Looking at several garden railway roadbed installation methods, I wanted to mount my track to boards for smooth operation. We’ll use the crusher fines as a base under the boards, and later on the top and sides as ballast. I started by cutting my 1″x4″ cedar boards to the exact length needed for the straight sections. I did rough cuts for the curves on 1/2″ pressure treated plywood:
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With my area leveled, I laid the track out to make sure everything would fit. This was when I discovered I had to make a few minor changes to my design. You can’t have a left turnout switch immediately following a right turnout switch. This is because the manual switch mechanism on the left-hand switch will interfere with the track coming off the right turnout. You have to put one straight section in-between the switches. You can see the first left-hand turnout operation switch between the tracks here:
You can also probably spot my SCX24 Subaru brat up there. I wanted to make sure there was room for a small fire road between the tracks and the garden edge. Continue reading
We had a 1:24 scale Christmas last year, which was fun to set up under the tree. While the SCX24 RC crawler is small, the G-scale trains are decidedly big once you factor in the layout. I’ve always loved model trains and had a layout as a kid, but in my home it would be impossible to dedicate a room to model trains. Why not go outside? Large scale trains are popular for garden railways, and I had a section of yard that was completely unused. But it won’t be for just trains – I want it to be a multi-modal play area: trains, crawlers, maybe even a landing pad for an RC helicopter 🚂🚙🚁 This site isn’t transforming into a model railroad blog (at least not permanently), but the next few posts will be about the train setup as groundwork before the crawler course is installed. Hopefully you can enjoy it all under the guise of RC and Trail & Scale 😎

Garden Bed & Trains

For the area, I purchased some Vita 4’x4’x11″ vinyl garden beds from Costco. They came as a 2-pack that you can combine to make a 8’x8′ area. I bought two of those packs which let me combine them to make a 12’x20′ area. Before I did any digging, I loosely fit the vinyl bed parts together in the yard to make sure I knew that the space would be appropriate
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When I was getting back into R/C for the 2nd time, circa 2003, I made a conscious choice between getting an HPI Super Nitro Rally and the HPI RS4 (electric) Rally. The music of 18,000 RPMs sounded like a ton of fun, but in the back of my head, it just wasn’t worth it. Smelling like nitro fuel, tuning the engine for the weather, proper maintenance and storage were just a few reasons. Plus all my previous experience was electric. At the end of 2020 I donated my Subaru WRX to Newgate School. It was feeling its age and had several gremlins that I didn’t want to deal with: a fuel filler neck that wouldn’t refuel at full speed, an undiagnosed misfire on cylinder #1, and a slipping clutch. Like my decision to bypass nitro, the time was right to give up the rumbly EJ motor sound for the whir of a 200HP electric motor. Introducing the official Meatball Racing vehicle: Chevy Bolt
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