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

Our Home at Redcoat Orchard, Battle

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.

Control
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 Events Calendar of Events Calendar of Events
DUE TO THE ADVENT OF COVID-19 AND FOLLOWING THE GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS ON SOCIAL GET TOGETHER'S ALL MEETINGS FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED. THE RESUMPTION OF MEETINGS WILL BE ADVISED TO MEMBERS AS SOON AS IT IS VIABLE TO DO SO. PLEASE STAY SAFE.

Cost: Donation of £2.00 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.

RUNNING DAY DATES FOR REDCOAT ORCHARD 2020:

Monday, 2nd November 2020
Wednesday, 11th November 2020
Sunday, 15th November 2020 West Sussex/Solent Group Show at Henfield
Saturday, 21st November 2020

Monday, 7th December 2020
Wednesday, 16th December 2020

Cost: Donation of £2.00 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.

RUNNING DAY DATES FOR REDCOAT ORCHARD 2021:

Please Note for 2021:
Cost: Donation of £3.00 per adult per session and £1.00 per observer per session

Running Dates may alter at the discretion of the Committee.

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

Monday, 1st February 2021
Wednesday, 10th February 2021
Saturday, 20th February 2021

Monday, 1st March 2021
Sunday, 7th March 2021 Surrey Meet at East Horsley
Wednesday, 10th March 2021
Saturday, 20th March 2021

Monday, 5th April 2021
Wednesday, 14th April 2021
Saturday, 24th April 2021

Monday, 3rd May 2021
Wednesday, 12th May2021
Saturday, 22nd May2021

Monday, 7th June 2021
Wednesday, 16th June 2021
Saturday, 26th June 2021

Monday, 5th July 2021
Wednesday, 14th July 2021
Saturday, 24th July 2021

Monday, 2nd August 2021
Wednesday, 11th August 2021
Saturday, 21st August 2021

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

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

DUE TO THE ADVENT OF COVID-19 AND FOLLOWING THE GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS ON SOCIAL GET TOGETHER'S ALL MEETINGS FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED. THE RESUMPTION OF MEETINGS WILL BE ADVISED TO MEMBERS AS SOON AS IT IS VIABLE TO DO SO. PLEASE STAY SAFE.

Videos


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

Contact Us


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