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Family Garden Trains; This is a photo that Wil Davis too, of the New Boston and Donnels Creek railroad in June, 2005.  Click for bigger photo. Garden Railroading Primer Articles: All about getting a Garden Railroad up and running wellGarden Train Store: Index to train, track, and other products for Garden Railroading
Large Scale Starter Sets: Begin with a train you'll be proud to runBest Choices for Beginning Garden Railroaders: a short list of things you're most likely to need when starting out
Large Scale Track order FormSturdy buildings for 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

Family Garden Trains(tm) exists to help:

  • Increase participation in the Garden Railroading hobby

  • Make Garden Railroading a family activity

Since we started, many members of the Large Scale and Garden Railway communities have offered help, suggestions, and encouragement. A few of their comments about the web site and our publications are included below, in approximately reverse chronological order. (I've omitted the last name of lady contributors on purpose, in case you wondered.)

  • I attended your "Garden Railroads on a Budget" at the Cincinnati Convention. You were very informative and my wife and I felt you were the best speaker at the convention. - Mike Green, Toledo, Ohio

  • All of us out here running our little islands of imagination rely on your wisdom! Thanks for all your hard work keeping things running! - Maribeth R.

  • You have a splendid site which I have found extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time to provide the outstanding guides - Nick Jenkins, Huntington, UK

  • Just received my first email newsletter. Only had time to read one article and do some browsing, but I absolutely love it. The most helpful info I have come across so far. Thanks for making this info available - Rebecca S

  • I can only imagine how much work it is to maintain that newsletter of yours. . . . I'd just like to let you know I think you're doing a great job, and thank you very much. - John LeForestier, Toronto, Ontario

  • You have a splendid site which I have found extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time to provide the outstanding guides - Nick Jenkins, Huntingdon, UK

  • What a great web site! I've read a few of the articles. Lots of really good stuff that you don't usually see written about in other garden railroading resources but are well worth the read. Thanks and keep up the good work. - Mike Brehm, Appleton, Wisconsin

  • You have constructed an absolutely unique, useful,aesthetically attractive, carefully done web site. I truly wish that there were more like you in the (model railroading) hobby - Harold Nils Pelta, Ellenton, Florida

  • I have been reading your web site for about a year now, and I want to tell you how much I enjoy it! The suggestions and building techniques are very helpful. Thank You! - Tim Dudley, Marcellus, New York

  • Paul, I'm your biggest fan. 3 years ago I printed off a jillion pages of your website and read them all on vacation, taking days! Super fun stuff from a great writer. Keep it up - Richard Dewey, Provo, Utah

  • Excellent information on your sight. Updated and relevant. Keep up the great work. - Gary M, Camarillo, California

  • Just found your web and am impressed by its breadth and amount of info. Thanks. Found you through Colorado Model Structures - Mel Bellwood, Orlando, Florida

  • I have received your newletter for the past year, and I just wanted to write and let you know how much I look forward to receiving it and reading each article - John Myers, Adel, Iowa

  • Thanks very kindly for all your very helpful articles and information listings online - Laurence Smith, Prineville, Oregon

  • As I have seen several issues of the Family Garden Trains newsletter, I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you. I look so forward to reading each edition. There are so many ideas/tips that I cannot implement them fast enough. . . . Thanks again for your publication - Bill Upton, Lenexa, KS

  • I have been reading your web site for a few years. I have enjoyed it very much and find it extremely helpful.Thanks for being here - A.J. Bennett

  • I purchased another [expensive railroad planning e-book], and even as a newbie, I knew most of the basic infomation it contained. You articles are much - much more informative. Thanks - Gerri Miller, Vernal, Utah

  • Just wanted to send you a big THANK YOU for the information I found on your site! . . . . I don't have to look anymore! You have answered all of my questions! Again, Thanks! - Judy W.

  • Thanks, again, for a great newsletter and website. I visit it often! - Helynn, Humbird, WI

  • The web site is great! - Dennis Olsen, Moorestown, NJ

  • Thank you for your time and great "Family" Oriented extensive web site! - Gerald A. Kasper, Florissant, Missouri

  • You have a great web site! I've used the articles to get myself started outside and look forward to many years running trains in the backyard. Thanks so much for providing this information for beginners - Steve Goldenbogen

  • Excellent set of pages. Very useful information. Keep up the good work. - Ross Mansell, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

  • Your newsletter's the highlight of my month--very informative, always conscious of keeping costs to a minimum, and written in clear, simple language on useful and current topics. Thanks for the time you take to put it together. I really do appreciate it! - Fred Rowley

  • Many, many thanks for everything you're doing for us 'G' Scalers. - Mike Connor, Tyler, Texas

  • Just wanted to drop you a line and compliment you on the website. It has served me well as a resource for several years . . .many thanks for producing this well-written and entertaining resource - Jonathan Linde, Marblehead, MA

  • I find myself returning to your website very often. I find it to be THE place for the best information and ideas. Keep up the good work! - Chuck Klein, San Diego, CA

  • I . . . want to continue receiving all the interesting [newsletter] articles - John Chaudier, Ventura, California

  • Paul, I have found your site to be VERY helpful in learning how to build my railroad. I have read, studied, and applied many articles on your site . . . . Thanks for such a useful website! - Daryll Smith, Laveen, AZ

  • I enjoy your site and the articles here are very helpful - Matthew Carpenter, Cedar Park, Texas

  • I love this web site. There are so many useful articles for all levels of the hobby. - Gary Tebo, West Seneca, New York

  • I want to comment again on your site. The wealth of info is just amazing. Are you the one doing all the writing, stories and etc. I have found that If its anything about Garden Trains - you probably have it somewhere on your site - Robert Andrews, Winter Haven, Florida

  • Your site has answered just about every question I can think of so far and then some ! . . . There is a wealth of knowledge on your site and I am sure that I will be reading it for some time to come - Adam Solga, Montpelier, Indiana

  • I really enjoy your website. It is extremely informative - Chuck Kleine, San Diego, California

  • I just read Refurbishing Garden Railroad Roadbed, GOOD info. . . . Keep up the good work! - Karl Deissler, Warminster, Pennsylvania

  • Just discovered your excellent site and have been reading it consistently - Rod Horsburgh, Canterbury, New South Wales

  • I just discovered your magnificent site. You covered about everything a person could desire. - Michael Gruber, Westwood, New Jersey

  • I have found your articles very helpful. . . . thank you for your willingness to share your ideas . . . . Thanks again for all you do. - Robert Hayes, Spartanburg, South Carolina

  • Thank you for your informative website. I have learned a lot from your articles that have helped me to get my garden railroad up and running. It is the best site I have found for the begining hobbiest - Gary Simms, American Falls, Idaho

  • I really like your web site! - Joseph Rose, Santa Maria, California

  • After seeing your site this morning I just thought you deserved a thank-you note. It's a great site and I appreciate all the effort you've put into it. I'm especially grateful for the downloadable building fronts. - John Le Forestier, Toronto, Canada

  • Really like your web site! - Linda, San Diego, California

  • . . . At first glance I can see this is going to be a value aid, my "bible", if you will. Thank you for what obviously is an intense labor of a railroader's love for the hobby/craft! Trestles 101 has answered virtually all my questions on building a realistic true to scale trestle. - Julius Yucker, Lakewood, Washington

  • I still place you in the category of the BIGGEST and BEST for anyone wishing to "Take their (G Scale) trains and run them outside." - Mike Connor, Tyler, Texas

  • What a great web site! I enjoyed every page. It is nice to see that someone cares about the hobby . . . . Neal Spence, Holly Hill, Florida

  • Your site is very helpful - Gerald Jensen, Antioch, Illinois

  • . . . Thanks, too, for your excellent and well-constructed website - Robert Birch, Spring Valley, California

  • I am continually astonished by the quality and quantity of web-based info you are able to disseminate. - Carl (Vic) Vogel

  • This is a very helpful site, I haven't seen a site like this for the texture resources. Please continue your services - Shameer, Calicut, Kattangal

  • Your website is so invaluable that I have made it my home page. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you for having such a valuable resource available to beginners. -Damon, Britt, Iowa

  • Incidently, you site is the most informative I have found to date. - Robert J. Taylor, Leesburg, Florida

  • . . . Thank you for giving us the tools to start our little project - thank you for helping answer our questions - thank you for your love of all us novices out there looking for help - thank you for helping keep trains alive - thank you for helping the youth know the history of the trains that have vanished - thank you for helping us make our love of trains visible to all our visitors - thank you for the trains - and thank you from the trains! - Can't tell you how many times I look "stuff" up on your site. Maribeth R

  • Thanks again for your excellent web site and newsletters - Martin Taylor, Rockingham, Western Australia

  • I want to thank you for your great photo story on our work at Holden - Paul Busse

  • Thanks for the chance to get free info on Garden Train setups - Joe Borzor, Landsdale, Pennsylvania

  • Your site has been very informative - Patrick, Denver Colorado

  • I love the info you provide on your site! - David Patrick Bolin, Kenosha, Wisconsin

  • Your website is VERY user friendly AND interesting. You are doing a great job. - Dave Knoch, Pismo Beach, California

  • Keep up the great website, I check it out at least daily - Jeff Barnhart, Poway, California

  • We went to your seminar on Saturday at Holden. . . . We really enjoyed the day. . . . Thanks for all the information we received to get us started. - Cindy P, Lorain, Ohio

  • Just wanted to tell you folks how much I appreciate your site. Most of what I have learned and am learning about G-scale railroading comes from your site or from links you've provided. Thank you very much!!! - Richard Larsen, Sacramento, California

  • I loved the article on HDPE roadbed. I was introduced to it by another San Diego GRS member and it's fantstic. Thanks - Tom Rey, President, SDGRS

  • Paul, your web site is GREAT! THANKS!! - Rik Beeson

  • I would, again, like to say THANKS to you and your staff for ALL they have done to progress 'G' scale Garden Railroading.. As I mentioned earlier, YOU have been as Godsend to all of us who are ' putting our trains outside.' We'll never be able to thank you enough. Many, many thanks - Mike Connor, Tyler, Texas.

  • I'd like to use this occasion to say your web site is absolutely superb - I believe I have read every one of the articles, and regardless of the topic at hand, and whether it has a direct bearing on my layout or not, the quality of writing is such that they are a joy to read, every time. - Avi Goldstein, Israel

  • Thank you for providing an excellent resource for people interested in garden railroading. I have been reading your articles for several years and have thoroughly enjoyed them. - Gary Tebo, Buffalo, NY

  • Just starting out. Hard to get information in Australia. Love your site. Have obtained a lot of hints and tips. - David Jamieson, Gympie, Queensland.

  • Thank you for all the work you do on your website. It has been a great help to me and I'm sure many others as well! - Don Erbel

  • I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your site. I use the web a lot for work and pleasure and - with the sole exception of professional material that my university pays for me to access - I have never come across such a comprehensive and well-written site. - Clive, Gainesville, FL

  • Many thanks for your most helpful reply. I have searched many model railroad sites on the internet and not found anythingPaul as helpful as your advice. Thanks again - Robin C, Chevy Chase, MD

  • I just found your website today, what a fantastic resource it is! Great site!!! - Chris Bryant, Joelton, TN

  • Gosh - this is wonderful!!!!! We built our first rr this past spring (at our seasonal campground) - Now we are "going big time" at home - in the planning stages now - kitchen table covered with drawings (which change daily). Thanks sooooooo much for this wonderful information. Will keep you posted as the. . . RR develops over the winter and grows next summer. - Maribeth, Villa Park, IL

  • I really appreciate the time you and others have spent putting this website together. As someone who just got interested in this hobby,(Last Friday) I have found it very informative, and I am trying to take it all in! Thanks! - Brian Tucker, Issaquah, WA

  • I am just getting started. . . . I have a huge backyard so the possibilities are overwhelming. Thanks for already helping me get on the right track! Susan, Centreville VA

  • Paul, Please keep up your invaluable effort with your articles. I love them all and I am sure they have helped many others! - Ken Dugan, Gaithersburg, MD

  • The knowledge that you have and your willingness to share it is a huge blessing to those of us you share it with. - Mari, a Big Christmas Trains reader.

  • Operations article TOPS ! It makes one want to jump at it NOW (even if the temp is above 100 degrees). . . . Thanks for all you do for us 'G' scalers. - Mike Connor, Tyler, TX

  • Great website! We just barely bought our starter set and haven't decided where to put the "train garden." Thanks for all the helpful articles . . . . We'll be visiting here often! . . . Thanks for the "trashbashing" articles! We got 4 future structures at the thrift shop for $16! - Lee Ann, Springville, UT

  • Thanks Paul, Lots of good info. - Ross Hayes, Rose Hill, KS

  • The article on raised railroads was used in the construction of the freight yard on my railroad. The freight yard is over an old sand box. - Ben Bailey, Durham, NC

  • Great web site! Thanks. - James R. Van Winkle, Duncan, SC

  • Your advice played a big part in this and I wanted to thank you. We're really enjoying the new layout. - Joe Bova

  • I guess the smartest thing I've ever done was discover your website and 'built up' the track roadbed (on the top AND the bottom track). and absorbed your other articles too. . . . Again, I say thanks for everything you've done to take the 'sting' out of building a garden railroad. You have been a Godsend. - Mike Connor - Texas

  • Found your articles very helpful - Martin Chadwick, UK

  • Your website has become the most complete, totally free, source of information for the "new - still experimenting - still trying something new" G hobbiest. Your articles are well written (of course they are, your ARE a professional writer) and chocked full of well researched, logically presented, interesting and friendly information.
    There's a lot of useful info on the web for our hobby. . . . You answer our questions, help us make sense of "scale/gauge," teach us that little plastic and resin people come in all shapes, sizes, races and denominations just like us real folk . . . and you manage to do it in an approachable, personal, and friendly demeanor.
    You clearly take pride in your work. You're open to the opinions and input of a wide range of folks. I know personally that you share your articles with others before you put them up on the web, your own personal beta test group. You gauge readability, impact and clarity as well as accuracy to "in the field" experiences. And you listen to the responses.
    There's a lot of work behind what you're so generously doing for the hobby. . . . Thank you for helping to build the hobby. Thank you for teaching so many people about how much fun we're having. Thanks for bringing new folks into the hobby. - Nick Ariemma, Eastern Seaboard

  • "This is a outstanding web site lots of good information on garden railroading.Im just getting started on this project in my yard and your page has help me out a lot. THANKS." - Larry Dawson, Pennsylvania

  • "Really enjoy your articles. Very informative and honest." - Dennis Brown, Ontario

  • "I'll third or fourth the comments about your great work!" - Diane Mann

  • "Thanks for putting all the fascinating and helpful garden train information on your web site." - Matt Dolph, Executive Producer, Hometime

  • ". . . while I'm at it, I wanted to thank you for a most enlightening, pragmatic and very useful series of articles. They helped tremendously. It's a real service to this industry." - David Gustafson

  • "My railroad grew up on your web pages." - Brad Mugleston, Colorado

  • "I absolutely love your very informative website and links!" - Shelley Phillips Corley, Kansas

  • "Very Nice. Clear and understandable" - Kevin Strong

  • "I like what you have been doing at your web sites. I have reread your 'What scale should I model?' article several times and it is the best overall explanation I have read. At some point, I want to attach a link from my site [personal site] to your site." - Stephen Podwojski

  • "Reads well. You're covered all the bases. I think this will really help newbies." - Jeremy Myers

  • ". . . I want to tell you how much I like what you said and the way you said it. You covered the issues well in a small amount of space but best of all you gave resources to go to for each issue. When I started I had no idea where to go for anything except a LGB train; and I would have done many things differently if I had known." - Sally Cadagin

  • "You did a very good job and this is something that is sorely needed." - Jay @Lost Lumber Railroad

  • "You have written an informative introduction to garden railroading which should give an interested new "G scaler" ideas and resources to get them started in the hobby. " - Jack Mullen at Nonantum Hill in MA

  • "I appreciate your advocacy of doing instead of planning. We see too many potential garden railroaders get stuck in the planning stage." - David Buffington

  • I'd say that you've put together a good, basic package for beginners." - Marc H.

  • "Seems to me that, with ALL the articles I read and printed and read and trashed, yours stood out the most as being down-to-earth, humorous and fact-filled and most practical to share with the inexperienced public. I like reading articles based on experiences that work (or not) ..." - Suzanne J. Gray, Master Gardener, Ind.

  • "Will make it much easier for a newby to get their feet wet, without drowning." - John Ramsden

  • Click to see some ways you can help us grow the hobby."You're doing a great service to the Large Scale community! Between you and George Schreyer the newbies will have it all." - TATE, the AristoCraft e-spokescharacter

  • "Enjoy reading your articles, and waiting to read more" - Gary Woolard

To read more, or to look at recommended Garden Railroading and Display Railroad products, you may click on the index pages below.

Home Pages
Reading Index Pages
Buyer's Guide Pages
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

Note: Family Garden TrainsTM, Garden Train StoreTM, Big Christmas TrainsTM, BIG Indoor TrainsTM, and BIG Train StoreTM 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 by Paul D. Race. Reuse or republication without prior written permission is specifically forbidden.
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Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains.
Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains