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Large Scale Starter Sets: Begin with a train you'll be proud to run Best Choices for Beginning Garden Railroaders: a short list of things you're most likely to need when starting out
Large Scale Track order Form Sturdy buildings for your garden railroad.
Large Scale Christmas Trains: Trains with a holiday theme for garden or professional display railroads.Free Large Scale Signs and Graphics: Bring your railroad to life with street signs, business signs, and railroad signs
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Written by Paul D. Race for Family Garden Trains(tm)
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Garden Railroad Constuction Articles

There are about as many ways to build a garden railroad as there are garden railroaders, but you owe it to yourself to pick a method and outcome that suits your short-term and long-term expectations for your railroad. The following links should help you choose and use the combination of solutions that are optimum for you.

  • Introduction to Garden Railroad Construction - a brief introduction to the most popular methods, with some guidelines that might help you figure out which ones are probably better for you.

  • Click to see our article on Building a Raised Platform Railroad.Building a Raised Platform Railroad - This is our new "flagship" article, based on 40 years' experience and observation in the hobby. It describes an approach to building an outdoor railroad that will require almost no maintenance and last without major refurbishment for as long as you plan to live in your home - New February, 2020

  • Simple Wooden Roadbed - You want your track smooth and weed-free, whether it is raised or ground-level. The most popular solution for this is a durable roadbed built from ground-rated 2"x6"s using common power tools. We provide the templates you need for any kind of track. New, October, 2020

  • Building a simple raised railroad with widely available lumber and common power tools. Click to go to article.Building a Simple Raised Railroad- Using the Simple Wooden Roadbed solution above with 4"x4" posts to create a sturdy, low-maintenance right-of-way. Updated, October, 2020

  • Click to go to article.Building a Temporary Outdoor Railroad - Whether you're practicing for the "big one," starting a railroad on a rental property, or setting up a display for a party, Christmas display, or street fair - this article shows you how about three hours in the back yard with about $60 worth of lumber can give you a little railroad you can use for years and move whenever you want.

  • Click to go to article.1-Day Railroad - A plan for building a ground-level garden railroad in one day (or maybe a weekend).

  • Click to go to article.Raising a Ground-Level Railroad One way to get from a simple, ground-level railroad to a raised railroad without having to shut down operations for the summer.

  • Click to go to article.Flextrack and Railbenders - How to get away from preformed curves into graceful right-of-ways. If you have room for a large railroad with smooth curves, "Flex-Track" is probably the way to go. And railbenders will help you get an attractive, reliable track system.

  • Click to go to article.HDPE Flexible Roadbed - Architect Bill Logan's more elegant construction method, suitable for very large, complex, or unusual railroads.

  • HPDE Lumber in the Shop - A follow-up article by Bob Zajicek, showing how to get large amounts of HDPE roadbed ready to install by working "smart" in the shop. - January, 2007

  • The Little Railroad That Grew - Describes how I used rock garden techniques and other methods to build my own railroad, and kept growing it.Click to see article.

  • How We Built Our Garden Railroads - January, 2004. (How several other folks did it their way, using different techniques.)

  • Refurbishing Garden Railroad Roadbed - a Click to go to article.description of my own "rework" to overcome limitations of my first installation - New, September, 2008

Other Articles of Interest

Related Articles from Other People

As I find useful articles on this topic from other folks, I will post them here.

  • Concrete Roadbed - Not as Hard as One Thinks" - Marty Cozads gives an overview of his method for pouring robust concrete roadbeds for his trains. is planning on moving these articles to a new area, so if this link breaks, please notify me, then go to and navigate to the new articles section. Thanks, Shad, and Marty for making this resource available.

As always, please contact us with questions, corrections, additions, suggestions, or for any other reason at all.

Best of luck, all,

Paul D. Race

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