Here's an avenue for model railroading that's gone pretty much unexplored: A tie-in between trains and one of the world's more popular outdoor sports - golf.
Thanks to the efforts of Larry Jankowski and the local park district, Tinley Park, Ill., may be home to the only mini-golf course in the United States with a garden railroad. The golf course wraps around the elevated 17 x 64-foot G scale layout, treating golfers to a view of the model trains, structures, and lush garden foliage from every hole. A park district spokesperson for Tinley Park reported that since adding the garden railroad, course attendance has increased nearly 50 percent.
Larry, a World's Greatest Hobby ambassador and the layout's creator, started building model railroads professionally after he retired from a career with a regional telephone company. He now operates Almost Real Custom Railroads, a model railroad construction company. In addition to building layouts, Larry also actively promotes model railroading Hobby through speaking engagements at libraries, garden clubs, and garden centers.