somewhat new to garden railroading

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  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Chesapeake Va
  • 4 posts
somewhat new to garden railroading
Posted by mikef7408 on Monday, December 29, 2003 9:08 PM
I am new to the garden railroads and have alot of questions,I had a HO layout for years and really don't have the room indoors but have plenty of romm out so I figured go where the most room is. I have heard alot of pros and cons about the different types of power,battery Vs. electric. What is the best track to use and where could I find the best source of info? HELP! Mike. My E mail is
  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Coldstream, BC Canada
  • 969 posts
Posted by RhB_HJ on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 3:36 AM
Welcome to the fraternity Mike!

Type of track is to some degree tied to type of power you're using.

Alu rail will work nicely with battery power, but it isn't ideal for track power.
Brass is probably the least expensive but needs more cleaning than stainless steel.
No easy answers!

Cheers HJ
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Sarasota, Fl.
  • 106 posts
Posted by BudSteinhoff on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 8:39 AM
HJ said it, there are many opinions and preferances on which way to go.
I use track power with on board receivers and have all brass track.
I have a 3 car track cleaner pushed by a loco and it takes me about 20 minutes to clean the 1000 ft. of track.
If I had to do over I may consider stainless steel.
I have had no problems for 5 years and do not want to mess with batteries.
Many have converted to battery power and like it.
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 9:22 AM
Garden Railways Magazine had an excellent write-up about the different types of track some time around June or July 2003. See if you can find someome with a copy of that issue and read through it, or contact GR Magazine about purchasing a back issue with that article. I studied that article very carefully, over and over, before I purchased track. Two things to avoid: Bachmann sectional track of the type that comes with their Big Hauler train sets sold in hobby and toy stores, and aluminum rail. After doing my research, I bought stainless steel rail. It's the most expensive type of rail, but suffers less from the effects of weather and corrosion. My track has been in place since August and shows no sign of corrosion. Secondly, I chose on-board battery power and wireless DCC control. This choice will place restrictions on the types of locomotives you can run, because you must allow space for batteries, DCC receiver, sound systems, etc., or put these items in a box car that is more or less permanently attached to your locomotive. In my case, I purchase only steam engines with tenders large enough to hold the batteries.
  • Member since
    April 2002
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,802 posts
Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 8:35 AM
Mike, some articles that might help you are:

Track overview: June 2001 issue
DC power pack overview: June 2002 issue
Overview of large-scale couplers, August 2003 issue
Roundup of large-scale starter sets, Dec. 2003 issue

Rene Schweitzer

Classic Toy Trains/Garden Railways/Model Railroader

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