How To Large Scale Layouts Great garden railroad photos

Great garden railroad photos

By Rene Schweitzer | January 22, 2024

Enjoy a selection of contest-winner pictures from the hobby’s best railways

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train with ore cars on garden railroad

Tim Pool

Oregon City, Oregon

Railroad name: Western Maryland Garden Railway

Railroad owner: The Poole family


Deep within the West Virginia Mountains, No. 146 is shoving the last of the empties into J&J mine No. 93 to pick up its load of black diamonds. The bright noonday sun brings rare sunshine into these parts of the Western Maryland Railway, which are so full of trees and hills.

train on garden railway with greenery around it

Wayne Jacobsen

San Juan Capistrano, California

Railroad name: Peppertree Miniature Railroad

Railroad owner: Wayne Jacobsen

The lighting in my backyard is tricky because of shadows cast by (full-size) trees. Pools of sunlight and shadows move around as branches sway in the breeze. I waited for a pool of sunlight to shine on the apple crates in the bed of the railtruck. A large white card was used to reflect light back toward the railtruck to keep shadows from going completely dark.

Model train near station on garden railroad

Rick Korenz

Uniontown, Ohio

Railroad name: Timberlake Division of the Colorado & Southern

Railroad owner: Rick Korenz

The daily passenger train with No. 58 in the lead comes around the section house at Elmo. Jake sits on his handcar as the eastbound train heads to Timberlake. Soon he will continue his inspection of the newly-laid standard-gauge trackage. The scene was shot in midday sun using a large bounce card on the left.

model structure with figure and track on garden railway

Dennis and Helen Paulson

Chandler, Indiana

Railroad name: Darlington Railway

Railroad owner: Dennis and Helen Paulson


An interurban freight motor is switching in the yards on the Darlington Railway. The line has about 200 feet of main line, with overhead catenary operation. The catenary is energized and is used to power the locomotives.

model train on garden railroad

River Davis

Spokane, Washington

Railroad name: Aspen Creek Railroad

Railroad owner: River Davis


No. 3, lumbering through the mountain terrain, emerges from the tunnel that punctuates the vertical rock face of Elk Mountain. The engineer enjoys the cool mountain air as he watches the scenery go by. The figure is from LGB and the engine from Bachmann. I waited for the sun to hit the trees and the rock, making interesting lighting.

model figure near dump truck on garden railway

Vernon Hazzard

Rippon, West Virginia

Railroad name: Hazzard Valley Railway

Railroad owners: Albert, Dewey, and Vernon Hazzard


Junior Walters directs Bernie Adams operating the payload as the last empty hopper is pushed under the tipple for loading. It’s late Friday afternoon and the crew at National Coal Co. Mine No. 9 is eager to finish the shift and collect their paychecks. The mine is located near Mineral Ridge, West Virginia on the Hazzard Valley Railway. The coal tipple and accessory structures were scratchbuilt by Albert, Dewey, and Vernon Hazzard.

model train on wooden trestle

Jake Haskew

Lyons, Colorado

Railroad name: Silverton Northern Railroad

Railroad owners: Steve and Anne Haskew


Engine No. 34 crosses Spring Gulch Trestle heading into Eureka on the Silverton Northern Railroad. The railroad, located just outside of Lyons, Colo., was built by Steve and Anne Haskew. The model depicts its namesake, which served the local mining district between Silverton and Animas Forks, hauling supplies to the mines and transporting silver, gold, lead, and zinc ores back out to be processed.

ive steam model train on garden railway

Kean Burenga

Ringoes, New Jersey

Railroad name: Private Toad Railway Ltd.

Railroad owner: Kean Burenga


The first “up” passenger train of the morning drifts down Dill Hill on the Private Toad Railway. The driver has shut the regulator, and with a hot fire, the safety valve is lifting, disturbing only the songbirds and the early tranquility. The PTRy is a freelance line based on the 2-foot gauge timber railways of Wales and inspired by the many English garden railways where large-scale trains operating on 0-gauge track at a scale of 5/8" (16mm) to the foot are common. The line includes approximately 90 feet of track and five turnouts.

close up of silver model trains

Bob Whipple

West Berlin, New Jersey

Railroad name: The New West Berlin Garden Railroad

Railroad owner: Bob Whipple


Mid-morning inbound and outbound trains provide hustle and bustle at the end of the line in Atlantic City in 1947. Although it’s early July, there is a brisk sea breeze, forcing passengers to wear jackets and hats. The temperature will later warm up to the lower 80s, becoming a wonderful summer’s day at the Jersey Shore. The inspiration for this photo was a black-and-white photograph taken by Andreas Feininger at Dearborn Station, Chicago, in 1941. The picture was taken in natural light.

model figure on side of model engine

David Outteridge

Littleton, Colorado

Railroad name: Nepenthes Gestalt & Delirium Railway

Railroad owners: David Outteridge and Nancy Ditman

A coal train is being hauled up the valley line by No. 2009, the NG&DR’s 0-6-0T workhorse. The train is comprised of Hartford cars and a Northeast Narrow Gauge short caboose. The locomotive is a Roundhouse “Lady Anne.” Lee is hanging about on the caboose.

diesel engine on trestle with snow

Marty Cozad

Nebraska City, Nebraska

Railroad name North Table Creek Railroad

Railroad owner: Marty Cozad

Winter wonderland in the mountains on the North Table Creek Railroad. Railroading goes on year-round on this line.

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