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Andy's Garden Railway Guide

Did you ever dream of having a railway in your garden? Maybe to have a bit more space for the model railway, to see a train winding its way throught the flower borders, or to run a real steam locomotive and see wisps of smoke as the train goes round the edge of the lawn? Well, you can build one! It's not that hard, and the aim of this website is to show you how it can be done.

The railway I'm building is roughly 1:19 scale. It's a "narrow gauge" railway. That is to say, it models a real railway where the tracks are 2 feet (60cm) apart. The scale is called "16mm/ft". In this scale model person is about as tall as your index finger. A large part of this site is information about modelling in this scale; a section called the 16mm Guide, which has been going since 2001.

If you're unsure what 'scale' and 'gauge' mean, read this first. There are a number of other scales in which you can model too, if you don't fancy 16mm/ft, some of which are models you can ride on.

You can find more about the construction of my own railway about a model locomotive made of Lego, as well as other topics which interest me.

The site has expanded to cover railways in general and other topics which interest me. Please use the links on the left to find your way around.

This video shows one of my trains in action.

Who is this guy?
I'm Andy Watkins. My hobby involves trains, which is what this website is all about. My main interests are Narrow Gauge steam railways, and I'm building a railway in my garden where I can run live steam locos.
16mm Garden Railway Webring
16mm Garden Railway Webring
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Recent Changes

(Last Update Wednesday, February 25th 2015)

27 Sep 2013
Corrected an out-of-date web address

10 Jan 2013
Updated the suppliers page to reflect some changes in the market. I'm sorry to report the recent and unexpected death of the proprietor of Hog's Hill Works.

19 Dec 2012
I wrote an article about Garratt locos

23 July 2012
Added instructions for changing the song name in a music file. No, it's got absolutely nothing to do with trains!

28 Mar 2012
Tidied up.

2 Jun 2011
Added Hog Hill Works to the suppliers page.

29 Mar 2011
Freshened up the page appearance a bit, making better use of page width.

15 Mar 2011
Added a few more entries to the suppliers page.

21 Oct 2010
Added Dream Steam, and a logo for Forest Classics, to the suppliers page.

10 Aug 2010
On the trains page, there's an amazing video of a tracklaying train and the replica locomotive Lyd is finally in steam.

19 May 2010
Fixed an address on the Building a loco page. Added a backlink to Georg Str\F8msholt's My Train Space. In the web design section, I added a note about the sprintf library. On my own railway, I've installed the tunnel sides and cutting.

11 March 2010
I've been madly busy doing something for the last 9 months, and it hasn't been railways! (Websites and DIY if you're interested. See, you aren't interested, are you?) Anyway, I have written an article about different sorts of water you can use in your model steam locomotive. Enjoy.

30 June 2009
Major changes to the games page to make better use of DHTML. Not only does this improve the page, it also makes it fit into my content management system better, making it easier to edit. In addition to putting the newer games at the top, I've added a few great new ones (including the Adventures of Fancy Pants Man). Keep the suggestions coming. Updated the Javascript String library page with more info on String.match()

13 May 2009
Update to the trains page with a photo of a Big Boy loco being moved by road. Improved my Javascript String Reference Library.

7 May 2009
Added a couple of links to the Other Scales page: ABC Gears, a supplier of gearbox units, and Denbury, a Gauge One layout in a garden and indoors.

30 March 2009
Added a note about the minimum curve radius that the Byers geared logging locomotive can handle, and a note about how my fix for 40 MHz Radio Gitching is getting on. Corrected some wording the credits page. Added Kent Garden Railways to the Suppliers page, and Technobots to the building a live steam locomotive page.