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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Do I Get Started Creating a Train Garden?

“I’m interested in putting a train garden in my back yard. Do you have anything that can help me to get started?” Seeking more information from our patron, the staff of the Newton Falls Public Library learned that this type of garden is created to feature large or G scale model trains which can be run outdoors.

First the staff checked our shared TiPL [Trumbull Independent Public Libraries] catalog. Unable to find any materials in our local collections, we did a search through the Ohio Shares More catalog []. Both of these catalogs can be reached from our homepage, To place holds on materials from either of these locations, you need to type in the number on your Newton Falls (or TiPL) library card with no spaces, including any letters or punctuation. You also need to use the PIN [personal identification number] you have registered with the library. Be sure to select the Newton Falls Public Library as the site to pick up your selected materials. Our patron chose some items from the Ohio Shares More catalog, but wanted information to take with him.
An online search found some very useful information and websites. We discovered that many of the railway layouts are based upon once existing rail lines such as the Far North Queensland from 1940 to 1990, the Delaware and Chesapeake, the North Pacific Coast Railroad, and the Ohio River Electric Railway [], a trolley line that served the river towns of Meigs County, Ohio from 1900 to 1929. The site allows you to view videos of this garden railroad as if you were a crew member riding the train.

We located many clubs worldwide including the Garden Railway Club, which appears to be located in the United Kingdom and has a great deal of practical information, the Northern Ohio Garden Railway Society [], and the Garden Trains Association [] that has a local branch. The Riverside Railroad Club meets at the SCOPE center in Warren, Ohio. There is also The Western Reserve Model Railroad Museum [] located in Mentor. It is the largest museum of its kind.
Online magazine articles have a wealth of information. Accessing one of Ohio Web Library’s resources, MasterFILE Premier (EBSCOhost), we found numerous articles. There was a citation for one in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, A Railroad Garden: Engineering Togetherness by Paige Porter []. Our patron printed a copy of this article to read at home. We also discovered the Garden Railways Magazine [].

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