Welcome to the East Sussex Garden Rail Group
A Member of the
G Scale Society

Our Home at Redcoat Orchard, Battle

Please note that we have had to alter our Running
Schedule. Please see the updates in our "Calendar
of Events" on the next page.
Calendar of Events imageCalendar of Events imageCalendar of Events image

Dates may alter at the discretion of the Group or due to unforeseen circumstances.


We run Steam, Battery, R/C, MTS and Analogue (LGB and Massoth Controllers can be used).
Please ensure that ALL your rolling stock have insulated wheels. Regretfully, we cannot allow stock to run without these insulated wheel sets on the inside railway.

Certain restrictions may have to be in place for "COVID19 and Running Days". Stay safe and we look forward to seeing some of you in the 2024 Season.

Please Note for 2024:
Cost: Donation of £3.00 per adult per session and £1.00 per observer per session
(Prices for Open Days will be announced at the time of the event)
Running times between 10.00 am to 4.00 pm

Running Dates may alter at the discretion of the Group.

Meetings including Operators Panel Meetings are designated with a ** sign
ALL MEMBERS are invited to attend and participate in these Meetings.

Running Days for Redcoat Orchard 2024
February 2024 
Wednesday, 28th February 2024 
March 2024 
Monday, 11th March 2024 
Wednesday, 20th March 2024 ** 
Saturday, 30th March 2024 
April 2024 
Monday, 8th April 2024 
Wednesday, 17th April 2024 
Saturday, 27th April 2024 
May 2024 
Monday, 6th May 2024 
Wednesday, 15th May 2024 ** 
Saturday, 25th May 2024 
June 2024 
Monday, 3rd June 2024 
Wednesday, 12th June 2024 
Saturday, 22nd June 2024 
July 2024 
Monday, 1st July 2024 
Wednesday, 10th July 2024 ** 
Saturday, 20th July 2024 
Monday, 29th July 2024 
August 2024 
Wednesday, 7th August 2024 
Saturday, 10th August 2024 - Bexhill Model Railway Show at 
St. Richards School, Bexhill - More details to follow. 
Saturday, 17th August 2024 
Monday, 26th August 2024 
September 2024 
Wednesday, 4th September 2024 
Saturday, 14th September 2024 
Monday, 23rd September 2024 ** 
October 2024 
Wednesday, 2nd October 2024 
Saturday, 12th October 2024 
Monday, 21st October 2024 
Wednesday, 30th October 2024 
November 2024 
Saturday, 9th November 2024 
Monday, 18th November 2024 ** 
Wednesday, 27th November 2024 
December 2024 
Saturday, 7th December 2024 
Monday, 16th December 2024

Saturday, 28th December 2024

January 2025
Saturday, 4th January 2025

** Operators Panel Meetings

  • Dates may alter at the discretion of the Group or due to unforeseen circumstances.



Welcome to the East Sussex Garden Rail Group a Member of the G Scale Society. We are a group of enthusiasts who enjoy running trains outdoors (and indoors) and who have the facilities to do so.

East Sussex G Rail Group (of the G Scale Society)
We are the Local Area Group for East Sussex and we have our Members layout at Redcoat Orchard in Battle, East Sussex. We have Running Days and Open Days and these can be found on our Calendar of Events page by clicking the link above. We welcome New Members and if anybody wishes to visit to see what it is that we do then please make contact using our Contact Page above where directions will be provided.
By selecting the pages in this website we hope to be able to provide you with an insight as to what the Group does and its objectives.
To be a member of the Group you first have to be a Member of the G Scale Society. Details of how to join the Society will be found later on this website.
Benefits of the Society include a very comprehensive quarterly magazine which includes letters, articles, photos, comments and reports about anything to do with the Society and its Members.
Once you have joined the Society you will be introduced to your local area group. You may decide that you would like to be a member of another or adjoining group and this is permitted.

Who are we? image
What is G Scale image
What is G Scale?

Track Gauge and Scale
G Scale is essentially the modelling of narrow gauge railways on track 45mm wide, representing, in the scale of 1:22.5, continental metre gauge, though in recent years this has been enhanced by the introduction of a number of propriety items representing 3 foot gauge to the scale 1:20.3; the scales make little difference as visually both can be run together. Standard gauge which is 4 foot 8 ½ inch between running lines is represented by a scale of 1:29. That said, it is possible to run any scale and prototype albeit gauged to 45mm. At open days and meets all will be seen, though most members do tend to run a prototypical locomotive and stock.

Origins of G Scale
G Scale was started by the German firm of Lehmann in the 1960s, with a trade name of LGB (which translated means Lehmann Big Railway), whilst you will still see these item as their quality are legendary, as a result of their success many other ‘ready to run’ manufacturers have entered the hobby, including Peco, Bachmann, Accucraft, Aristocraft and USA Trains to mention a few. G Scale products are long lasting and reliable, and generally weatherproof making them ideal for outdoor operation. LGB is now manufactured by Marklin.

Getting Started
Starter sets are available from some manufacturers, which make a cost effective entry into the hobby. To start off it is simply a case of laying the track on a flat area, connecting the power and start running. There are a number of child friendly systems also available, we have members that entered the hobby with children as young as six. Some modellers run their stock straight from the box, others make simple modifications like fitting lights or changing couplings, whilst others assemble kits or scratch build models.

In recent years there have been major changes in how we can control our trains. This is due to being able to install electronic modules into many of the models of locomotives, which enable sounds of the steam or diesels to be produced and heard by installing loud speakers in the locos. Other functions can also be controlled and this is all known as DCC control. (Digital Command and Control).

Area Groups
The Society supports members and Area Groups with advice, facilities and practical assistance such as insurance when running a Society sponsored event.

The G Scale Society
G Scale is supported by a wide variety of manufacturers and suppliers, and a range of scales - the choice is yours. In the Society we operate a broad church, and especially welcome families to join, you won’t find any ‘rivet counters’, just a good day out with like-minded members.

Is it expensive? image
Family budgets are always tight and perhaps starting a garden railway is not top of the list in any family budget. It may well be that putting off the fateful day of starting to build a garden railway has been put further back down the line than was expected.
As a Member of the East Sussex Garden Rail Group of the G scale Society we have held many exhibitions for our Members and the public alike. We now of course have a permanent home.

I was always amazed how young children, both male and female, used to marvel at the sight of trains running around table top layouts berating their parents “Why can’t I have one of those?” with the usual response “We can’t afford models like that…..”.

When I started in G Scale my first starter set came from the local model shop in the City of London they were selling an LGB G-Scale Centenary Edition Train Set (this shows you how old I am!!!) at a cost of £50.00. How could I refuse? So that was the start for me and I still have that set today, it was a 100 year anniversary set from 1881 to 1981.

But like every young man growing up and having a family budgets are tight and it is difficult to build a garden railway as new prices of locomotives and rolling stock seem to go up on a weekly basis.

So how can you build a garden railway at a realistic cost. Obviously there are many methods of laying track in the garden and I don’t intend to debate here which is the right or wrong method of construction but rather how do you go about purchasing affordable equipment to make a start.

Obviously, E-bay springs to mind but here you have to be very choosy to obtain the item you require at the right price. I have seen second hand items going for more than the original purchase price and don’t forget to add in the cost of postage.

This doesn’t mean that E-Bay is always expensive, you just have to be careful and research what you purchase before deciding on your final bid. Have a look and compare some of the prices with an OO/HO engine say from Hornby.

A lot of dealers are now stocking second hand items and here you can make good savings. Buying from a dealer allows you to check the goods before purchase but of course some will provide items via the internet. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as you want your purchase to provide you with good service and be sure it is in the condition as it is described. Also look out for dealer “Special Offers” and compare the prices with others.

I was introduced to someone who was selling their entire garden railway. He had already managed to sell quite a lot of it but had a few items left that he thought I might be interested in. He had a LGB Stainz engine and an LGB Box car. With a bit of haggling I purchased both of these for £35.00. Now this may seem very cheap but I took a chance on the engine working properly but when I got it home it ran very well. It was slightly damaged in that one of the boarding handles to the cab was broken and the chimney was very loose. The box car was alright once I had put it in the bath and thoroughly cleaned it. Once dry I changed the box car wheels for a set of metal ones that I had lying around and gave it a drop of oil. This now ran like a new wagon. I was very lucky to purchase these items at the price stated but a good second hand starter engine should be able to be purchased at around £65.00 to £80.00 if you look around.

In addition to the above for those wanting something new then IP Engineering is a good source of very easy to build kits and would have you up and running in no time.
Turning to the engine I stripped out the motor and set about cleaning the carcase. The chimney was damaged in that it would not screw into place but I had in mind just using this locomotive for battery power so I glued the chimney in place, removed the pickups and reassembled the engine.

On the back of the newer Stainz is a socket and if you purchase a plug and lead and just connect it to several batteries it will chug away until they are exhausted. Obviously, there is no speed controller so it needs to be a bit more sophisticated than that.

To cut a long story short as I had spent so little on the engine and box car I invested in a Radio Control outfit which now allows me to run this train on any layout I choose.
Just a couple of examples of engines and stock but what about track to run it on? Again this can be purchased via the internet or a dealer or from a newspaper advertisement or an auction. Again, take your time in choosing the item you want at the price you want to pay. Be patient, if an article you want is too expensive try somewhere else as you will eventually get what you want at the price you are prepared to pay.

All railways appear expensive irrespective of gauge but with patience and a little care it is surprising what you can find out there. There are many methods of propulsion namely analogue, digital, battery, radio control and steam. They all vary in cost from a few pounds to a few thousand pounds but none of this cost precludes anybody from having an enjoyable garden railway.

Being a Member of the G Scale Society has proved invaluable in providing hours of interesting fun but at the same time talking and mixing with like minded people who are always willing to help. Second hand items often change hands and at good prices and information is always provided as to good sources of stock at the right price. You also get a chance to see other member's railways and stock, some of which are spectacular.

This may seem a male dominated hobby but it’s not. The G Scale Society Chairman was a woman until recently and, a very efficient one at that, and she has the interests of the Society and hobby at heart, so ladies you are most welcome as well. So if you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us using the Contact Page on this website or go to the Society’s Membership Application Form on the G Scale Society's Web Site.

Items for Sale

We have been asked to display certain previously enjoyed items for sale. The list attached can change from time to time once items have been disposed of so please keep looking back as we will update this as and when new items come our way. If you wish to purchase any item or have a look at them, then please come along and have a look. (Some of these photos alongside the descriptions are taken from the Web and are marked accordingly.) You can use our Contact Page if you so wish to enquire about anything on the list for sale.

Kent Group of the G Scale Society

Our friends in the Kent Group of the G Scale Society paid us a visit. See what they had to say about their visit.

Garden Rail News (USA)

We had a visit from the American Magazine Garden Rail News. In the December issue of their magazine they published an article about G Scale Railways in the UK. I have reproduced this article for others to read.


Newsletter for January 2021 Article from the Group Leader. Committee Members List. Christmas in Lock Down. Hopes for the future.


Newsletter for May 2021 Article from the Group Leader. Restart of activities Locomotive Repairs Covid 19 Entry Forms and Guidelines


Newsletter for July 2021. Bexhill Model Rail Show in Hastings and others


Report of Operations Panel Meeting of Saturday 13thJanuary 2024

If you would like to stay in the beautiful countryside near Battle in East Sussex then this is the place to be. It is also the home of East Sussex Garden Rail a Member of the G Scale Society. This group specialises in Garden Railways and has extensive layouts which will delight old and young alike.

Why stay here ...
  • Redcoat is situated 2 miles from Battle with stunning views across the valley where the Battle of Hastings took place.
  • The caravan site is in front of an apple orchard which is a wonderful picture when the trees are in blossom.
  • We have our own chickens, ducks and geese, and we also have model railway layouts to view.
  • Flowers and vegetables are grown on site when in season. 
  • Fishing.

Facilities on site ...
  • Coarse fishing
  • Information room
  • Shop
  • Shower (exclusive use) and WC (Exclusive use)
  • TV reception: variable
  • Unfenced water
Throughout the year East Sussex Garden Rail hold "Running Days" which are for Members of the G Scale Society but visitors are always welcome to come and see what we do. (See Open Days and Running Days on this website)
Occasionally in the year we have "Open Days" where we open our railways to the Public to come and see what we are about and to enjoy our hobby. These "Open Days" will be shown on this website when they are available and we would welcome one and all but at the same time you could combine your visit by staying at Redcoat on their camp site.

For more information about staying please call the Owners on 01424 772685

Here we have videos of interest to the Membership. Click on the name below and it will take you to our YouTube account where you can view these films. Once you have finished just come out of the page and it will return you to this section of the website.

The building of Redcoat Outside Layout

A trip around the new outside layout

Construction of a Garden Layout

Bob and Chris's Steaming in the Garden

Bob & Chris's run around the Garden

New films and replacement films will be included here from time to time so do keep looking back.
Videos image
  • Redcoat Orchard, Catsfield, Battle, TN33 9DU
  • Redcoat Orchard,