Heritage Model Trains Article

Protecting Your LGB Model Trains


LGB model trains are so much easier to work with than the regular table models of toy trains, but if you are planning a garden-type feature you will need to protect your investment.  Sure, they are designed to be left outside but any model train enthusiast will bring their trains indoors when not actually running. And – that way you avoid any risk of theft.


Ideally, your tracks can weather any storm, snowfall, or excessive wind just as well as your landscape can. Track equipment weathers surprisingly well. But besides storms there are animals and intense sunlight, both of which can harm your trains; and why risk damage that may be non-repairable?


LGB G Scale Locomotive


Having said that, a good idea would be to plan on raising the roadbed of your tracks a bit with pressure-treated wood – this small elevation will keep a normal rainfall off the track. As you are building your track route, consider what type of plants your train should wind around and through.  Add rock sculpture for interest; be creative.


I have even seen birdfeeders and birdhouses used as buildings… just for uniqueness. Outdoor trains entertain so many people and bring smiles to every child as he watches your LGB model appear out from a canopy of ivy, or traveling over a bridge spanning a small pond that you designed for your koi fish.


Keep this in mind when you set your garden train layout -- levelness of the terrain. While LGB trains do indeed pull heavier loads in relationship with their size, unevenness in the terrain is still a factor. This is because their pull does have a limit and because it might be difficult to install the track in very hilly parts; just like a real engineer would – plan your garden track with your train in mind.


It was LGB model trains that made the garden model so popular. LGB is the abbreviation of Lehmann Gross Bahn, which in German means “Lehmann Big Train”. LGB trains are the most famous name there is; not because they single-handedly made garden trains the hobby it is today, but because it introduced the concept of G scale in model trains.


While plants can become trees, and rocks can become hills, LGB trains cannot look realistic next to a swimming pool or a yard ornamental figure. Keep everything proportional, and it will be real-looking.


One very wise layout manager planned his LGB train to run along a track that ran through their garage and then back out again into the garden. That way they kept their trains on the portion of the track in the garage during the night. Cool.


All Aboard……



Esther Smith, author

Heritage Model Trains