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Large Scale Railroads

Bach Yard and Fourth Venue Railway, Nick Ariemma, A few photos of an eclectic system.

Big River Lines, Crispin B. Hollinshead, San Diego, California. This railroad appeared in the April 2000 issue of Garden Railways. You can get to the article online through the link at the bottom of the Track Plan page. Hollinshead is a talented modelmaker and there are some beautiful models on this site.

Big Yawn and Overbite Ry. Company, John R. Crandall, Denver, Colorado. A Colorado Narrow Gauge railroad.

Caseyville and Tie Rock Railroad, Doug Castile, Grayson, Georgia. This is the successor to Doug's Tie Rock Garden Railroad in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Clear Creek and Idaho Springs Garden Railroad, Kent C., Highlands Ranch, Colorado. This layout has some very nice structures.

Colorado and Western Railroad, Barry Bogs, Houston, Texas. This is an amazing indoor narrow gauge Colorado railroad with over 400' of track and a 16' high trestle!

Coramba Creek Timber Company, Australia. This railroad has lots of water features and bridges.

Copper River & Northwestern Railway, Ron Simpson, Copper Center, Alaska. This is an indoor railroad depicting historic Kennecott, Alaska. The scale and quality of the model structures is amazing.

Crofut & Iron Creek Railroad, Don Niday, Knoxville, Tennessee. A narrow gauge timber line inspired by the Little River Lumber Company in Tennessee. The line starts indoors, but plans are to run 200 feet of line outdoors. This also the site for Iron Creek Shops and Cumberland Locomotive Works.

D & L Garden Railroad, Del and Linda Tapparo, Fort Collins, Colorado. "Designed and operated in the spirit of the 1899 Colorado and Northwestern Railroad."

Denver, South Park & Pacific, Grant Knowles, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada. This is a very attractive layout with considerable operating possibilities built into a simple track plan.

Desert Springs & Rattler Gap, Tiny Pearce, Reno, Nevada. If you like rocks, sage brush, and trestles, you must take a look at this one.

Geologically Improbable Railroad, George Shreyer. Some of the best technical tips for large scale trains I have seen. He has both indoor and outdoor large scale layouts.

Georgia Peach Railroad, Mary Jo Moore, Atlanta, Georgia. A double oval connects Atlanta and Stone Mountain. This is a good site to see the stages in the construction of a garden railroad.

Halton Hills and Great Lake Railway, Bernice and Ross Webster. Trains from many manufacturers running on aluminum track and using Digitrax DCC for control. There is some good information here about installing DCC controllers.

Incredible Dizzying Heights Railroad, Jim and Christy Wells. This is a great site. See the 7/8" through 1.6" scale Whitby locomotive built and operated by elves. Find out about using sound files to control special effects. The general approach to railroad modeling expressed on this site is exactly that we are taking with the Lake Town and Shire: a mixture of whimsy and realism, with entertainment for both the builders and visitors as the goal.

Lazy Acre RR's Home Page, George Thomas. Indoor logging railroad has a scratch-built Dunkirk, a Class A Climax, and lots of whimsical escapades with Slim and Stumpy.

Lizard Attitude Railroad, Stephen "Pod" Podwojski, Phoenix, Arizona. Steam, diesel, and live steam, mostly in Chicago, Burlington & Quincy or Burlington Northern colors.

Lockhart Algiers and Clifty Creek RailRoad.  A nice small railroad with an all-steam roster in central Florida.

Lone Pine & Grizzly Flats RR, Dean J. Whipple, Corona, California. Steam locos hauling mostly ore and timber in 1920s-1930s. Dean has built some nice models and provides a lot of useful modeling tips.

Napa Valley & Altadena Railroad, Dave Goldberg, Altadena, California. This railroad is still under construction. The track plan is worth a look.

Orkney Pass Rail Road, Mike Limprecht, Santa Clara, California. A nice Colorado-style railroad and a nice Web site to show it off.

Raccoon Creek & Gully Garden Railway, Gary Buchanan, Lancaster, Ohio. This work in progress has  hand-laid aluminum track and lots of locomotive building projects underway.

Rio Grande Southern Garden RR, Ken Brunt, West Grove, Pennsylvania. A free-lanced mountain narrow gauge railroad.

Rivendell & Midland, Les Knoll, Bartlett, Illinois. A narrow gauge railroad set in Tolkien's Middle Earth. He runs 1:20.3 scale live steamers: a 2-cylinder GeoffBuilt Shay he has modified, a Consolidation he bashed from a Pearse Mogul, and scratch-built a 2-4-4-2 logging Mallet. These engines pull trains from Hobbiton to the Lonely mountain.

Rock Creek & Southern, Richard Segal, southwest Florida. This railroad was born in 2003 and is already loaded with lots of nice-looking scratch-built structures.

Santa Cruz Lumber Company, Dwight Ennis, Milipitas, California. There are some great scratchbuilt structures on this 1:20.3 model of an actual California narrow gauge logging pike in the 1930s.

Squirrel Valley Railroad, Grant and Donna Alexander, New Zealand. This layout is built into a steep site. I'm not sure which is more impressive, the engineering or the scenery.

Stonewall Shortline, Jack and Gae Dow. Both diesels and steam on run one of the nicest small garden railroads I have seen. It's a loop-to-loop with one passing siding on top of a stone wall with lots of larger-than-scale plants,. The trains, the structures, and the setting are very attractive, but it may be the security guard that makes this one of my favorites.

Suleski Transportation, Scott Suleski, Amesbury, Massachusetts. Lots of diesel power with a couple of steamers for "excursions".

Sun City Citrus Railroad, Bob and Eleanor Batt, Sun City, Arizona. Both steam and diesel power are used on this garden railroad.

Toenail Ridge Shortline, Phil Creer, Belair, South Australia. Power is mostly small steam, but there's also a critter on this garden railroad in . Modeling the Pacific Northwest,  a combination of battery- powered and live steam locomotives are used.

Whippany River Railroad. George Hazmat, New Jersey, runs both steam and diesel on his layout with a 1950's theme. The inspiration for this line is the Morristown & Erie.

Organizations and Forums

International Society of Large Scale Model Railroaders.

National Model Railroad Association.

Georgia Garden Railroad Society. Membership in this group has added immeasurably to our enjoyment of garden railroading.

Denver Garden Railway Society.

Large Scale Online.


Rhine-Matterhorn Garden Railway Club of Calgary.

South Eastern Pennsylvania Garden Railroad Society.

Copyright 2006 Donald Nute

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Please send comments to: donald@nute.ws.