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Garden Railroading Catching On Fast
Garden railroading is a fast growing hobby. It can be as simple as laying down sections of track around and through an existing garden or as complex as spiking individual rails to miniature ties laid over a bed of fine gravel. Locomotives can be electric or even steam powered.
Just how many garden railroaders there are is impossible to gauge, but Garden Railways magazine has 37,000 subscribers. What attracts people is that it's an outside hobby that can involve the entire family.
Marc Horovitz, founding editor of Garden Railways, says "There is something for everyone. Some do it for the railroad building, some for the gardening and some for the miniature landscaping. I would have to say that the best garden railroads are almost always the work of more than one person."
Horovitz himself is an avid garden railroader. While many people have thousands of dollars tied up in their hobby, Horovitz says it is an investment that can start small and grow over time. He compares it to golf or going to the movies every week.
"People spend lots of money on lots of different pursuits, and what do they have at the end of the day?" comments Horovitz. "With garden railroading, you have something to show for it, plus the tremendous satisfaction of having built it yourself."
Before jumping into the hobby, Horovitz suggests doing the homework first. Besides his own magazine, he suggests checking out the internet for any number of garden railroading sites, both personal and commercial. There are also forums of hobbyists you can join. If the internet isn't for you, check out books, other magazines and videos on the subject.
A fast growing subsector of the garden railroading hobby is steam locomotives. Here again, you can start simple and grow with the hobby. According to Horovitz, steam power equipment can vary from the extremely simple "fill with water, light the fire and let it go" to working steam engines with hundreds of parts that the operator really has to learn how to drive.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Garden Railways, Box 1612, Waukesha, Wis. 53187 (ph 303 377-7785); Website: www.gardenrailways.com).

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2002 - Volume #26, Issue #5