• Minnesota Garden Railway Society



    Welcome to the World of Minnesota Garden Railways!


    Our members are involved in various aspects of this hobby: collecting large scale trains, operating indoor and outdoor layouts, maintaining gardens around layouts, and watching trains run through villages and countryside, with waterfalls, rivers and so much more.


    What attracts us to this branch of the hobby? Just a few of the reasons include the urge to run big trains outside plus longing for gardening and getting your hands dirty with live plants and miniature trees and real rocks. The search for a hobby we might share with a partner who loves to garden.


    Many challenges face the backyard empire builder. Dealing with heavy dirt and rock. Kneeling and squatting to lay track and maintain plantings. Putting up with weather and creating a layout that's able to withstand rain, snow, wind, dust, sunlight, frost, critters, and weeds.


    But offsetting these challenges are many rewards! Large scale trains are easier to handle and to detail than their smaller cousins and also have a certain mass and presence that you don’t get in small scales. They move through a living environment, under the sky and sun, in light which changes from hour to hour and month to month.


    If you wish, much of garden railroading can be real: a real steam engine pulling cars built up board by board with real nails and bolts, running over bodies of real water on real steel or concrete bridges, past real rock cliffs, through fields of real greenery or flowers. Steel will rust naturally, wood will weather, paint will peel all on its own.


  • Links

    This Channel is dedicated to the members of the Minnesota Garden Railroad Society, MGRS, and features videos of club members' Garden Railroad layouts.

    Layout Idea

    A very creative way to lay your outdoor rail bed using roofing materials. Created by MGRS member Paul Almquist of Eau Claire, WI

    Bud Lutz Webpage

    MGRS member Bud Lutz’s webpage that includes photos & videos from television interviews.

    Television Interview

    MGRS member Frank & Dede’s television interview on their Garden Railroad in White Bear lake

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