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How Can I help? This photo shows Cleveland-area volunteers helping at a garden railroad demonstration in July, 1007.  Click to learn more about that event. Garden Railroading Primer Articles: All about getting a Garden Railroad up and running wellGarden Train Store: Index to train, track, and other products for Garden Railroading
Large Scale Starter Sets: Begin with a train you'll be proud to runBest Choices for Beginning Garden Railroaders: a short list of things you're most likely to need when starting out
Large Scale Track order FormSturdy buildings for 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

Visit our Garden Train Store<sup><small>TM</small></sup> Buyer's Guide Pages

Visit our BIG Train Store<sup><small>TM</small></sup> Buyer's Guide Pages

How Can I Help? - from Family Garden TrainsTM

When I got into garden railroading, several "old-timers" helped me figure things out and saved me from some mistakes. Since 1996, Family Garden TrainsTM has been helping other beginners figure things out.

Twelve years later, many of you have benefited from our fact-based articles and planning tips. In addition, the hobby itself has given you many hours of enjoyment, as well as many new friendships.

If you would like to give back to the hobby, this article lists some ways you can, including ways that you can help us keep the hobby growing.

SupporGarden Railroading In Your Community

Consider these ways of giving back to the garden railroading community in your region:

  • Support your the local club, which includes volunteering for things that get you out of your "comfort zone."

  • Have an open house for your railroad, to help other folks learn about the hobby.

  • Help other garden railroaders with their railroad projects and open houses.

  • Support local hobby shops that support the hobby.

  • Write articles for your club newsletter or web site.

Helping Family Garden TrainsTM With Our Mission

Since 1996, we have answered over a thousand beginner questions and published over a hundred free, professionally-written articles to help beginning and intermediate garden railroaders. Comments like "My garden railroad grew up on your web site" tell us we are doing something right.

We have also worked hard behind the scenes with professionals, manufacturers, and other hobbyists and writers to help each generation of beginners get the most useful products and the information they need to get started "on the right track."

In the meantime, we have identified and started supporting hobbyists that NOBODY else is supporting, such as global readers who are hundreds (or thousands) of kilometers from the closest hobby shop or fellow garden railroader. For many readers, Family Garden TrainsTM is their ONLY reliable resource.

In other words, Family Garden TrainsTM has helped grow the hobby, and has grown along with it. Here are some ways you can help us keep growing the hobby, in your neighborhood and around the world.

  • Add links from your web site. If you or your club have a garden railroading web site, consider adding links to Family Garden TrainsTM articles where they are appropriate.

  • Suggest links to your (or your club's) web site. - If you or your club have a web article that would make a good "follow-up" for one of our articles, let us know and we'll see about linking to it.

  • Provide articles and photos that would benefit other hobbyists. If you've written or could write an article, especially on a subject we don't cover, please let us know. Many of you have skills I don't, and our fellow hobbyists would all benefit from your experience.

  • Join our mailing list. This helps us know who is reading, where they live, how far along they are, and what special interests they have. This helps us plan future articles.

  • Support Our Advertisers. You may have noticed, that we only advertise products of interest to model railroaders, garden railroaders, and gardeners. We also only link to vendors we have found reliable.

    Please don't buy things you wouldn't buy otherwise. But if you are shopping anyway, and our buyers' guides can help you, you may be able to help us at the same time.

  • Consider a Donation. If none of the suggestions above work out for you right now, and you would still like to help us keep the hobby growing, you can help us underwrite the expenses of keeping the existing resources available and adding new ones. If you would like to do so, click on the box to the right. You will see a Pay-Pal screen that lists Breakthrough Communications, who hosts all of our web activities. When you donate, please write a message about WHICH aspect of the hobby or our activities that you are most interested in supporting. We are not tax deductible, in case you wondered. Think of it as a voluntary subscription or membership fee, if that helps.

    Also, we sometimes accept donations of working Large Scale trains, buildings, accessories, and track (especially), that we can use in outreach activites, such as education and public displays. Please contact us and ask if we can use something before you send it, though - we only have a certain amount of space, and we also may know someone who needs your donation more than we do.


    Thanks for reading this far, and for anything you can do to help your hobby grow. However you decide to help, the whole garden railroading community will appreciate your efforts to help the hobby continue to grow.

    Enjoy your trains, and especially enjoy any time you have with your family this season.

    Best of luck,

    Paul Race

    Return to the home page.

To read more, or to look at recommended Garden Railroading and Display Railroad products, you may click on the index pages below.

Home Pages
Reading Index Pages
Buyer's Guide Pages
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

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 by Paul D. Race. Reuse or republication without prior written permission is specifically forbidden.
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Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains.
Click to see new and vintage-style Lionel trains