Garden City Railroad

 2017 Photos

WELCOME! This is the new, rebuilt Garden City RR. I rebuilt it for several reasons. The original had a pond in a large, raised area. Late in the 2016 operating season, a homicidal raccoon attacked it and ate 13 of 18 koi, even though it was as protected as it had been for many years. After this, we decided to eliminate the pond altogether as it was a labor-intensive,  expensive feature. Once this was decided, it was recognized that this would leave a large hole. As we are getting older, it has become much more painful to get down and maintain the layout. The old layout required adjusting all of the track every spring as it was only lying on the ballast, which washed away alot and was starting to accumulate too much in the yard. Also, 3 separate tracks was a lot of maintenance and I found myself using some of them less and less as moving trains out of the shed and back in everyday in the extreme heat just wasn't happening, along with keeping all of that track clean and derailment-free. No to mention keeping all of that landscaping trimmed and in order. We also wanted to open up the middle of the yard and not have to walk thru it all of the time. Therefore, railroad management decided it was time for a major rebuild with emphasis of being as maintenance free and easy as possible in all aspects, and to do it now as we can barely work hard in the summer heat anymore, and surely won't be able to or want to in future years. Starting in early March 2017 we tore everything out. Removing all of the ballast, topsoil from the pond area, re-leveling, etc took weeks.  We wanted to combine the sitting/table area and the swing area inside the garden so no mowing would be required around them and watching the trains would be nice from there. We went with ladder track as it was the best to operate reliably on and most durable. It should never require getting down to adjust all the time. No more ballast to add,  maintain, lug around or buy and transport. I decided on roofing shingle material that came in a roll to add the flavor of ballast. We downsized the number of buildings to 13 or 14 instead of the original 30 some as repairing and repainting them was taking all winter and cost as much in materials to do it as new buildings. Also reduces maintenance on lighting. We were able to save and transplant most of the shrubs and ground cover, keeping in mind that some would have to be kept trimmed. Most of this type was planted in pots that I can removed to a table to trim the without backaches. Hosta is gone as rabbits were destroying all of it. Track work was done on June 1st, and the ribbon cutting grand re-opening done on June 2. A 10'4" long 2 stall engine house was added  so that I can park trains over night or for weeks at a time without hauling things in and out of the shed. I will be able to park 2 separate trains and run either one while the other sits on one of those 2 engine house sidings. Another plus for less maintenance and labor. Plus, a patio block area under the table and chairs eliminates ground maintenance and much everywhere else will be simple and cheap to maintain.
These pages will have 20 photos each These pages will have 20 photos each
As it appeared in 2014 As it appeared in 2014
As it appeared 3-13-17 with demolition in progress As it appeared 3-13-17 with demolition in progress
Ladder track-worked out nice at ground level. Straight & level

Co-incidentally, the very first version of GCRR started in this same place in 1998

April 30, 2017

May 29, 2017
Grand re-opening: ribbon cutting ceremony, June 2, 2017
Ribbon cutting ceremony, June 2, 2017- GCRR Business car 'Judith Ann', my wife's name. She also cut the ribbon. Site of last GCRR
On July 31, 2017, I was finally able to declare the re-made Railroad complete.

It has approx. 145 feet of track, not including the engine house sidings. Ballast is actually roofing shingle which was bought by the roll. And, as always, a shih tzu figure is located at each structure.

Still "The Route of the Shih Tzus"
Looking North - 1 Looking North - 2
East view - 1 East view - 2
East view - 3 South view - 1

South view - 3 Engine house - 1
South view - 2 Engine house - 2

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