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.
- 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- Using the Simple Wooden Roadbed solution above with 4"x4" posts to create a sturdy, low-maintenance right-of-way. Updated, October, 2020
- 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.
- 1-Day Railroad - A plan for building a ground-level garden railroad in one day (or maybe a weekend).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- How We Built Our Garden Railroads - January, 2004. (How several other folks did it their way, using different techniques.)
- Refurbishing Garden Railroad Roadbed - a 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. MyLargeScale.com is planning on moving these articles to a new area, so if this link breaks, please notify me, then go to MyLargeScale.com 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