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Garden Railroading Primer Articles Structures for your garden railroad. Garden Train Store: Index to train, track, and other products for Garden Railroading
Best Choices for Beginning Garden Railroaders: a short list of things you're most likely to need when starting outLarge Scale Starter Sets: Begin with a train you'll be proud to run
Large Scale Track order Form Bachmann Garden Trains: Narrow Gauge models designed to run well in your Garden Railroad
Large Scale Christmas Trains: Trains with a holiday theme for garden or professional display railroads.Free Large Scale Signs and Graphics: Bring your railroad to life with street signs, business signs, and railroad signs
Garden Railroading Books, Magazines, and Videos: Where to go to learn even more
Collectible Trains and Villages: On30 Trains and accessories designed by Thomas Kinkade and others

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Family Garden Trains e-Mail Newsletter Signup Sheet

Update for 2023 - Ignore the Rest of this Page for Now In mid-2023, our ISP broke all of our e-mail forms including this one. We are still trying to get it fixed, but in the meantime, If you wat to sign up for our newsletter, please go to our Facebook Page and DM us. Be sure to give us your e-mail address, so we can send you the newsletters.

The rest of this page includes instructions you won't need in the interim.

Our apologies for any confusion.

A Note from Paul Race, our Editor-in-Chief: Family Garden Trains started answering beginner's questions in the 1990s. We started our newsletter a few years later for loyal readers who wanted to be notified of any new articles or updates.

For a long time we sent out e-mail newsletters to anyone who gave us a name and e-mail address, without making sure they were real people giving us their real names, etc. But letting people sign up anonymously or with fake information caused several kinds of hassles* for us and for our legitimate readers, wasting countless hours we would rather use working on projects or creating content.

So now we REQUIRE people who sign up for our newsletters to give us real information, including your address and real name. No one else will ever see it, but I would rather have forty real readers who are interested in our content and updates than thousands of names that I'm not even sure are real or not.

New Internet Requirements for European Readers In the meantime, new regulations in Europe require us to make doubly sure that our European members really meant to sign up and didn't just get signed up by accident. They also require anyone who has European members to explain exactly how their information is used. We've done that all along, and will continue to do so. However, we have tweaked the Q&A below slightly to make certain we are in compliance.

Will People Start Bothering Me?

Unlike 99.9% of the mailing lists out there, we will not start deluging you with daily "special offers." No salesman will call. Your contact information will not be given to anyone else. No unsolicited advertisements or other spam will be e-mailed to you.

What does the Family Garden Trains? Newsletter Contain?

Our newsletters may contain:

  • Links to new or updated articles we post,
  • Links to articles on other sites that we think you will find helpful
  • Tips about things you could (or maybe should) be doing at that time of year to improve your garden railroad experience
  • News items about garden railroading manufacturers, trends, and events

How Often Does the Family Garden Trains? Newsletter Come?

Our original plan was to send a newsletter once a month. But sometimes life gets in the way and we have to skip a month or more. We will never send you more than one newsletter every four weeks.

Will the Mailing List be used for Anything Else?

If our team members are participating in a garden or model railroading event that is in your region, we may give you a heads-up about that by e-mail. However we almost never remember to do that, so you're probably safe on that score. :-)

How Will I Know if I'm On the Right List?

A few days after you sign up, we will try to send you a reply including our most recent newsletter as a "test" to make certain that the address you give us is correct. This will also give you a chance to determine if the newsletter contains the kind of information you wish to continue receiving.

How Much Does the Family Garden Trains? Newsletter Cost?

At this time, it is free. However, if we continue to have trouble with fake signups, we may start charging a nominal fee of $1 an issue - that's the only thing we have found that keeps all scammers and spammers away; they never spend their own money.

We have set up a PayPal button on the next page in case you want to start supporting us this way now. But if you sign up now with accurate and complete information, you will continue to get the newsletter for free indefinitely.

What Happens if I Unsubscribe?

We understand that interests change and life takes unexpected turns. If you prefer to stop receiving our newsletter for any reason at all, please let us know using the "Unsubscribe" link we include near the top of each issue. We will try to take you off our mailing list before the next newsletter comes out. As always, you may continue to access all of our articles absolutely free and to contact us with any question at all, whether or not you are "on our list."

Usually we put your e-mail address in a sort of "do not call" file so if someone tries to resubscribe you later, we know to make extra sure the request is deliberate.

If you request that we remove all trace of your information from our systems and files, we can do that for you as well. In fact, if you live in Europe, that's the ordinary procedure. Just promise you won't get upset if you accidentally subscribe again and start getting newsletters (yes, it has happened, several times).

What About US Mail Options

In addition, we occasionally have the opportunity to send information by US mail (usually once a year or less). This may include information of regional interest or product catalogs supplied by our advertisers. If you want to occasionally receive such mailings, please check the "yes" box after the US mail question. Again, we will not sell or give this information to anyone else, but if a manufacturer such as PIKO or MTH gives us materials to send out to our readers, we will forward them to you. We don't have a "US mail" version of the newsletter, though.

What if I Have Other Questions?

Please contact us with any questions about the newsletter. If you have questions about garden railroading topics, please put them into the comment box in the form below.

Thanks, and happy railroading,

Paul Race

Family Garden Trains

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In addition to receiving our monthly e-mail newsletter, would you like to receive (by US Mail) any Garden Railroading-related mailings or product catalogs that become available (usually about once a year)?

What kinds(s) of railroad would you like to model? (Optional, check all that apply)
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If you have a working Garden Railroad, how long has it been operating? (Optional)
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If you don't have a working Garden Railroad, how soon might you be building one? (Optional)
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Garden Railroading, Model Railroading, or Other Related Clubs You Belong To (Optional)

Garden Railroading, Model Railroading, or Other Related Web or Facebook Sites You Run or Regularly Contribute To (Optional)

Please Describe Your Interest in Garden Trains (Required) Please enter at least a one-sentence comment describing your interest in garden trains and explaining why you want to be part of this discussion group. Be specific. Scammers usually enter something like "Nice site; I'll tell my friends." That's one way we identify them. Leaving a blank or vague entry in this field will delay or disqualify your subscription.

Please Enter Any Questions - If you have a question at this time, please enter it here, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Note - Before you hit "Submit," please check to make certain you have put valid information into all the required fields. Our software does not check for this automatically, so it's possible to send an incomplete application. But that's one way we identify fakers at our end before they get into the database. Incomplete or obviously fraudulent applications are deleted immediately with no notice to the person applying.


Kinds of problems that result from not establishing if folks on our mailing list were real people:

  • Many of the requests were fraudulent but used real domain names like and So when we sent e-mails to those, those domain name servers flagged us as spammers and blocked us from all of their real customers.

  • It also gave people who were really only interested in plagiarizing our material for their own sites access to information they wouldn't have had otherwise. And since the information they had given us was fake, we couldn't even take them off the list.

  • we got many fake signups from scammers who had no interest in our content, but hoped that getting on our mailing list would somehow give them access to our real readers' information (it doesn't, but I don't like having those folks on our e-mail list indefinitely).

  • Finally, getting a lot of signups that might or might not be from real people interested in our content has eaten up a lot of our time trying to sort the wheat from the tares - time we'd rather be spending woking on the railroad or adding worthwhile content.

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Note: Family Garden Trains?, Garden Train Store?, Big Christmas Trains?, BIG Indoor Trains?, and BIG Train Store? are trademarks of Breakthrough Communications ( All information, data, text, and illustrations on this web site are Copyright (c) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 by Paul D. Race. Reuse or republication without prior written permission is specifically forbidden.
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For more information, please contact us

Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains.
Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains

Visit related pages and affiliated sites:
- Trains and Hobbies -
Return to Family Garden Trains Home page
Return to Big Indoor Trains Home page
Garden Railroading Primer Articles: All about getting a Garden Railroad up and running well Big Indoor Trains Primer Articles: All about setting up and displaying indoor display trains and towns. Garden Train Store: Index to train, track, and other products for Garden RailroadingBig Christmas Trains: Directory of Large Scale and O Scale trains with holiday themes
On30 and O Gauge trains to go with indoor display villages and railroads
Visit Lionel Trains. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages. Big Christmas Train Primer: Choosing and using model trains with holiday themes Free Large Scale Signs and Graphics: Bring your railroad to life with street signs, business signs, and railroad signs Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page Click to sign up for Maria Cudequest's craft and collectibles blog.
Click to visit Fred's Noel-Kat store.
Visit the largest and most complete cardboard Christmas 'Putz' house resource on the Internet.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories. Traditional Home-Made Ornaments
- Music -
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Learn important guitar chords quickly, to jump start your ability to play along on any song. With a few tools and an hour or two of work, you can make your guitar, banjo, or mandolin much more responsive.  Instruments with movable bridges can have better-than-new intonation as well. Resources for learning Folk Music and instruments quickly Check out our article on finding good used guitars.
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs. X and Y-generation Christians take Contemporary Christian music, including worship, for granted, but the first generation of Contemporary Christian musicians faced strong, and often bitter resistance. Different kinds of music call for different kinds of banjos.  Just trying to steer you in the right direction. New, used, or vintage - tips for whatever your needs and preferences. Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album. Explains the various kinds of acoustic guitar and what to look for in each.
Look to Riverboat Music buyers' guide for descriptions of musical instruments by people who play musical instruments. Learn 5-string banjo at your own speed, with many examples and user-friendly explanations. Explains the various kinds of banjos and what each is good for. Learn more about our newsletter for roots-based and acoustic music. Folks with Bb or Eb instruments can contribute to worship services, but the WAY they do depends on the way the worship leader approaches the music. A page devoted to some of Paul's own music endeavors.