Garden Trains

Watching the train
Image by Duncan Harris via Flickr

While snow is gently falling outside, I am thinking of gardens. And while gardens and gardening are the domain of fellow Beacher writer Maggie Beyer, I hope I am not treading too deeply into her territory by mentioning garden trains. I have become fascinated by them.

So naturally I searched the Web for sites about hobbyists who indulge in these large scale model trains. My interest, I believe, was piqued many years back when I researched and wrote a story about Littleville in Chesterton. Littleville is long gone, and it did not have any garden trains. But the concept is very similar. What I like about garden train hobbyists is their fondness for videotaping—and uploading—their footage to the Web. Watching the videos is like being thrown into the pages of Gulliver’s Travels. Well, almost.

Here are some of the places I visited that are all about model trains, and mostly garden trains.

Hamburg’s Miniature Wonderland ( My friend Shar, who is a prolific emailer, sent me a link to a YouTube video about Hamburg’s incredible model railroad exhibit. Here is part of that email, in quotes:

This is simply unbelievable. The Miniature Wunderland model railroad in Hamburg , Germany is the largest in the world, covering 16,146 square feet of space with more than 10,000 train cars running around its 6.8 miles of HO scale track.
Now, the makers of this huge layout have created a video that gives you a jaw-dropping look at the vast scope of this intricate work of art. Its construction started in 2000, and is still underway, with a tiny airport due for completion by the end of this year.
This is just the beginning – there are plans to double to layout by 2014.”

After reading that, who would not take a look at the video? I have posted the video portion on my blog, which you can find at

Andrew’s Garden Railway ( Hamburg’s exhibit may be a hard act to follow, but if you are at all interested in garden trains, particularly installing one in your own garden, this is a good start. His railway is a 16mm narrow gauge train and his pictures are good. Take that from someone who sifted through a who lotta sites to find some decent ones.

Orchard Light Railway ( Think you can’t make a run if there is snow in the garden? Tony shows you how it’s done with his locomotive plow.

Railway World ( Train buffs can enjoy movies of steam trains, list or view upcoming events, and much more.

Garden Trains on Film ( Model train hobbyists display their amateur videography skils, and most with flying colors, I might add. One video is titled, “Enjoying the Thyme.” When you are at this site, be sure to view the video, “Morning Passenger Run on the Tuscarora Railroad.” It will put you in an entirely different world. There are lots of very good videos here, so be prepared to spend a good half hour or more viewing them.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on February 3, 2010.

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