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Garden Railways - A Lego Layout in the Garden? Is She Nuts?


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#26 zephyr1934

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:08 AM

Why don't you find the spot in your yard that gets the harshest sunlight and put one or two pieces of sacrificial track out there right away to see how well it weathers? Assuming you are a few months off from actually building anything outside, this experiment will give you a minimum number of months to expect your track will survive.

#27 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:33 AM

That sounds like a good idea Benn.  We're coming into our Summer now so it should be a good test.  I hadn't planned on doing anything significant with building a garden line until next year anyway so by the time I'm ready it should be fairly plain if the track can take it.
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#28 kieran

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

That's a good test, what would be great is if you could record the experiment, say a photo a week from now till then. This could then serve as a guide for any one else thinking of this type of layout

#29 alainneke

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:12 AM

Why don't you put some of the clone brick tracks in the sun, as well? Maybe there's an interesting difference between those and genuine LEGO tracks...

#30 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:39 AM

View Postalainneke, on 29 November 2012 - 09:12 AM, said:

Why don't you put some of the clone brick tracks in the sun, as well? Maybe there's an interesting difference between those and genuine LEGO tracks...

Yes actually that is my plan.  I was going to setup a board in my sunny courtyard with Lego, Enlighten, Banbao and Sluban track on it all dated and documented properly and then take photos at regular intervals. Weekly photos might be too close an interval, but on the other hand I don't want to make it too infrequent either so that it's impossible to tell which track type is doing better relative to the rest.  What do you think, - weekly, fortnightly?
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#31 PsyKater

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:42 AM

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#32 alainneke

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:01 AM

View PostLocomotive Annie, on 29 November 2012 - 09:39 AM, said:

Yes actually that is my plan.  I was going to setup a board in my sunny courtyard with Lego, Enlighten, Banbao and Sluban track on it all dated and documented properly and then take photos at regular intervals. Weekly photos might be too close an interval, but on the other hand I don't want to make it too infrequent either so that it's impossible to tell which track type is doing better relative to the rest.  What do you think, - weekly, fortnightly?

I don't think it actually matters, as long as you keep the interval the same. However, you should keep track of the weather conditions as well (was the interval mostly cloudy, sunny, rainy, ...?)

This should be interesting: keep us updated!

#33 rebelego

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:04 PM

Cool project. Looking forward to see the progress, and I'm interested in the research regarding tracks.
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#34 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:43 PM

Perhaps several people should do this around the globe as the conditions in one country will probably be totally different to another. It is the start of winter where I am, but i could do something similar once the sun starts to comes back as I would also be interested to see..

#35 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:49 AM

As daft as this sounds I just need to get my hands on a sample of Lego track and then I'm good to go.
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#36 Electricsteam

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:07 AM

I have a little info to help. I found a 3 stud long 1/2 width thechnic piece in my yard of my old house. 1 it must of been there for years becuase the only set I could of got it from would be a bionicle set from 05 I think. 2 it was mostly intact with a large chunk out of it near the middle.
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#37 kieran

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:16 PM

View PostElectricsteam, on 30 November 2012 - 02:07 AM, said:

I have a little info to help. I found a 3 stud long 1/2 width thechnic piece in my yard of my old house. 1 it must of been there for years becuase the only set I could of got it from would be a bionicle set from 05 I think. 2 it was mostly intact with a large chunk out of it near the middle.

Had the plastic gone brittle at all? was the piece left laying on the surface or was it berried in the earth/under a plant pot type of situation

#38 Electricsteam

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:33 PM

View Postkieran, on 30 November 2012 - 02:16 PM, said:

Had the plastic gone brittle at all? was the piece left laying on the surface or was it berried in the earth/under a plant pot type of situation
I found the peice while walking across my front yard to the door. It was a little after a strong storm we had ... I will go digging for it in my 51 quart box... of bionicle peices... Oh my this may take a while :wacko:

Also breaking weather report to test track in Va ... We have a HUGE snow storm every 4 years and smaller ones or no snow all winter between those times. so I will test 4 peices of track :classic:
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#39 edsmith0075

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 03:17 PM

Any update on this project? I am looking o build a garden railway of Lego PF track and am curious as to the durability of the track.
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#40 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:13 PM

View Postedsmith0075, on 29 March 2013 - 03:17 PM, said:

Any update on this project? I am looking o build a garden railway of Lego PF track and am curious as to the durability of the track.

Sorry I've been ill for most of the time since this thread was current and my garden railway experiments never went any further. :cry_sad:
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#41 kieran

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:56 PM

I am sure its posted some where already but just in case I was browsing and sported this video, looks good but is not permanent

#42 edsmith0075

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:07 PM

I feel like I'm digging up a sore topis as many people are advising me not to use the lego brand track due to sensetivity to extreme temps and U/V exposure.

So..... With that said I am pretty headstrong on planning out a garden railroad of lego. The trains will not be left outside and the only pieces exposed to the elements will be the track. I began thinking that if I was able to protect the track for U/V light it will last longer! Hasanyone here had any experience or know of any spray on U/V plastic protectants? I found a lot of stuff to treat car headlights that have yellowed over time from exposure but am looking for feedback.

On a side note I plan to began testing of my own track and prolonged exposure to the sun, extremes and weather. I will start a new thread with monthly pics of the exposed track. I figure this will be a great start to this project for not just me but the many others dreaming of doing the same  :-)
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#43 zephyr1934

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 06:10 AM

As I suggested in post #26 above to LA, why not put a few sacrificial pieces of track out and see if it endures as well as you hope it will. You could also experiment with various forms of protection from UV.

#44 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 08:56 AM

I haven't completely given up on my own dreams of brick railways in the garden as my indoor layout is taking shape as a 12volt railway and I still own a considerable amount of RC and PF type track.  Plainly my 12volt locos will be staying indoors, but I also own RC locos and now a PF locomotive as well so it would be good to have somewhere for them to stretch their legs.
The site I'd picked out for my outdoor line doesn't get much direct sunlight at all.  Possibly in the very late afternoon during Summer would be the peak sunlight time and then only for a short while.  The site is also right beside my garage workshop so it would be fairly simple to run a branch track into the garage with storage sidings to make it easy to store rolling stock without too many problems.
Earlier on in this thread mention was made of 'Trex' which is a plastic and wood composite material which can be purchased in standard lumber sizes and this was what I'd made up my mind to use to create my baseboards for laying track on.  It's weatherproof and it doesn't rot as well as being reasonably priced so it's ideal for the purpose really.

I should really setup that test board of sacrificial track that Zephyr mentioned.  I was going to do it at the beginning of our Summer, only I got ill (again!) and it never got done.  We're moving into late Autumn here at the moment, but I suppose it doesn't really matter when the test actually begins just so long as the results are regularly and systematically recorded.

Edited by Locomotive Annie, 02 April 2013 - 08:57 AM.

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#45 zephyr1934

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:01 AM

Woops, that wasn't meant to be a nudge to you Locomotive Annie, rather, just passing the same advice on to edsmith0075. Still, interesting to hear your update.

#46 peterab

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:10 AM

View PostLocomotive Annie, on 02 April 2013 - 08:56 AM, said:

The site I'd picked out for my outdoor line doesn't get much direct sunlight at all.  Possibly in the very late afternoon during Summer would be the peak sunlight time and then only for a short while.

I'm not sure how much this will help unless the area is in deep shade. If I remember correctly UV and IR light both get reflected around in ways that are not as apparent and predictable as visible light.

The sacrificial track test is very worthwhile since at least you'll know how fast it will degrade if it does.

#47 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:12 AM

View Postzephyr1934, on 03 April 2013 - 07:01 AM, said:

Woops, that wasn't meant to be a nudge to you Locomotive Annie, rather, just passing the same advice on to edsmith0075. Still, interesting to hear your update.

That's Ok Zephyr, it was a useful reminder as I'd forgotten about doing some UV track tests and I really should if I'm going ahead with a garden line at some stage.

I'd had a think too about whether or not it's a good idea to have removable track panels that could be brought inside for storage and I decided that with my balance issues and health problems it would be better to have the track permanently in place and use lightweight covers that can be laid over the track when it's not in use.
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