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Where Do I Go From Here?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 FormBachmann 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

Written by Paul D. Race for Family Garden TrainsTM

Over the years I've answered all kinds of questions for people. In fact, most of the articles on the Family Garden Trains website came about because several folks asked the same questions.

By now, we have added so much information that we can answer the vast majority of reader inquiries simply by referring to a specific part of a Family Garden TrainsTM article. But we do focus on beginning and intermediate readers, so there are some things we can't cover in the depth a more advanced reader may need. In addition, it's nice to get several folks' point of view on some issues.

I will warn you, that a few "experts" have a "my way or the highway" approach to the hobby. But the best cure for that is to be exposed to many sources, so I've put together a list of the best, most useful, and "safest" sources of information I could find.

Family Garden TrainsTM Update (Newsletter)

First of all, if you subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, you'll get monthly (or semi-monthly) tips about what you could be doing for your garden railroad at that time of year, links to new articles, and other updates. When I'm really caught up, I try to include information on clinics and regional and national events as well, as well as links to downloadable pdf versions of basic articles (the html versions are available to everybody).


Garden Railways magazine--I agree 100% with 90% of what GR editor Marc Horovitz says. GR is a great source of information for beginners and intermediate Garden Railroaders. Many "old-timers" still find it useful for one reason or the other. Marc tries to cover a range of issues, and to have articles of interest to beginners as well as fellow "experts." The photographs are my favorite part; they give me a lot of ideas and inspiration.

I believe that the quality of the articles and the overall fairness of GR's editorial content will continue as long as Marc is at the helm.

If you are new to this hobby, realize that the cost of subscribing is less than you'll pay for one wide-radius turnout, and will do you far more good in the long run.


How to Build Your Garden RailwayMarc Horovitz has also dabbled in video, as shown by the excellent How to Build Your Garden Railway video by Marc Horovitz and Rod Wentler. Although Marc and Rod didn't do things exactly the way I would have (they probably did them better), this is a great introduction to a kind of garden railroad construction that many beginners have used successfully. A series of Garden Railways articles that make an excellent companion to this piece have been republished in the book Garden Railroading: Getting Started in the Hobby, shown below.

For more information, or to purchase this video, please click on the photograph to the left.

Holiday Garden Railroads Video - Peter Wine, garden railroader and photographer, has worked on several of the nation's best-known display railroads (under the direction of master builder Paul Busse). Pete has captured live-action video of several of those display layouts as they were decorated for Christmas, including display railroads at the Smithsonian and the New York Botanical Garden. It should give you lots of ideas, even if you're not doing a Christmas display at the moment.

For more information, or to purchase this video in VHS or DVD format, please click on the photograph to the right.

Recommended Books

The following books will give you many ideas; they will also more than pay for themselves by helping you avoid costly mistakes. Yes they may contain conflicting advice or contradict advice I give in my Family Garden Trains primer articles. But that's all the more reason to read up on your various choices early and often.

Other Resources


Click to see some ways you can help us build the hobby.As you check out the resources listed above, you'll find additional resources and links to check out. Some will be more useful than others, but the fact is there are a lot of very helpful people out there if you know which questions to ask and you're capable of forming your own opinions in spite of "expert" advice.

If you come across anything that really raises eyebrows or need a "second opinion," please contact us.

Best of luck,

Paul D. Race

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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 Railroading Big 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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