HobbyClinic.com, OnlyTrains.com and RLDHobbies.com are three online dealers that specialize in garden trains of all types, including steam locomotives. Brick-and-mortar hobby shops often carry working garden train models. G-scale is the most popular size for miniature steam trains, and G-scale trains are large and durable enough for collectors to create working models in outdoor spaces.
Garden steam locomotives run on real steam power produced through a pellet, fuel or onboard coal-burning mechanism. These trains mimic classic American and European models, and prices range from under $100 to several thousands of dollars for more authentic models. For example, the German Franzburg steam locomotive sold by OnlyTrains.com comes with a history lesson for train enthusiasts.
G-scale model trains are smaller than backyard railroads, which are working installations large enough to carry passengers. Steam trains are also available in the 16-millimeter gauge, but G-scale models are more popular with garden enthusiasts and more durable for outdoor conditions.
Some companies, such as RLD Hobbies, which maintains two locations in the Northeast, specialize in garden trains and can install sound and wireless battery systems to power electric trains. This hobby store also supplies a full range of tracks, bridges and figurines to create authentic-looking train scenery.