All aboard the mini-train

National Garden Railway Convention takes place in Denver
Doug Mayes' love of garden railroads started innocently enough: with a model train that went around his Christmas tree.

"After Christmas I didn't want to put it away, so I made it bigger in our rec room," he said. "My wife said, 'I can't vacuum over your tracks. You've got to go outside.' "

So out he went, beginning with a small train outdoors.

"Now," he said, " it takes up my whole backyard."

Fifteen years later, Mayes is chairman of the National Garden Railway Convention, which is hosted by the Denver Garden Railway Society and takes place July 6-11 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Denver International Airport. The convention is expected to attract more than 1,000 garden railway enthusiasts from almost every U.S. state, four Canadian provinces and several countries in Europe.

As the name suggests, garden railways are simply gardens with model railways running through them. The Denver Garden Railway Society has about 180 members many of whom have their own backyard garden railways. Others operate their trains at the Colorado Railroad Museum where the society has maintained a 10-track garden railway since 1994.

Learn more

GET STARTED EMAIL

For helpful beginner tips, get Model Railroader's Basic Training email series.

SIGN UP TODAY »

VISIT US ON TOUR

World's Greatest Hobby on Tour is a lively and family-friendly event.

LEARN MORE »

PROGRAM SPONSORS
Thank you to our generous program sponsors.
Model trains in N, HO, O
Model trains in N, HO, O, G
Magazine, books, videos
Model trains in N, HO
Model trains in N, HO, O
Control systems
Manual switch stands