An Eastern Garden
Designed, Engineered and Operated By
West Grove, Pa.
I suppose that any railroad buffs who see this title will assume that this railroad represents the actual Rio Grande Southern railroad that operated in southwestern Colorado in the late 19th and early 20th century. In a certain way, it does. Its operating budget is extremely limited and during the winter months operations cease. Maybe, in time, when I become more familiar with the real Rio Grande Southern operations, it will be represented more closely. But for now, it's just a product of my imagination, and a whole lot of fun to operate and maintain. I've tried to capture some of the flavor of early mountain narrow gauge railroading here in southeastern Pennsylvania, and I invite you to take a look for yourself at what my imagination and labors have accomplished so far.
First, a little history... In 1987 I read an article in Model Railroader Magazine about a garden railroad that Russ Larson had built in his backyard with Bachmann Big Hauler trains. I was fascinated by the size and the fact that they could be run outdoors. Up to this time I was only familiar with the LGB brand and that was a little out of my price range. The scenery possibilities seemed endless and with two rapidly growing boys and an acre of yard, moving the layout outdoors had a certain appeal. After some research and several visits to some hobby shops, I settled on Nicholas Smith Trains, and a couple hundred dollars later the Rio Grande Southern was being resurrected in my backyard. My first outdoor layout consisted of me putting the track together in the driveway and running my engine and four cars endlessly in an oval. In the meantime a search was on for a suitable spot in the yard to build a layout. I settled on a spot along the back wall of the house outside the garage. If you are familiar with the article Russ wrote, you'll see the similarities in the layouts. Just to get some track down and some trains running, I built an oval along the wall with a small siding. As funds and know-how became more available, this was enlarged to the present layout. In late 1998,the wooden retaining wall was starting to deteriorate so plans were made to tear out the old layout and rebuild the retaining wall with E.P.Henry blocks. More can be seen on the Construction page.
Any comments or suggestions are welcome!
© 1997, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008