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Family Garden Trains Discussion Forum Signup Page.  The photo is of a locomotive roundhouse near Palestine, TX, about 1880.  If you're the owner of this photo please contact me.  Click for bigger photo. Structures for your garden railroad. Garden Train Store: Index to train, track, and other products for Garden Railroading
Best Choices for Beginning Garden Railroaders: a short list of things you're most likely to need when starting outLarge Scale Starter Sets: Begin with a train you'll be proud to run
Large Scale Track order Form Bachmann Garden Trains: Narrow Gauge models designed to run well in your Garden Railroad
Large Scale Christmas Trains: Trains with a holiday theme for garden or professional display railroads.Free Large Scale Signs and Graphics: Bring your railroad to life with street signs, business signs, and railroad signs
Garden Railroading Books, Magazines, and Videos: Where to go to learn even more
Collectible Trains and Villages: On30 Trains and accessories designed by Thomas Kinkade and others

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Family Garden TrainsTM Roundtable Discussion Forum Signup Sheet

The FamilyGardenTrains.comTM Roundtable Discussion Forums provide "safe places" for hobbyists to discuss garden railroading and related topics.

Signing up for the forums also automatically signs you up for our e-mail Family Garden TrainsTM newsletter, unless you're already signed up, of course.

New Internet Requirements for European Readers New regulations in Europe require us to make doubly sure that our European members really meant to sign up and didn't just get signed up by accident. They also require anyone who has European members to explain exactly how their information is used. We've done that all along, and will continue to do so. However, we have tweaked the Q&A below slightly to make certain we are in compliance.

Why Do I Have to Tell You Who I Am?

For two reasons:

  • I get hundreds of fake signup requests a month, sometimes using real people's e-mail addresses without their knowledge. These waste my time with bogus questions and sometimes result in me unintionally spamming real people who have no interest in our content - even to the point where we've been blocked from sending our newsletters to real people who signed up on purpose. To say nothing of wasting countless hours of my time that I would rather spend working on my railroad or creating fresh content.

  • I am wholely committed to keeping the Roundtable discussion groups safe, friendly and family-friendly for real people. If I trust fakers, sooner or later they start using their fake identities to say nasty things to other members or to post ads for nasty products.

Will People Start Bothering Me After I Sign Up?

Unlike 99.9% of the mailing lists out there, we will not start deluging you with daily "special offers." No salesman will call. Your contact information will not be given to anyone else. No unsolicited advertisements or other spam will be e-mailed to you.

Do I HAVE to get the Family Garden TrainsTM Newsletter?

Yes. We have tried keeping the lists separate, but it makes twice as much work for maybe 2% of our members. In addition, we occasionally use the newsletters for announcements about the forums, so you would miss those announcements otherwise.

What does the Family Garden TrainsTM Newsletter Contain?

Our newsletters may contain:

  • Links to new or updated articles we post,
  • Links to articles on other sites that we think you will find helpful
  • Tips about things you could (or maybe should) be doing at that time of year to improve your garden railroad experience
  • News items about garden railroading manufacturers, trends, and events

How Often Does the Family Garden TrainsTM Newsletter Come?

Our original plan was to send a newsletter once a month. But sometimes life gets in the way and we have to skip a month or more. We will never send you more than one newsletter every four weeks.

Will the Mailing List be used for Anything Else?

If our team members are participating in a garden or model railroading event that is in your region, we may give you a heads-up about that by e-mail. However we almost never remember to do that, so you're probably safe on that score. :-)

How Will I Know If My Signup Worked?

I add you to both lists manually - to keep from introducing bad people into the discussion forums. When I add you in, usually within 48 hours, I'll send you an e-mail with your user name and a temporary password.

How Much Do the Newsletter and Forum Membership Cost?

At this time, they are both free. However, if we continue to have trouble with fake signups and related issues, we may start charging a nominal fee of $1 a month - that's the only thing we have found that keeps all scammers and spammers away; they never spend their own money.

We have set up a PayPal button on the next page in case you want to start supporting us this way now. But if you sign up now with accurate and complete information, your forum membership and newsletter subscription will continue to be free for you indefinitely.

What Happens if I Unsubscribe?

We understand that interests change and life takes unexpected turns. If you prefer to stop participating in our discussion forums for any reason at all, please let us know using the "Unsubscribe" link we include near the top of each newsletter, or use our contact page. We will take you out of the forums as soon as practical. If you have requested to unsubscribe from the newsletter, we will try to take you off the mailing list before our next issue comes out.

As always, you may continue to access all of our articles absolutely free and to contact us with any question at all, whether or not you are "on our list."

Usually we put unsubscribers' e-mail address in a sort of "do not call" file, so if someone tries to resubscribe them later, we know to make extra sure the request is deliberate. Yes, this has happened.

If you request that we remove all trace of your information from our systems and files, we can do that for you as well. In fact, if you live in Europe, that's the ordinary procedure. Just promise you won't get upset if you accidentally subscribe again and start getting newsletters (yes, it has happened, several times).

What About US Mail Options?

In addition, we occasionally have the opportunity to send information by US mail (usually once a year or less). This may include information of regional interest or product catalogs supplied by our advertisers. If you want to occasionally receive such mailings, please check the "yes" box after the US mail question. Again, we will not sell or give this information to anyone else, but if a manufacturer such as PIKO or MTH gives us materials to send out to our readers, we will forward them to you. We don't have a "US mail" version of the newsletter, though.

What if I Have Other Questions?

If you have any questions about signing up for the forum or newsletter, please use our contact page. If you have questions about garden railroading topics, please put them into the comment box in the form below.

You may also contact us by surface mail through:

    Breakthrough Communications
    2991 Fowler Rd
    Springfield OH 45502

Thanks, and happy railroading,

Paul Race


Your First Name (Required)

Your Last Name (Required)

Your email address (Required)
Your email address again, just to be sure (Required)

The User Name/Nickname that you want to use on the Roundhouse Discussion forum. You will have to type this exactly to log in every time, including capitals, spaces, and punctuation, so make it easy to type right the first time every time. (Required)

Do you use a spam-blocking mechanism that blocks all messages from unknown senders?(See note at bottom of page.)
Street Number and Street Name (Required)

Your City or Town
Your State
Your Zip Code
Your Country

Membership Standards - Because our first priority is keeping this site safe for all honest, courteous people who want to participate, please tell us whether you agree that:

  1. Your interest in joining this forum is to discuss the hobbies and related topics this forum was created to support.
  2. You will treat other members with courteousy and respect, on and off this forum.
  3. You will refrain from advertising products - even related products - without previous permission of the site moderator. (We gladly promote the web pages and products of members who are truly supporting the site with information, tips, and resources. But we don't want folk signing up JUST so they can keep promoting their Etsy listings or something.)
  4. You understand that providing incomplete or fraudulent information during the signup may cause your registration to be deleted without notice or cause your membership to be terminated if it is discovered later.
  5. You will not take credit for or resell our members' contributions even off the forum.
  6. You understand that your participation here is by invitation of the site moderator and can be terminated at any time if the moderator determines that you have violated these membership standards.

I agree to abide by the Membership Standards in the above list (Required):

Are you already subscribed to the Family Garden TrainsTM newsletter using the e-mail address described above? (This is just to keep you from getting duplicate e-mails.)

If you have already subscribed to the Family Garden TrainsTM newsletter using a different e-mail address than the one you entered above, please enter that e-mail address here so I can sync up your account.

Would you like to receive (by US Mail) any Garden Railroading-related mailings or product catalogs that become available (usually about once a year)?

What kinds(s) of railroad would you like to model? (Optional, check all that apply)
No Preference
or Undecided
US Narrow
US Standard
Metre Gauge
US 24"
Standard Gauge

Other Modeling Interest(s)

Do you have any Large Scale Trains? (Optional, check all that apply)

Other Large Scale Train Brand(s)

If you have a working Garden Railroad, how long has it been operating? (Optional)
Under 1 Year
1 to 3 Years
3 to 6 Years
Over 6 Years

If you don't have a working Garden Railroad, how soon might you be building one? (Optional)
Already Have One
Under 1 Year
1 to 2 Years
2 to 4 Years
Over 4 Years
Don't Know

Please Describe Your Interest in Garden Trains (Required) Please enter at least a one-sentence comment describing your interest in garden trains and explaining why you want to be part of this discussion group. Be specific. Scammers usually enter something like "Nice site; I'll tell my friends." That's one way we identify them. Leaving a blank or vague entry in this field will delay or disqualify your application for membership.

Please Enter Any Questions - If you have a question at this time, please enter it here, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Before You Hit Submit: Please go back over the form and make certain you have filled out every required field with accurate information. Our software does not catch all of the missing fields, so it's possible to submit an incomplete form. Most scammers do, and that's one way we identify them. Please make certain your form is complete.

*Note: Unfortunately, in addition to the many reader questions we answer every month, we get a certain number of questions and signups from people who are nevertheless use systems that keep our e-mails from getting through to them. If you use a system that rejects e-mails from all unknown senders automatically, please let us know in the comment area how you've made provision for our e-mails to get to you without us having to jump through hoops. Thanks - Paul &c

To return to the Family Garden Trains Home Page, click here.

Click to trains that commemorate your team!

Note: Family Garden TrainsTM, Garden Train StoreTM, Big Christmas TrainsTM, BIG Indoor TrainsTM, and BIG Train StoreTM are trademarks of Breakthrough Communications ( All information, data, text, and illustrations on this web site are Copyright (c) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 by Paul D. Race. Reuse or republication without prior written permission is specifically forbidden.
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For more information, please contact us

Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains.
Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains

Visit related pages and affiliated sites:
- Trains and Hobbies -
Return to Family Garden Trains Home page
Return to Big Indoor Trains Home page
Garden Railroading Primer Articles: All about getting a Garden Railroad up and running well Big Indoor Trains Primer Articles: All about setting up and displaying indoor display trains and towns. Garden Train Store: Index to train, track, and other products for Garden RailroadingBig Christmas Trains: Directory of Large Scale and O Scale trains with holiday themes
On30 and O Gauge trains to go with indoor display villages and railroads
Visit Lionel Trains. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages. Big Christmas Train Primer: Choosing and using model trains with holiday themes Free Large Scale Signs and Graphics: Bring your railroad to life with street signs, business signs, and railroad signs Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page Click to sign up for Maria Cudequest's craft and collectibles blog.
Click to visit Fred's Noel-Kat store.
Visit the largest and most complete cardboard Christmas 'Putz' house resource on the Internet.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories. Traditional Home-Made Ornaments
- Music -
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Learn important guitar chords quickly, to jump start your ability to play along on any song. With a few tools and an hour or two of work, you can make your guitar, banjo, or mandolin much more responsive.  Instruments with movable bridges can have better-than-new intonation as well. Resources for learning Folk Music and instruments quickly Check out our article on finding good used guitars.
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs. X and Y-generation Christians take Contemporary Christian music, including worship, for granted, but the first generation of Contemporary Christian musicians faced strong, and often bitter resistance. Different kinds of music call for different kinds of banjos.  Just trying to steer you in the right direction. New, used, or vintage - tips for whatever your needs and preferences. Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album. Explains the various kinds of acoustic guitar and what to look for in each.
Look to Riverboat Music buyers' guide for descriptions of musical instruments by people who play musical instruments. Learn 5-string banjo at your own speed, with many examples and user-friendly explanations. Explains the various kinds of banjos and what each is good for. Learn more about our newsletter for roots-based and acoustic music. Folks with Bb or Eb instruments can contribute to worship services, but the WAY they do depends on the way the worship leader approaches the music. A page devoted to some of Paul's own music endeavors.