G Scale Garden Railway

‘G scale’ trains all run on 45mm gauge track but to a variety of scales, depending on prototype.
The most common tends to be 1:22.5 (for metre gauge prototypes) but it is also common to regauge 16mm:foot (1:19 scale) models of 2ft gauge or 2ft 6in gauge prototypes to run on 45mm gauge track.

They are often designed to be run outdoors in the garden, where space constraints are less restrictive than on an indoor layout.

Daniel always had an interest in these large scale railways, but given they are significantly more expensive than OO models, they were well beyond the reach of his student budget.
With employment, and a bit more disposable income, came the purchase of an LGB starter set consisting of a Stainz loco, two coaches, and an oval of track.
This was quickly followed by more rolling stock, initially running around the spare bedroom floor in his rented house.

The Ash Vale Light Railway

Purchasing his first house in 2009 gave Daniel the opportunity to create something a little more permanent.
The garden and patio area, albeit small, was enough for a small ‘dog-bone’ layout with separate terminus line, and the Ash Vale Light Railway (AVLR) was born.

Construction consisted of timber-framed plywood baseboards, topped with roofing felt, for the station areas, with treated decking board used for the rest of the layout.

The layout was supported by ‘metpost’ fence anchors. Flat-bottomed ones for the patio area, with ‘drive in’ spiked posts for the flowerbeds.
This lead to a very strong and substantial construction.
Track was all LGB with Hillman/Massoth rail clamps joining the sections together. Control was analogue DC.

The rolling stock collection continued to expand over the next few years, including some 16mm items and an Accucraft ‘Leader’ live-steam loco.

Accucraft Leader 0-4-0ST ‘Megan’ steams around the AVLR on an autumnal afternoon.
A drivers-eye view of the AVLR

The AVLR was never fully ‘finished’ and was dismantled in 2016 in preparation for the sale of the house.
Fortunately because of the ‘bullet-proof’ nature of LGB trackwork, all of it could be recovered for later use along with the metposts (which proved extremely difficult to extract from the ground!).

The Future

We are already making plans to construct a G gauge railway around our home, using track components recovered from the AVLR, plus new items that have been collected since in anticipation.

The railway will be primarily operated with Massoth DCC components, but provision will also be made for limited analogue and live-steam operation.

Construction work cannot start properly until a number of critical landscaping tasks have been carried out (including removal of a rogue hedge and replacement of some life-expired fencing and decking). However, we are hopeful of making a start in the very near future.

Acquisition of rolling stock is ongoing, with Andrea also having joined the G scale club, purchasing several items of stock, including a full Circus themed set.
Work is also proceeding to fit our existing stock with DCC decoders, ready for use on the eventual layout.

Keep an eye on this site for news and updates on our progress!