If you’re interested in having a train in your own backyard, it’s more affordable than you think.
The costs of the raw materials are comparable to that of some of the swing set / fort / slide combination play structures seen in so many backyards. If you’re handy with tools and willing to invest your time, you can build one of these trains and run it in your own backyard.
You’ll need a fairly level patch of ground for the track layout. The track curved sections should have a radius of no less than thirty feet. Any curves that are so tight as to have less than a thirty foot radius will probably contribute to the engine climbing the rails and derailing.
You’ll need to store the engine to protect it from the weather and keep it secure. The easiest approach to secure storage is to let the engine roll into a weather-proof house with a door that can be locked. An alternative might be to somehow transport the engine and move it into a garage. But the engine weighs about three hundred pounds, so this might be difficult to do.
Much of the construction of the engine is straight woodworking. If you have the skills to work with wood, then you probably have the skills to build the engine and add the trim pieces.
You’ll also need to build the wheels and drive train on the chassis, plus the electronic circuitry to control the motors. If you have the skills to build the circuits and program the computer, then you could do this part as well.