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.
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 the gardening and getting your hands dirty with live plants, miniature trees, and real rocks. Its a great hobby for a railfan to share with a partner who loves gardening.
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, real 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.
Be sure to check out our entire website to experience the hobby of G Scale mixed with outdoor gardening.
MGRS started in 1990 with only 19 members and has since grown to over 120 families. It's a great hobby for the entire family. Much can be learned from joining us now, even if you haven't bought your first train yet.
In the following pages, you will see we have private events as well as public indoor events. Contact us with a message if you have any comments and/or questions about our organization.