While this should not be considered a definitive guide by any stretch of the imagination, it should hopefully provide a good starting point for your own plans.
Depending on how seriously you plan to take your new railway, planning can begin before you even purchase the house where the railway will be built. There are several things that you should be considering which will affect how you build your railway.
Gradient Of The Garden
This is not something that you can always gauge correctly simply by sight, but the gradient of the garden can have a large impact on how you build your railway – especially if you are planning to haul passengers.
Smaller (O gauge or lower) railways will not be affected by this quite so much, as they can be built raised in sections, or earth can be moved easily to accomodate them.
Look out for gardens that are as flat as possible – and try to get a picture of the finished line in your head, to visualise any potential problems with the construction – and how you could overcome them.
The size of the garden is also important – again, especially if you will be building for a gauge big enough to carry people. If the garden is too small, you may be limited by what you can build (in a narrow garden, you may not have enough space to make the track loop round, for example)
I will be discussing this issue further in future posts…
(Photo by fairlightworks)