View Full Version : Garden Railroads anyone??

09-19-2005, 03:46 PM
I know that this is an off the beaten path type of idea and inquiry, but does anyone here sell/install garden railroads? From what I can tell they usually run outdoor grade G-scale models.

I have a traditional O Scale Lionel collection and I think that the garden railroad would be a fun and interesting extension to landscaping. The tracks are run between the bushes/shrubs/etc. and have bridges over the fishponds and if you take a look at the pictures at the link below, you almost can't tell its a model and not the real thing (other than the loco not smoking). I have visited several garden railroads around this area and think that it could be a great idea to capitalize on.

I went browsing online for a good site that describes what I'm referring to and this seems to be a pretty good site from what I saw there.


09-19-2005, 10:35 PM
I had a customer (I hang out at our local train shop alot) who knew I had trains myself. Well he asked if I would install them. Well after he got a landscape design done and I gave him a price just for installing the track, tunnels and bridges. He was forget it. Its an expensive hobby.

09-20-2005, 01:57 AM
I know its not cheap--there's a lot of prep work required to get it right. I know you actually have to setup a functional roadbed underneath the tracks before you even can lay them. Lots of electrical work, lots of manual labor. I figured in this area, the greater Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, that there would be a good potential for this kind of add-on service to a growing landscape enterprise.

My guess would be to charge $75/hr. on this kind of work, since there would be some form of trenching involved. I think I have an idea for a miniature pay scraper design to work behind my JD 300, since it has remote hydraulic outlets on it that I could operate the hydraulic cylinders with on this type of machine. It would almost be like a Gannon Earthcavator type of device, but with a narrower bucket.

Dreams To Designs
09-21-2005, 11:56 AM
Smalltimer, I have never installed a garden railroad for anyone, but have included them in my designs for the homeowner to install. The website you have found is a great source of information and friendship. Aristo craft, a large scale manufacturer, also has a great website and forum. aristocraft.com There is also a magazine for the hobby, Garden Railways, which has ads for some installers around the country.

I have a small railroad running through one of my gardens and a large stack of track for a 400' extension when business slows down. I have many friends with garden railroads and attend open houses in the spring to view some fantastic railroads all around the area. In the early spring there is a train show in York, Pa that is exclusively for large scale trains, indoor and out.