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Getting Your Model Train Garden Started

Aug 12, 2008
Have you ever seen a railroad garden? Maybe you were at a gardening expo, or maybe one of your neighbors had one. No matter where you have seen it you decided it was the next project that you wanted to tackle. The setup of the tracks interesting you or the look of it all in operation doesn't matter. What does matter is that you can have the model train layout that you want in your garden with just a bit of work and some imagination.

The very first thing you will need for your garden railroad is, of course, a garden. You can use several different types of plants but the best to use tend to be either slower growing ones or the rock garden varieties which include cacti and thyme. Get you garden laid out to your particular tastes and you will be ready for step two.

This step involves starting with a small rail line. You may have enough funds to go all out but it is better to try it out first. This will let you know if it is going to work out the way you had planned. Too much and you can get highly discouraged. You will want to start with a standard outdoor scale model train set. The best sort of started set would come equipped with a 5x10 track. This is a great starting point and will not be so big that it is difficult to care for.

The next step is build up your railroad bed. The best way to do so is to dig out a trench around the area where the track will be set. Go down about five inches and make it five inches wide as well. Rather than using pea gravel for your bed you should use crushed gravel. Crushed gravel will not move away from the railroad tracks like the pea gravel would.

You are now ready to lay your track. Make sure that you press it firmly down into the crushed gravel so that the only parts that are showing are from the top of the ties up. This is give the illusion that the tracks are real and you are soon going to see a train rolling down them. The gravel may shift a bit and settle but you do not want the track itself to shift and this should prevent that issue.

Since you are placing your model train out in your garden you should place some suitable buildings near the tracks. These include farmhouses, dairy barns and the like. Just place them carefully around the plants you already have planted or you can plant some dwarf conifers if you so wish.

There will be a little bit of maintenance to your garden train. You should make it a monthly habit to wipe away the sap and any bird droppings that might have collected. Each time you run the train you need to make sure there are no obstructions on the tracks. This will help to extend the lifespan of your model train.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model garden trains, and model trucks.
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