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Garden Railroad


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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 05:05 PM

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I'm not sure if this topic has been discussed before, but after pondering on JINZONINGEN's thoughts of having a 9V train all around his house (from the Brick-O-Meter Discussion), it got me thinking about the possibility of a Lego train as a garden railway.

Have any of you ever considered building a garden railroad in their backyard with a Lego train.  Is Lego track sturdy enough to handle the outside elements (snow, rain, and extreme heat)?  

What is the maximum track one transformer can handle?  (I'm thinking 100-200 at max).  
If not a garden railroad, have you considered a large display in your house?

Some questions to think about for you train enthusiasts.

#2 Cardinal Brick

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 05:56 PM

I not expert but I can think of a number of problems with a garden layout. The main one I would think is that most gardens arenít flat (mine certainly isnít) so the track would be going up and down and then all it would take if for next doors cat to walk on it and then youíll have a selection of lose connections. To me the track doesnít seem large and sturdy enough to live outside for an extended period of time (Iím happy to be proved wrong) the only experience of outside toy trains I have is the old Playmobil trains from the early 90ís though that was a standard model railway track designed for the outside. However from what a remember the Playmobil trains also had their motors guarded from the elements better (higher off the ground and more casement) so I donít know if a 9v motor would live that long if itíd snowed or was raining and you start to get puddles under your tack. Heat I can't see a problem with unless you live in a desert region, in most of Northern Europe I'd expect you'd be fine
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#3 TheBrickster

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 07:07 PM

Yes CB.  I tend to agree with you.  Lego just isn't strong and/or large enough for an outdoor display.  I have a Playmobil and LGB train.  The large G-scale brass track is ideal for the outside.  Their ABS boasts resistamce to extreme temperatures and if one uses an RC train, there's no worry about electricity - something that the new Lego system benefits from (although I never liked the thought of using so many batteries).  Still a 9V fan.  It will be interesting to see what Lego's next train system will use.

#4 Cardinal Brick

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 07:32 PM

Depending on how the motors work on the new train system it might be possible to use outside. The newer plastic track can probably handle more lose connections than electric 9v and you can always add plates on the connections to make it stronger. If Lego provide a motor with a good encased power source outside layouts might be the future. Though Iím still concerned about rain, though that would mimic the British railways quite well if everything stops when thereís a lot of rain.
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#5 brickzone

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 11:14 PM

Cardinal Brick:

That's leaves on the line you're thinking of. Which would indeed be a problem in the garden, and it would indeed form mush that affects traction of the Lego train too (nevermind gunging the whole show up horribly).

Bleugh, not nice to think about!

#6 Serengeti

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 04:50 PM

I think it would be a good laugh. I could see birds esp magpies stealing loads of stuff and poking around, and cats pouncing on it. Hedgehogs might cause a few problems as for sleeping slugs on the tracks. Would be great for filming train accidents though.

I've seen Hornby displays outdoors but only in Summer.
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#7 AgentRick57

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 05:15 PM

First off, How long are you going to have it outdoors? A day, a week, or the whole year?
Second, what's the climate in your area like?
You can easily take care of any weeds growing in the area with weed killer, and then plant new flowers and bushes :-P . I know this stuff, I have one too(not lego, LGB)

#8 TheBrickster

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:03 PM

I think that if one were to go through the trouble and expense of setting up a large scale layout in their backyard or even inside, it would be fair to say that it may stay up for at least a few months (with maybe the exception of a train show display).

Climate is a good question, for most of us who don't live in Southern California or a place where the temperature averages around 85 all year.  I was thinking snow and ice as well as extreme desert temperatures.

#9 Brickstarrunner

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 01:30 AM

Ok, its just such a simple, easy solution. Why havn't I thought about this before.

A GREENHOUSE

:oh:

Its too simple! Not only could you have real plant life along with soil and all the other natural need, but it is also protected from the "outside" enviormental factors.

Will the constant change in temperature break your bricks? Nope. In a greenhouse, there will always be a single, human controlled temperature.

Will the sun make your bricks fade into white?

This is a little off topic, but if a colored brick can fade to white, what will a white brick fade into  *huh* 

no problem! The tinted glass will slow down or even stop the fading of bricks! You can even place covers on the inside of your greenhouse and use artificial lighting (trust me, they are easy to use. I have lizards that use UV lamps).

Are pests running around in your garden? CALL PEST CONTROL A green house will solve that! Because of the enclosed walls, no pest can get in! And if it does, where can it run? No where!

Its all too perfect!

Oh wait...let me check the price of a greenhouse...

$700 USD

I think I will stick with INDOOR LEGO Railroads...

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#10 talltim

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 05:12 PM

This guy is building an outdoor layout http://outsidebricks.blogspot.com/

#11 zephyr1934

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 07:07 AM

View Posttalltim, on 07 July 2010 - 05:12 PM, said:

This guy is building an outdoor layout http://outsidebricks.blogspot.com/

Okay, that's cool and I've just put a note up on the Railbricks blog about it. I have heard that the UV rays will breakdown the ABS. If true, I would think using some other track would solve this problem (the trains do not have to live outside after all).

You gotta love the garden railroaders, they make our hobby look too easy [and inexpensive] (though the garden railroaders say the same thing about live steamers, so what goes around comes around). The really serious garden railroaders have bonsai trees, tiny tweezers for weeding, etc.. It is a neat hobby, but it can be very time consuming.

#12 Björn Eriksson

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 03:58 PM

View Postzephyr1934, on 14 July 2010 - 07:07 AM, said:

Okay, that's cool and I've just put a note up on the Railbricks blog about it. I have heard that the UV rays will breakdown the ABS. If true, I would think using some other track would solve this problem (the trains do not have to live outside after all).

You gotta love the garden railroaders, they make our hobby look too easy [and inexpensive] (though the garden railroaders say the same thing about live steamers, so what goes around comes around). The really serious garden railroaders have bonsai trees, tiny tweezers for weeding, etc.. It is a neat hobby, but it can be very time consuming.

Hi!

I usually just stop by at this forum from time to time just to see the great constructions being made here. However, I just wanted to give you a hint about the UV problem.

The same problem exist with plastic boats. The UV light will cause hulls constructed in ABS to be whitened in the color, perhaps also the plastic closest to the surface will be getting small cracks. Boats constructed with glass fibre and gelcoat/topcoat will turn yellow in time. Therefore in marine wax and polish products there are some UV protection to prevent this.

Boat usually stay in the water for long periods of time.

Might work here to. Probably best to try with a piece of track or so first... :)

#13 broomhandle

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 04:47 PM

View PostBjörn Eriksson, on 06 August 2010 - 03:58 PM, said:

Hi!

I usually just stop by at this forum from time to time just to see the great constructions being made here. However, I just wanted to give you a hint about the UV problem.

The same problem exist with plastic boats. The UV light will cause hulls constructed in ABS to be whitened in the color, perhaps also the plastic closest to the surface will be getting small cracks. Boats constructed with glass fibre and gelcoat/topcoat will turn yellow in time. Therefore in marine wax and polish products there are some UV protection to prevent this.

Boat usually stay in the water for long periods of time.

Might work here to. Probably best to try with a piece of track or so first... :)


I would agree about the lego track. the sun will destroy it. I have been doing G scale (LGB) in the backyard since 1999. the tracks have been out there since 99. LGB uses plastic ties. the sun still gets them, but the plastic is designed for the sun. not lego track. that is made for indoor use.

But, i have also seen guys who do O and HO scale outside....

so, its worth a shot. trains in the garden is the best!



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