Model Railroads in the Backyard

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Getting Started with Garden Railroads

A whimsical backyard railway with many curved trestles and bridges. Photo by Daniel Smith.

A garden railwoad can be as big -- or as small -- as your own back yard. Many of the members of REGRS have limited space and build delightful outdoor layouts where they can run trains, relax, and enjoy the garden. With our generally sunny California climate, outdoor garden railroading is fun for the whole family for many months of the year, and the train layout can become the focal point of home entertainment and social events -- or a satisfying place to relax, tinker with the plants and the models, and spend time on creative and imaginative work, just for fun.

Garden railroad layouts often involve the whole family in a way that indoor bedroom or basement model train layouts do not. In many families, one member loves to garden while another loves to build things. Large or G-scale garden railroad layouts bring together the best of both worlds, including a love of miniatures; skills and talents with electrical, irrigation, construction, and building design; selection and care of permanent perennial plantings and optional water features; and the abundant joy of seeing a train running through the home landscape.

Joining a Model Railroad Club

The great thing about belonging to a Garden Railway Society like REGRS is that our members -- no matter what their level of experience or expertise in the hobby -- want to help you succeed. We will offer advice and lend a helping hand to get you started with your own backyard railroad. When you join REGRS, you will be able to talk shop with some of the best modelers and gardeners in our area as you design, lay out, build, and operate your own backyard garden railroad.