What attracts us to this branch of the hobby? Just a few of the reasons include the urge to run big trains outside plus longing for gardening and getting your hands dirty with live plants and miniature trees and real rocks. It's a great hobby for a railfan to share with a partner who loves to garden.
Welcome to the World of the Minnesota Garden Railway Society!
Our members are involved in various aspects of this hobby: collecting large scale trains, operating indoor and outdoor layouts, maintaining gardens around layouts, and watching trains run through villages and countryside, with waterfalls, rivers and so much more.
Many challenges face the backyard empire builder. Dealing with heavy dirt and rock. Kneeling and squatting to lay track and maintain plantings. Putting up with weather and creating a layout that's able to withstand rain, snow, wind, dust, sunlight, frost, critters, and weeds.
But offsetting these challenges are many rewards! Large scale trains are easier to handle and to detail than their smaller cousins and also have a certain mass and presence that you don't get in small scales. They move through a living environment, under the sky and sun, in light which changes from hour to hour and month to month.
If you wish, much of garden railroading can be real: a real steam engine pulling cars built up board by board with real nails and bolts, running over bodies of real water on real steel or concrete bridges, past real rock cliffs, through fields of real greenery or flowers. Steel will rust naturally, wood will weather, paint will peel all on its own.
The Minnesota Garden Railway Society will help you connect with people who not only love trains, but will help you by giving you ideas of how they created their layouts. Much can be learned from joining us now, even if you haven't bought your first train yet.
Be sure to check out all our pages; information on Public displays will give you places to visit to experience the hobby of G Scale mixed with outdoor gardening. Volunteering opportunities at our community layout in Wayzata, MN along with our indoor layout in St. Paul at the Jackson Street Roundhouse, are plentiful once you join MGRS.
MGRS started with only 19 members and has grown to over 130 families. It's a great hobby for the entire family. Hope to hear from you soon or see you at a public event.
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