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

Our Home at Redcoat Orchard, Battle

We would like to welcome you to Redcoat Orchard

On the following pages you will find out about all the activities that EAST SUSSEX GARDEN RAIL do. We are a member of the G Scale Society and all our activities are associated with them.

If you would like to come along and just have a look and see what we get up to then please feel free to just turn up on one of the "Running Days" listed on this website and someone will show you around and introduce you to some of the Members.

Alternatively, if you would feel more comfortable, use our "Contact Page" and we will arrange a contact to meet with you at Redcoat and show you around and introduce you to some of the members.

We are open to all ages, male and female alike, and look forward to seeing you sometime.

We would like to welcome you to Redcoat OrchardWe would like to welcome you to Redcoat Orchard

COVID 19 and Running Days

Guide to Running Days and Covid Restrictions

THE OPENING OF THE RAILWAY, Running Days are now open and will be done by strict Covid restrictions A Guide to this is available to download here. An NHS QR Code will be available at the entrance to the venue and if you have downloaded the NHS App please use this in addition to the relevant sign in forms on arrival. Masks will be compulsory to wear at all times.

Form to be read prior to entering

This Form must be read and complied with prior to entering the venue. You can download this here or Forms and lists will be available on the day. SEE "CALENDAR OF EVENTS" PAGE

Second Hand Items for sale

Items for Sale

We have been asked to sell the items listed on the Downloaded File on behalf of one of our Members who regretfully is no longer able to use them. All these items are collectable from East Sussex Garden Rail Group at Redcoat Orchard, in Battle. If you wish to purchase any item or have a look at them, then please contact the following: Ron Cook on vcook@btinternet.com or call 01424 773720 stating the number of the item and a brief description. (Some of these photos alongside the descriptions are taken from the Web and are marked accordingly.)

Who are we?

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?

What is G Scale

What is G Scale
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?

Is it expensive?
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.

Calendar of Events

Calendar of EventsCalendar of EventsCalendar of Events

Cost: Donation of £3.00 per adult per session and £1.00 per observer per session.
Dates may alter at the discretion of the Committee.

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.

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


2020 and the start of 2021 has been a terrible time and has managed to cease all operations at Redcoat in running, maintenance and construction. Where we have been allowed we have managed to do work at the site keeping social distance but it has still hampered our way of getting things done.

Further projects are in the pipeline but these will have to wait until it is safe to carry them out and also when we can get back to some sort of normality with our running schedule.

We have managed to organise our Running Schedules for 2021 but up and until now all these have been suspended. However we are delighted to announce that from 22nd May 2021 we are going to resume Running Days. Certain restrictions will have to be in place but if you refer to our "
COVID19 and Running Days" page you will find all the necessary forms to read about the restrictions and for those necessary for completion at the door.

Stay safe and we look forward to seeing some of you for the belated start to our season in 2021.

Please Note for 2021:
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 Committee.

Monday, 6th September 2021
Wednesday, 15th September 2021
Saturday, 25th September 2021

Monday, 4th October 2021
Wednesday, 13th October 2021
Saturday, 23rd October 2021

Monday, 8th November 2021
Wednesday, 17th November 2021
Saturday, 27th November 2021

Monday, 6th December 2021
Wednesday, 15th December 2021
Saturday, 25th December 2021 – No Running


Monday, 10th January 2022
Wednesday, 19th January 2022
Saturday, 29th January 2022

Monday, 7th February 2022
Wednesday, 16th February 2022
Saturday, 26th February 2022

Monday, 7th March 2022
Wednesday, 16th March 2022
Saturday, 26th March 2022

Monday, 4th April 2022
Wednesday, 13th April 2022
Saturday, 23rd April 2022

Monday, 2nd May 2022
Wednesday, 11th May 2022
Saturday, 21st May 2022

Monday, 6th June 2022
Wednesday, 15th June 2022
Saturday, 25th June 2022

Monday, 4th July 2022
Wednesday, 13th July 2022
Saturday, 23rd July 2022

Monday, 1st August 2022
Wednesday, 10th August 2022
Bexhill MRS exhibition Saturday, 13th August 2022
Saturday, 20th August 2022

Monday, 5th September 2022
Wednesday, 14th September 2022
Saturday, 24th September 2022

Monday, 3rd October 2022
Wednesday, 12th October 2022
Saturday, 22nd October 2022

Monday, 7th November 2022
Wednesday, 16th November 2022
Saturday, 26th November 2022

Monday, 5th December 2022
Wednesday, 14th December 2022

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





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


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.

Contact Us

  • Redcoat Orchard, Catsfield, Battle, TN33 9DU
  • Redcoat Orchard,