Trainscaping - Landscaping for Your Trains
On this web page, we are using the word trainscaping to describe the kind of landscaping that supports trains running in the back yard, whether they're garden railroad trains or big enough to ride on. If you're thinking of another use of the word, it has also been used to describe:
- Using moving model trains as an indoor architectural element. This was first introduced by architects in the late 20th century, but never really caught on as a movement. The deCordova's Museum's 2007 Trainscaping exhibit pages provide a peek into the kind of things that are possible. The deCordova's museum page, archived here included a link to a very interesting video that might get you thinking "outside the box."
- Capturing photographs of real trains in natural settings. Many examples are shown in Flicker. Flicker Trainscape contributor Michael Hoskins has also made many trainscape photos available on his own RRPicture.Archives.Net page.
- A VERY limited line of Cox toys made to go with HO scale trains
If you're going to be landscaping with trains (outdoors), though, you'll be "trainscaping" the way I think about it. Although garden railroaders spend a lot more time looking at train catalogs than they do looking at landscaping materials, many of the most compelling garden railroads were actually designed by professional gardeners. Retaining walls, grades, "hills," water features, carefully chosen plantings - all of these items contribute to a backyard "train garden" that you can enjoy year round, and not just when you're running trains. And the first year of two that folks work on their train garden, they usually wind up spending more time (and money) on landscaping and gardening supplies than they actually do on trains anyway. In fact, a well-planned and well-installed landscape will actually make your railroad easier to install and maintain.
So to us the word "trainscaping" means creating a fully-featured back yard landscaping plan with trains in mind, then incorporating those trains in a way that makes them seem to belong there.
We have just started this page, but we expect it to grow. In the meantime, if you're interested in landscaping your property to accommodate a garden railroad, here are some links you may find helpful. Most are from our sister site, Family Garden Trains.
- Landscaping Hints for Garden Railroads - This is the overview article to help you get off on the "right foot." More detailed articles on specific subjects are below:
Garden Railroad Plant Articles: The Family Garden Trains site also has articles about planning, planting, and cultivating plants to support any kind of backyard railroad installation. A short list is provided below. For a complete list of our Plant articles, with descriptions, click here.
If you want to bookmark the appropriate pages on the Family Garden Trains home page and check back here later, that's a great idea.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, corrections, or additions, please For more information, please contact us - we'll be very glad to hear from you.