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A Garden Railroad

It's Spring!

   Sadly, The O&G as pictured on this page no longer exists. On a happier note, just about everything (except the little pond) has been moved to our new home nestled under the Catskill Mountains, in upstate New York, where it will come alive in a new, expanded form. There was a narrow gague railroad that went from the Hudson river at Catskill, NY, to the foot of the Catskill Mountains from 1880 to 1918. The Catskill Mounatin Railroad carried tourists to the big hotels at that time. Since the Catskill Mountains were the setting for the legend of Rip Van Winkle, we have decided to name our railroad after that famous local character.

   Plans for the Rip Van Winkle Railroad call for a storage and staging yard in the basment with a new and enlarged outdoor layout. We're excited at the prospect of having access through the window in our walk-out basment so that trains can exit and enter without all of the former bending and carrying of engines, cars, etc.

   Construction on the inside yard and loop will begin this winter (2008-2009) with the outdoor layout going in this spring. Photos will be posted as things progress!

Number 6 crosses the new bridge with the local freight on a warm summer day.

   The new Howe-Truss bridge is in place and traffic on the O&G has resumed. The handsome new bridge is certified for a heavier weight capacity than the old bridge and should withstand the rigors of severe winter weather better than the old bridge. Visit the bridge construction page to see how the bridge was built.

    The ultimate in model railroading is moving the trains to the environment where the prototype runs! I've found that I have to face many of the same problems that the full scale railroads face. Bad weather, wash-outs, etc. The scale of my trains is "G" scale, close to ½"=1', so the trains and buildings are of a size that make them easy to handle. The track is laid on crushed stone ballast and has been in place for over 10 years. Trains are run in all types of weather even in snow storms if the snow isn't too heavy and wet. The sight of the engine plowing it's way around the track is a sight to behold!

    The buildings are weather-resistant and remain in place year-round. All the buildings are lighted and in the evening they give the effect of viewing a village from a hill-top. When the trains run at night, the illusion is complete!

    The trains run in a jagged version of a circle, but a 3" tall passenger will pass by rock cuts, flat land, cross over a pond and view many forms of flowers, herbs and wildlife on his/her journey.

passenger Train at the Station

    Passengers can purchase their tickets, grab a quick cup of coffee and board the train at the Victorian Station for a fun ride through the garden.

Snow Covered Mill
The Mill in Winter Dress

    The Mill waits quietly for warmer weather. The wheel won't turn again until spring after the ice goes out. Hopefully the villagers have laid up a supply of flour to last the winter!

Grist Mill with Water Wheel

    The old Grist Mill is the only industry on the railroad, although it doesn't ship very much! The Mill shuts down in the winter when the water freezes, but the wheel turns again when warm weather returns.

Passenger Train

    Old Number 6 climbs the grade past the Signal Shack with the Oakdale Express. Just around the curve ahead is the Oakdale Station where the passengers will leave the train after their tour of the Garden.


    Join us for a tour of the garden on the O&GRR. We sure aren't the largest garden railroad around, but we have a lot of fun running trains. You're welcome to bring along a favorite engine or rolling stock. We use pure DC for track power, no RC control. Drop me an Email!

    Exchange your e-Pass for an e-Pass on the O&GRR. Send your e-Pass as either a gif or jpg attachment to an e-mail. (Put "Garden RR e-Pass" in the subject line.) Our e-Pass will be sent by return email. All passes received will be displayed on our Pass page.

Click on the Train below to see a short "movie" clip of the Oakdale Express! (mpg)


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Click one of the links above to visit another Large Scale Railway.

Thank You!

A very special "thank you" to the following organizations for using pictures from this page in their publications. Both are plant oriented groups who are promoting Trains in the Garden!

  • Friends of Powell Gardens, Kingsville, MO
  • Texas Nursery & Landscape Assoc., Austin TX

This page is Copyright © 2011 by David L Clapper
Please ask for permission before using any photos or graphics from this page!
Web Page by WA2FTI Page updated 3/16/2011