A local club that has a large park with ride on trains for the kids has installed a Garden railway with mostly G scale track, but has 1 loop of dual gauge installed for running 2 rail O scale trains and is looking to open a 3 rail O gauge section of track. Was thinking of getting involved to get more O Gauge track in and running so our O Gauge train club could get more involved and run some 3 Rail O Gauge trains making sure that it is wired so the DCS signal will work well. Was looking for any tips or ideas on running O scale and O Gauge trains outdoors on a garden railway. Currently it is just a gravel set up with the G scale track layed directly on the gravel with a main bus wire around for power feeders. Dropping in one day with some O scale 2 rail trains and full length Golden Gate passenger cars showed up a few track sections that need some work to be able to run smoothly. But short freight cars and smaller engines run fine over what the club already has set up.
I would consider Atlas for this task, with its plastic ties and solid nickel-silver rail.
I like the Atlas track for this application also. But remember when any track is kept outdoors you will have to keep them clean.
Even when running brass rail most Garden Railways are running on battery packs for this reason.
Sounds like a cool display.
I would call Atlas and get their input.
There's a member here on the OGR from Washington that has been running outside for a long time. I would look for his advice.
I'll search for his layout for you. I believe he's friends with Dave Hikel. My memory is fading!
here's another to look at
True, if people would dead rail their 3 rail engines, they could just use the 2 rail layout, but don't forget to turn the power off to the rails, because a 3 rail train is a dead short in that world.
Thanks for the comments suggestions. I have a friend running batteries on his indoor layout that is certainly a consideration but was hoping to be able to run the MTH trains with the DCS system for all the features. So far the track we have out doors has good conductivity all the way around a very large circle.
Where is your group located? Climate makes a difference when it comes to keeping rails clean. Something as simple as a track cleaning car with a Scotchbrite pad running a lap or two, and you should be set for the session.
BTW, is that a 2 rail Weaver CP Empress in your photos? I have a 3 rail version, and they seem kind of rare.
The G&O garden railroad uses Atlas 3-rail track outdoors. I ran trains all weekend without problems. Here is a link to the G&O Story on this forum. NH Joe
Gargraves also makes track appropriate for outdoor running....their Regular Line of track featuring stainless rails and UV-resistant plastic ties....flex and sectional....
American made, always available, friendly and helpful folks.
I run MTH's DCS system outside on my G scale loops. I run with track power and all my track is Aristo stainless. Well I do have a couple of short brass pieces where I got too lazy to cut the stainless. Most of it was replaced with stainless since then.
Henning's Trains has had an outdoor layout in front of the store for many years, it uses Atlas track. AFAIK, it's the same track as they started with years ago, so it'll certainly stand the test of time. The tracks are in the circled area. There's a tunnel that the train is parked in when it's not running, and it has weathered many storms.