G scale train modeling

Cary’s been in touch with his G scale train modeling exploits.

(Cary’s last post is here).

I have to say, I do love his layout and what he’s done. Six years of fun so far – and that’s what it’s all about, going at your own pace…

“Hello Al and All,

I’m about 6 years into my garden G scale railroad and hope to finally start laying track this summer. Last summer I brought in 7 tons of rock for the track bed.

As mentioned in some of my previous posts, during the winter months I’m making buildings, vehicles, people etc… I was only able to get in a few projects this winter but they were rather large and made to fit exact locations on my layout. Here they are, hope you enjoy.

Trestle Bridge

The bridge is designed to go in this location. It is both curved and on an incline.

G scale train modeling trestle

G scale train modeling loco

The lower 2-3 inches will be covered in dirt. You’ll notice that I cheated a bit by using four vertical pieces in the center that actually hold up the bridge. Since the bridge will eventually be outdoors permanently, I thought the added structural support was necessary.

I then built the trestle timber around the vertical supports which made the build easier and to the right dimensions.

The vertical pieces, fiberglass base and top track bed are all screwed together. The trestle pieces are glued to the base with construction adhesive.

I had planned to paint the bridge black but found that I had very little flat black paint remaining. I did have some red left over from a previous project and when I mixed the two together, I got this wonderful chocolate brown color. It’s always a nice surprise when use of improvised materials turns out better than expected.

G scale train modeling bridge

I dry brushed with some gray to add highlights and as usual, may have overdone it a bit. The small, white accent pieces really serve no purpose, but as the project neared completion, I thought the extra detail would provide some needed character. The horse and wagon show where I think the top of dirt will be.

Tunnel / Machine Shop Combo

This project is a strange concept, but hopefully turns a problem area on my layout into a positive. The idea is to have a great tunnel face but a short tunnel with easy access (maintenance, critters, leaves) and create a focal point on the far end of my layout.

I’m going to remove the plant container (much larger than needed) and extend the rocks to the right up and over the tunnel face. The train will travel into the tunnel face, under the machine shop and into a trench. I intend to further hide the train in the trench with a shed and some plants.

G scale train modeling tunnel entrance

Once in its final location, the lower 4-6 inches of the building will be below grade. The truck and the shed are elevated here to show ground level.

G scale train modeling

The structure is birch plywood with exterior house paint. The base is fiberglass and the roof is concrete board and real shingles. The four figures were sculpted from clay.

G scale train modeling

G scale

I hope this large opening will be big enough for track cleaning and removing debris, the roof is removable for additional access if needed. With the train coming out the bottom of the building I wanted to add some detail to give it a purpose. I came up with the idea of a gantry crane and suspended load. The doors slide closed to keep the birds out.

Building for the outdoors is a tradeoff between detail and something that will hold up in the elements. I kind of like the idea of doors that open, detailed things that slide that will be protected during non use and winter months. I’m going to try to work more of this into future builds. The clay figures take a lot of time to produce and here they are much harder to see than I had hoped. Hopefully those who visit my layout will take time to appreciate some of the “not so apparent” details.

G scale

I wanted a maintenance train for my layout and came across a good deal on an LGB starter kit. It came with figures and turned out to be a fun little project. The flat car is full of accessories I’ve picked up over time including the fuel tank that came off a truck coin bank.

G scale train modeling truck

Once again I wanted to say how much I enjoy getting Al’s posts and seeing everyone’s progress on your projects. Have fun and happy modeling.

Cary in KY.”

A huge thanks to Cary for sharing his G scale train modeling. I do love his updates – it’s a huge project and it’s wonderful to see it coming together.

And now on to Dave. This time it’s not his layout, but seeing as I enjoyed watching his video, I thought you might too:

“Hi Al, not sure if you want to post this, but just been up to NYMR to day to capture the famous Tornado which was visiting this last week, she put a great show on, and I am, sure you will enjoy watching her



Latest ebay cheat sheet here.

That’s all for today folks. Please do keep ’em coming. And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here and stuffed full of tips and tricks.



34 Responses to G scale train modeling

  1. christine says:

    That was very nice.

  2. Rod Mackay says:

    Six years with no trains running? You’ve got a lot more patience than me!
    Nice video Dave, wonder when we will be offered holographic steam effects in OO?

  3. Fantastic is all I can say Dave !
    Keep them coming as long as you can !
    Al. you know we all love to see the steadies rolling on the line !
    I seem to be getting slower in my old age , I am still not done with the village for the Grandson and have thought about a change in the upper tracks to include a bridge to nowhere that will be an hoped fore addition later on that will connect
    to the lower rail road ! Be well and satay safe all !!

  4. Mal says:

    Fantastic update on Cary’s garden railway, it looks stunning.

    Keep showing us the progress please.


  5. Richard Hirschhorn says:

    I came across your blog and have been fascinated by it. I look forward to seeing more.
    You have given me ideas for my own future layout.

  6. Cary B says:

    Nice progress on the outdoor layout Cary, looking forward to your next post.
    Dave, the video was very enjoyable. The trains are just fantastic and even with overcast skies the scenery is quite beautiful. Cary from Maryland USA

  7. I really enjoyed the running of the tornado!!! I look forward to your emails every morning over here in ohio. thanks sonny

  8. I like Gscale but too big indoors. I have lawn space fenced but we have baddies in all cities you know….The British are so nicely punctual. I noticed the spelling of “whistle” on a sign. I saw W on our signs (video) and for many decades thought it meant WATER because the signs were near a bridge over a waterway….l wonder, what do the British signs do for our P/F signs? Are their speeds in kilometers? Thanks.

  9. James E.Richards says:

    Great Video!!!!
    Really enjoyed seeing the trains and the English countryside is just lovely.
    Thanks for sharing.


  10. Don Jennings says:

    Gary == One thing about G gauge is that you have to like gardening. With G gauge you work with 4 Inch by 4 inch lumber. With HO it is a strip of balsa wood.

  11. Rob Shuman says:

    Cary, you do wonderful work! Keep us informed as things progress.

  12. Cord Reynolds says:

    Great video, Dave! (I know how those ‘Sunday morning shakes’ can be! :P)

  13. Warren Ferguson says:

    Hello, Cary. I think your trestle bridge is mighty fine. Looking at the paint in the picture, I could smell the fresh creosote! But (there’s always a but) regarding the white trim on the bridge, I kinda, sorta think the trestle would look better without it. No offense intended, and it’s only my humble opinion. It’s a beautiful bridge, and I know you’re justly proud. Warren, Al, USA

  14. Ian McDonald says:

    really enjoying the updates on the garden railway the buildings and the bridge just wonderful great detail. what a cracker of a video Dave and Deb great camera work to both of you thankyou for sharing.

  15. Ian Campbell says:

    Gorgeous footage of Tornado! I love the colours – bare trees, sharp greens & reds & whites. Brilliant work, Dave & the STIG!

  16. Steven Porcelius says:

    Cary, Great job so far. Great detail as well
    I’m into “G” Scale trains as well having them run at one time all over my back yard until someone decided to take all my brass track. Funny thing is that they left all the trains that were more money overall than the track. I am now working on running all in my basement with a motorized door to the outside to run around my patio. Learning my lesson I have planned a 4×4 timber and screwed in each track. If they want it now they will need to work hard to remove
    Oh Dave one comment, Your wife takes better video’s
    Steve from the other side of the pond / USA

  17. Gerard Gallick says:

    Dave thanks for the Tornado Video. It was done so well. If my house was burning down I would have stayed inside to watch all of the film footage.
    great job, loved the music too.

    I grew up, and have been up close to Tornado’s and they don’t anything like that Green Tornado in your film. The sky can turn green sometimes just before the Tornado touches down. I remember running from Tornados as a kid.
    Now I can say that there is one Tornado I would enjoy running straight on up to just to get a better look. Take friend, and thanks again for sharing.

  18. DeWitt Feeser says:

    Great accomplishment! I really hope, as I’m sure others have said, that you will tell where the layout is when its finished. I will come to see it. I travel to Europ often, at least once a year, so if you are over the pond, I’ll probably still come! If fact I’m sure I will!

  19. Jim Jerele says:

    Hi Cary, enjoyed my visit with you this past Sept. Glad to see that the winter months haven’t stopped you from making construction progress for your railroad. Like the finished look on your trestle. I’m busy working on my Indoor G-Scale. Not much visual change to see, since I’m pulling wire into place.
    Hope to see you sometime this summer when we visit our daughter.
    F.M.B, FL

  20. Jim Jerele says:

    Cary, that was Dec, Not Sept.
    FMB, FL

  21. Larry Lovvorn says:

    Cary How will you run electricity for this great outdoor project?

  22. Cary Price says:

    I’ve already run the 110V power line under ground from the house to the site. I rented a trencher and put the cable about 12″ below ground. Of course the line coming from the house is on a GFI for safety. My track will be an oval about 15 feet X 50 feet. The power supply will connect to the track in one corner of the oval and then I’ll run another set of feeder wires under the track to the opposite corner. Hopefully no voltage drops, we’ll find out 🙂
    Cary in KY

  23. Bill Houghton says:

    I sure enjoyed the video and the country side. This has to be the most professional video I have ever seen. I also enjoyed what you are doing with the G gauge layout. The trestle is amazing, I also agree that the white pieces seem to distract from it. I would love to visit England and be able to see some of the old trains, but with my health we are not able to make those long flights any more. Keep us up dated on your G gauge layout.

    Bill from Southern Indiana

  24. Ben Olson says:

    Cary, what an incredible project! I thought the trestle turned out great! Be sure to post updates when you get the track down.
    Dave, the Tornado video was fantastic, thanks so much for posting!

  25. don kadunc says:

    Beautiful trains. Anyone in Europe can answer this. Is steam use still common in Europe? In the US we only have excursion trains. We, also, envy Europe with your super high speed trains that we badly need here.

  26. Jeff Jundt says:

    Excellent work on the garden layout. Very nice detail in everything you are doing. Can’t wait to see trains running. And thank you for posting the live trains. That was fun and just what I needed this morning. Great video and pictures and love the commentary at the end.

  27. Will in NM says:

    Thanks to both Cary and Dave for such entertaining photos and video. Watching the Tornado was a real treat! Such a beautiful steam locomotive!

  28. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Cary can’t wait to see the finished Rail system you have created. looking good!

  29. Lynn Taubeneck says:

    Great garden layout, almost sounds like an invitation to come and see the details. Only problem is no one know where he lives. For Don Kudunc, there are few steam operations in Europe just like the USA there are museum railroads and some steam excursion railroads. The mainline railroads are electric or diesel.

  30. steven porcelius says:


    Not many Steam locomotives left in the world.
    It was great watching that video especially when it was leaving the station and picking up speed. What a beautiful site.
    It had to be a treat to be there to see in person!!
    We don’t have this in the states so every time YOU show one of these, I must watch it at least a dozen times……….Dave THANK YOU for posting this video.

  31. welder dave says:

    Cary it looks great I am in southern Indiana I have been building mine for years in the fab shop Im doing mine elevated out of steel 1X1 1/8 angle for the track bed and 2X2 by 1/8 box for the uprights I xsent the uprights out to be hot dipped galvanizing they will be set in concrete I still have to get G flex track The curves I formed on my rolling mill and welded spacers into it out of light flat stock that is what will have the self drilling screws in to hold the track I will solder all the joints too with jumpers to insure good power and also using 1/4 round stock as power poles with old glass fence insulators on the threaded top welded all around the layout the ground will use the track bed I will string ham radio antenna wire as the source and solder the drops the minimum height will be just over 6 inches and the tallest to keep it level with be just over 24 inches the whole ground will be covered with old conveyor belting then fine crushed brick so no need to mow under it inside the 30X 70 foot loop with be all my scrap steel art same belting and brick dust no mowing to keep up with found out there will be per 100 feet just 1/4th inch expanding difference from brass track VS steel bed just have to snug the screws so it can move a bit Have you ever been to the round house shop in Louisville ? I in my HO days bought a LOT there !! I need to talk to them about flex track for my G im out in the country too near Corydon IN

  32. Ken Clarke says:

    As someonr born in ’48 in Southern Michigan, I missed the age of steam and though we had tracks 50 ft from our bedroom window, we never saw anything but diesels. We did see the odd “planned” pull without freight on occasion. However, in 1973, while living in Greece, you can imagine my joy seeing a real life frieght train being pulled by an honest to goodness coal burning iron horse running parrallel to a highway. While we got ahead a bit to stop and watch it pass, I only got a single good photo, but that image is burned in my mind. I could watch these videos every day and smile. Living here in Indonesia now so a long way from steam. I’ve heard there is still one engine running somewhere but still trying to track it down. Many thanks for these videos, a great pleasure to watch.

  33. Andrew Aves says:

    Don’t you just love the magnificent sound of a steam locomotive – happiness via the ears.
    Thank you for sharing your video with us Dave
    Andrew in Oz

  34. William says:

    Way to go Cary!! Remember a model railroad is never really finished!!
    And then…you are doing “G gauge”‘ But what scale are you using?
    Choose from: 1:22.5, 1:24, !:32. All of these will run on G Gauge track. It is a matter of actual model gauge we should be looking at!
    Thank you for your indulgence of a stickler for accuracy.

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