About Us

GARDEN CITY RAILROAD

 

G-Scale Garden Railroad

‘Serving the little garden people since 1998’

PRIOR VERSIONS OF THE GCRR

The Garden City RR began in June 1998.  Photos of this version are located in the 'GCRR Prior versions' Photo Section on the Index page. It was originally built as one track around the entire perimeter of the backyard. A few years later it changed to the garden-style format. It then consisted of an inner and outer loop and an elevated trolley line.  The smaller inside line was done in 2001, while the elevated line was done in 2005 and extended in 2015. It sees trolleys and eggliners. Total track length was approx. 385 feet. It was screwed down to small blocks of wood placed approx. every foot. There were regularly placed drainage pipes under it to drain higher areas inside the loops. The track was ballasted with stone dust. I didn’t seem to have many problems with it shifting or moving. Both loops had a tunnel-the outer had a 12' and the inner an 8'.There was a pond and waterfall. The pond contained approx. 22 fish and 2 turtles. In the center sat ‘Turtle Island", a rock outcropping where the turtles could sun themselves. There were approx. 3 dozen buildings. All were lighted with low-voltage garden light, controlled with a remote control switch. These buildings were and still are all named after family members and pets. There are always Shih Tzu dog figures placed at every structure as we always have Shih Tzus for dogs. Currently we have 'Willow and ‘Cricket'.

We also have a small garden out front with a track around it. It changes buildings, inhabitants, scenery and trains with the seasons. In spring, it becomes the Bunnyville RR with a special Easter-themed train, etc. In summer, it’s the Paradise Gap RR with an Amish theme. Fall brings Haunted Hollow with The Graveyard Express, a graveyard and associated trimmings. This Little road still exists today. In 2010 we added a tiny circle of track around a tree for an eggliner to run on, The 'Egg-Spress'.

 

 GARDEN CITY 2017

In March 2017 I tore out the above version of the Garden City RR. I rebuilt it for several reasons. The original had a pond in a large, raised area. Around 2015 the 2 turtles escaped from the pond. We had raised them from the size of a quarter and really missed them. It took some of the fun out of the pond. 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  We wanted to combine the sitting/table area and the swing area inside the garden so no mowing would be requirtrains 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

I am the President and Chief Operating Officer, and my lovely wife, Judy, is the Chief Financial Officer (read budget control) and Company botanist. We welcome visits by appointment, which can be made via the RR’s e-mail. This may include our close neighbor’s railroad also, if available (Gold Dog RR-see link). We also try  to have at least one open house per year in the future, which will be announced on the web sites in advance, so be sure to check back and look for updates and new photos/info. Thank-you for browsing.

Kurt & Judy Nelson

 

 
     

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