May 6, 2002 - Garden Railroading

It's the perfect marriage of two popular hobbies, that little garden on the other side of the tracks.

Like all train collectors, Bob Coon started off innocently enough. "When I was five years old," says Bob, "my brother and I had a train layout in the basement, and I've been into trains ever since." But his latest project is the train set that outgrew Bob's house. In Bob's yard, a model rail line runs past the waterfall and over the ponds, through the kali lilies and water irises, around and through Bob's garden on an elevated trestle made out of thousands of pieces of old fence board and other recycled scrap lumber.

Bob says garden railroading is the fastest growing segment of model railroading. Just from the name, garden railroad, you know that it combines two of the nation's most popular hobbies. Bob put down the transformer which runs the train long enough to say, "it's real relaxing to sit out here in the afternoon and watch the trains run around, listen to the birds and look at the flowers."

Bob's biggest hassle is neighborhood squirrels leaving acorns on the track. Not only could that cause a derailment, Bob jealously guards his position as the only loose nut allowed in this garden.

You can learn more about building a garden train set through the Baton Rouge Train Club at: