckle couplers (Kadee) which are a close approximation to the "automatic" couplers used on the prototype there and elsewhere. It must be emphasized that, in all scales, couplers can be exchanged, with varying degrees of difficulty. Some modellers pay attention to landscaping their layout, creating a fantasy world or modelling an actual location, often historic. Constructing scenery involves preparing a sub-terrain using a wide variety of building materials, including (but not limited to) screen wire, a lattice of cardboard strips, or carved stacks of expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) sheets. Weathering refers to making a model look used and exposed to weather by simulating dirt and wear on real vehicles, structures and equipment. Model railway engines are generally operated by low voltage DC electricity supplied via the tracks, but there are exceptions, such as Marklin and Lionel Corporation, which use AC. Most early models for the toy market were powered by clockwork and controlled by levers on the locomotive.
Early electrical models used a three-rail system with the wheels resting on a metal track with metal sleepers that conducted power and a middle rail which provided power to a skid under the locomotive.
As accuracy became important some systems adopted two-rail power in which the wheels were isolated and the rails carried the positive and negative supply or two sides of the AC supply. Although DC with the positive and negative charges on the two rails is the most common method, Marklin and Lionel use AC on the three-rail system. Early electric trains ran on batteries because few homes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had electricity. Engines powered by Live steam are often built in large, outdoor gauges, and are available in Gauge 1, G scale, 16 mm scale and can be found in 0 and H0.
Occasionally gasoline-electric models, patterned after real diesel-electric locomotives, come up among hobbyists and companies like Pilgrim Locomotive Works have sold such locomotives.
Modern manufacturing techniques mean mass produced models achieve a high degree of precision and realism.[citation needed] In the past this was not the case and scratch building was very common.
The first clockwork (spring-drive) and live steam locomotives ran until out of power, with no way for the operator to stop and restart the locomotive or vary its speed.
Electricity permits control by dividing the layout into isolated blocks, where trains can be slowed or stopped by lowering or cutting power to a block.

In large scales, particularly for garden railways, radio control and DCC in the garden has become popular.
A propane fired 1:8 scale live steam train running on the Finnish Railway Museum's miniature track. A model train running on the Willans Hill Model Railway miniature track in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.
Several organizations exist to set standardizations for connectability between individual layout sections (commonly called "modules").
NMRA ([1]) National Model Railroad Association, the largest organization devoted to the development, promotion, and enjoyment of the hobby of model railroading. MOROP ([2]) European Union of Model Railroad and Railroad Fans, the European standardization organisation. If you take a look at my profile you'll see what I do for a living and only once or twice in the last ten years have I become upset and then due to an assault.
Whichever way I looked at things the slope was way too large for a layout at ground level, so I was looking at a plank type layout. Height of storage tracks was set at 5a€™ which meant that the track at the opposite end of the property would be around 18a€? below the natural ground level. We offer model railway design and construction in any gauge from Z to G together with larger scale garden railway installation. The scale models include locomotives, rolling stock, streetcars, tracks, signalling, and roads, buildings, vehicles, model figures, lights, and features such as streams, hills and canyons. Hobbyists, called "model railroaders" or "railway modellers", may maintain models large enough to ride (see Live steam, Ridable miniature railway and Backyard railroad). However, there is another scale that was introduced in 2007 that is also commercially available.
Scale is the model's measurement as a proportion to the original, while gauge is the measurement between the rails. Manufacturers and hobbyists soon arrived at de facto standards for interchangeability, such as gauge, but trains were only a rough approximation to the real thing. These are used by modellers but have not spread to mass-production because the inaccuracies and overscale properties of the commercial scales ensure reliable operation and allow for shortcuts necessary for cost control.
Also in H0, the European manufacturers have standardized, but on a coupler mount, not a coupler: many varieties of coupler can be plugged in (and out) of the NEM coupler box.
Most models come out of the box looking new, because unweathered finishes are easier to produce and many collectors want models to look pristine. Although this made control crude the models were large and robust enough that grabbing the controls was practical. Other systems such as Marklin instead fine metal studs to replace the central rail, allowing existing three-rail models to use more realistic track.
Today, inexpensive train sets on batteries are again common but regarded as toys seldom used by hobbyists. Hornby Railways produce live steam locomotives in 00, based on designs first arrived at by an amateur modeller. Large-scale petrol-mechanical and petrol-hydraulic models are available but unusual and pricier than the electrically powered versions. The advent of electric trains, which appeared commercially in the 1890s, allowed control of the speed by varying the current or voltage. Dividing a layout into blocks permitted operators to run more than one train with less risk of a fast train catching and hitting a slow train. This is so several (or hundreds, given enough space and power) people or groups can bring together their own modules, connect them together with as little trouble as possible, and operate their trains.
Operationally similar to FREMO, standardises around a single-track mainline, with modules of varying sizes and shapes. In fact it's my mistake for not taking into account those with battery radio control garden railways.
I already had an N scale layout but my 60 year old eyes were struggling with the small size, and my fingers were beginning to feel like bananas when I handled anything, so a step up in size was necessary.
The length of the tunnel would mean great difficulties if I had a derailment or cars became uncoupled inside. It makes a 180 degree turn (ita€™s a 5a€™ diameter a€“ the tightest turn I have) travelling through the cutting before heading back to meet the inner loop again. I hadn't seen your pics you posted here on the Selby site so I didn't make the connection at first. 940 onwards) had an extra cab squeezed into the opposite end for running in either orientation. We will complete your model railway layout to any degree of finish both indoors and in the garden regardless of size and complexity – from Hornby Trakmats to garden railways.
We travel nationally and internationally to work on your model railway layout helping you see light at the end of the tunnel. Modellers may collect model trains, building a landscape for the trains to pass through, or operate their own railroad in miniature. The museum also houses one of the earliest scenic models - the Madder Valley layout built by John Ahern. Similarly, The Historical Model Railway Society at Butterley, near Ripley, Derbyshire specialises in historical matters and has archives available to members and non-members. Called T Gauge, it is 3mm gauge track and is a scale of 1:450, basically half the size of Z scale.
It is easier to fit a G scale model into a garden and keep scenery proportional to the trains.

The finescale standards include the UK's P4, and the even finer S4, which uses track dimensions scaled from the prototype.
None of the popular couplers has any resemblance to the prototype three-link chains generally used on the continent. The scenery base is covered with ground cover, which may be ground foam, colored sawdust, natural lichen, or commercial scatter materials for grass and shrubbery. Also, the wear a freight car or building undergoes depends not only on age but where it is used. Various manufacturers introduced slowing and stopping tracks that could trigger levers on the locomotive and allow station stops. Battery power is used by many garden railway and larger scale systems because of the difficulty in obtaining reliable power supply through the rails outdoors and because the high power consumption and thus current draw of large scale garden models is more easily and safely met with lead acid batteries.
More sophisticated models can be made using a combination of etched sheets of brass and low temperature castings. As trains began to be powered by transformers and rectifiers more sophisticated throttles appeared, and soon trains powered by AC contained mechanisms to change direction or go into neutral gear when the operator cycled the power. Despite different design and operation philosophies, different organizations have similar goals; standardized ends to facilitate connection with other modules built to the same specifications, standardized electricals, equipment, curve radii.
I wanted broad curves, and long trains, so outside was the only place I was going to get them. Also, nasties like lizards, mice or spiders like the dark of a tunnel so I discarded this option. Crossovers at several points mean I can run trains over any track, or set up for a continuous run twice as long as usual. Often they were old 4 wheel wagons, but this era ushered in larger bogie style freight cars, container trains (initially loaded into 50a€™ gondolas and later 60a€™ flatcars) No SAR layout would be complete without a€?The Overlanda€? an interstate express train running between Adelaide and Melbourne in Victoria. This was built in the late 1930s to late 1950s and brought in realistic modelling, receiving coverage on both sides of the Atlantic in the magazines Model Railway News and Model Railroader.
Models in these scales are usually hand-built and powered by live steam, or diesel-hydraulic, and the engines are often powerful enough to haul dozens of human passengers.
Official scales for the gauges were drawn up but not at first rigidly followed and not necessarily correctly proportioned for the gauge chosen. For English modelers, whose most popular scale is 00, the normal coupler is a tension-lock coupler, which, again has no pretense of replicating the usual prototype three-link chain couplers. Buildings and structures can be purchased as kits, or built from cardboard, balsa wood, basswood, paper, or polystyrene or other plastic.
Rail cars in cities accumulate grime from building and automobile exhaust, while cars in deserts may be subjected to sandstorms which etch or strip paint.
In addition the notion of accurate models had yet to evolve and toy trains and track were crude tinplate. Three-rail systems often insulate one of the common rails on a section of track, and use a passing train to complete the circuit and activate an accessory.
Due to its popularity, it can be found in regional variations, most notably the Imperial-to-Metric measurement conversions. Standards are considerably more flexible in module shape than NTRAK, and has expanded over the years to accommodate several scenery variations. The second option was to create a large cutting for this portion of track, which has turned out to be quite a lot harder to construct than I first thought. The inner loop is around 100a€™ long, the outer loop (when completed) will be around 150a€™ long.
Our model railway design and construction services have been used by clients across the UK and globally from America to Australia and most places between!
Bekonscot in Buckinghamshire is the oldest model village and includes a model railway, dating from the 1930s. Trees can be fabricated from materials such as Western sagebrush, candytuft, and caspia, to which adhesive and model foliage are applied; or they can be bought ready-made from specialist maunfacturers. A model that is weathered would not fit as many layouts as a pristine model which can be weathered by its purchaser. In some cases, evidence of accidents or repairs may be added, such as dents or freshly-painted replacement parts, and weathered models can be nearly indistinguishable from their prototypes when photographed appropriately.
I considered the usual outdoor sizes but decided anything larger than HO would tend to compromise the look I was after. I will also run long rakes of twin hopper coal wagons, to represent trains that could be seen in the northern part of South Australia. The world's largest model railroad in H0 scale is the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany.
These kits produce models that are not covered by the major manufacturers or in scales that are not in mass production. Laser machining techniques have extended this ability to thicker materials for scale steam and other locomotive types.
Most commercial scales have standards that include wheel flanges that are too deep, wheel treads that are too wide, and rail tracks that are too large.

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