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1 September 2005
 
Garden Railways
 
At yearly Royal Show events in Australian cities, farmers come to show off all their produce and animals. But lots of other people come to show off their favourite things as well.


We're with a business called Illusions and Ideas promoting the garden railways of South Australia.

Garden railways have been around for a number of years in Australia but not so much in South Australia. We're promoting a new range of products here and getting a very favourable reaction from it.

Yes, it's a lot less involved than people might think actually.

You don't have to buy scenery and all these things that you do with your normal model trains because they're all up in the attic. Out in the garden you're out in nature with the sun and really all you do is lay the track and watch the trains go around basically.

Yes, it's no problem, everything is UV protected. All the plastics used are the same as is used in motorcars so they're all weatherproof and everything. The track stays out in the rain and all the stock you can see behind us, most of that has been out in the weather all winter.

The locomotives you bring in so they don't get stolen, of course. But everything's totally weatherproof, sun, rain, -- doesn't really matter. No problem.

We use a 24 volt DC system, much the same as your garden lighting, same voltage as garden lighting, so it's all quite safe.

Like any hobby, the sky's the limit but you can start as I said earlier, we have starter sets from $565 which is your entry point I guess and you can add on, birthday presents or Christmas, we've always got something to buy for the lucky person. Prices for locomotives start at about $200 and from there our dearest one is just under $1200 but that's included in a set at about the $3000 mark with about ten freight cars. Everything is radio controlled as well so you just stand back and operate it and enjoy them going around. That's what it's all about.

My favourite, on the layout behind us, I think the green Southern Crescent ones you've seen going around is certainly very good. I've been after one of those for a number of years and the excuse to buy it for the Show was a good one I thought.

The colour scheme looks very smart I think and it's of an era when values were different to what they are today, when there was a bit more respect in the world and things like that.

I think that's what people like about steam. It takes them back to days gone by when the values were different in the world, really.


story notes

 scenery
 
Scenery includes the tiny trees, bushes, hills and other natural things that make a model train look real.

 model trains
 
A model train is a small train set that people often have in their houses.
 

 attic
 
An attic is a space or room at the top of a building, often used for storing things.

 UV protected
 
UV stands for ultraviolet. Ultraviolet light, or UV light, makes your skin darker when you've been in the sun.
 
It also makes colours fade, or become lighter in colour, if they're left in the sun.
 
But their trains have special plastic that will not fade.

 weatherproof
 
If something is weatherproof, it doesn't get damaged by wind or rain .

 stock
 
the railway engines and carriages

 colour scheme
 
combination of colours

 smart
 
good looking, stylish

 era
 
time in history