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Old 07-22-2015, 12:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default NGRC 2015: Layout photos from #1 to #52

My family and I went to the 2015 National Garden Railway Convention in Denver this year, and made it to all 50 open railroads (#1 to #52, but two were cancelled) from Tuesday through Saturday! With very limited hours most days (8am-1pm) it was a grueling schedule to make it all of them, with 5 to 10 minutes at most layouts. And considering how far away one of them was on Saturday I don't think many people drove out there (Estes Park), but my wife loves checklists so she was pushing us to go go go! I'm really happy with the result: the experience of seeing so many amazing railroads, and almost 1600 photos to remember them by!

I've been going through and tagging them all by the layout number and railroad name, and filtering out near-duplicates and blurry photos. I'm done with Day 1, and close to posting the following days.

Layout #1: Tuscarora Railroad
It was a real pleasure to get to visit Kevin Strong's railroad. Having seen so many photos of it it was great to see it in person. All his structures and equipment have exceptional detail. With mature landscaping and well-placed structures it looks like the railroad has always been here.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #2: R.P.K. Garden Railfun
This railroad was big on action with a creative trackplan and detail items everywhere. There are many impressive scratchbuilt structures and a unique concrete waterfeature.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #3: Grunenwalt Berg Bahn
I love the wide radius curves here, and the unique vantage points of being able to go over, around, and into the railroad. My wife and I also both loved the overgrown look of the landscaping and the sparse buildings and detail items looked right at home.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #4: Johnson Pass Spur
What first caught my attention was the scratchbuilt Hiawatha steam locomotive on display. It's rare that I can't tell what chassis it may have been built on (i.e. Aristo-Craft Pacific, etc) so I'd like to know more about this. But we were here first thing in the morning at the same time as the bus, and the host (or one of them) was busy trying to get more trains running. It was a very scenic railroad and I wish I could have enjoyed it longer.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #5: Virginia & DACS RR
It was a lot of fun to watch this railroad. There was a lot of action with an interesting trackplan and lots of detail. There were also a lot of people there, so most of my photos contain crowds in the background! The mountain with tunnel exposed on the backside was particularly neat.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #6: Saint Mary and All Angels Railway
It was crowded here as the bus had just arrived, but they created a dramatic entrance with a bridge over the railroad. The railroad is very nice, with lots of great dioramas to observe and photograph. My favorite is the produce stand--I'd like to build something like this for my [agriculturally themed] railroad!
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #7: Boxwood Scenic Railroad
I love the Southern Pacific so this was a favorite because of the trains! It's also a great example of a mainline railroad that feels big, but in a small space.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #8: Colorado Railroad Museum
We'd never been here, but will have to go back someday with more time when they are running the fullsize trains! They have a huge, beautiful garden railroad in an incredible space with fullsize trains all around! There's also an elaborate HO scale railroad in the basement.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #9: Cancelled
Unfortunately I didn't read the notice about this in the convention materials so we drove there anyway, and we weren't the only ones as several other cars were circling the area trying to find it. Finally we realized we did have the correct address and that there was a small note on the back fence that said it was cancelled.
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Last edited by benshell; 08-03-2015 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 01:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting Ben!
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ben, Thank You for these I have been waiting for someone to put up pictures. Love to see more of the layouts when you get the chance as well as any pics of the convention itself if you have them.
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks, Ben. I still can't believe you made it to all of the railroads. I'm pretty sure there's a prize for that. It's great to see all the other railroads that were on tour on Tuesday along with mine. We're almost always open on the same days whether for the convention or the local tours, so these are the ones I rarely get a chance to see. I definitely gotta get out more often!

Later,

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Old 07-22-2015, 03:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing!

The manner in which you presented the photos is "first rate" and I've not seen it done better.
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Old 07-23-2015, 12:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks Ben, keep um coming if you have more.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great photos shots, Ben
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The included link takes you to YouTube videos for 18 of the garden railroads. Most run between 2-3 minutes, but some are longer, and a few shorter.

There is certainly some "different" stuff there as shown in layouts 49 (a putting green railroad) and 29 (trains go up over the house).

Layout 19 is a really detailed indoor layout.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...udk-nJUquxqecC
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks Eric, Joseph, Kevin, Todd, Henson, and Noel! Yes, I have more photos...many, many more!

Here's the next batch, Day 2 (Wednesday):

Layout #10: JFF & FnE Railroad
To be honest this wasn't my style of garden railroad as there wasn't much landscaping, but there were lots of things to entertain the kids. And one thing I can admire is that it was absolutely pristine! I have to wonder if the rock was very new, or if they know something I don't!
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #11: Big Blue Spruce Railroad
This was a beautiful railroad in a nice yard. There's an interesting track plan, plenty of detail items, lots of different textures and colors of plants of landscape materials.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #12: Unnamed RR
I enjoyed seeing the big modern mainline freight here, and my kids did as well (as this is what they are growing up with). This railroad is under construction but it looks great already! As an Espee fan, the UP patch on the SP Dash 9 made me laugh... and cry!
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #13: Eastlake Loop Railroad
This railroad provided a good variety of trains, structures, and other details, with a place to sit and watch the trains go by. The connected train shed probably makes running frequently very convenient.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #14: The John Galt Line
With the modest tour book description of "this is our first attempt at a G-Scale train" I expected something pretty basic. Actually, we almost skipped this one (we did on Wednesday, but it was open again on Saturday). But this railroad was a pleasant surprise! Highlights include a really nice water feature, just the right amount of detail items (some humorous!), and a full-size '51 pickup to match the theme. The owners were exceptionally welcoming, and own an organic seed company, Botanical Interests, which we often buy!
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #15: Colorado & Northwestern Railroad
You get started here seeing both sides (with a mirror) of a very detailed station building, and that's just the beginning. There's a variety of everything here, with trains meandering around the whole yard, pathways to along closeup views, and lots of variety of colors and textures with plants and landscape features.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #16: Denver, Superior & Western Railroad
This is a cute little railroad in a small yard. Unfortunately Murphy was visiting at the same time as us (and we had to leave first), but we got to admire the right-of-way with just about everything a railroad needs (including a nice scratch-built trestle and tunnel portal).
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #17: The Red Rocks Route Railroad
We really enjoyed seeing the passenger trains, going opposite directions on a double track mainline. The water feature and bridges looked great too. The whole layout also seemed very well maintained.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #18: Rocky Mountain Railroad
It's hard to pick a favorite out of so many railroads which are all so different, but this would be in the running for both my wife and I. We both loved the elevation change and color across the hillside, and well done hardscape. And I loved the mainline trains with wide curves and excellent track work. The Mallet with the Harbor Models smoke unit is particularly impressive, especially as it went through a tunnel! The owners are also incredible people who I got to talk to more in the vendor hall at their Rocky Mountain Locomotives booth.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #19: The Cascade and Silverton
Indoor railroads are few and far between in this scale, and ones of this caliber are even more rare. It's just incredibly detailed in every way. I'd compare it to Tom Miller's "Little Colorado Railroad" (https://www.flickr.com/photos/benjam...57624675162084), just in a smaller space. It's very creatively stuffed into a basement, with a track going through the stairway! Everyone has different preferences though, as this was my wife and kids *least* favorite railroad (too high up for the kids to see, and no garden for my wife)! But there's no question that as a model railroad this one is in a league of its own, and my photos don't do it justice.
See all the photos on Flickr.


Layout #20: Cherokee Western Railroad
This was our first stop Wednesday where we enjoyed the variety of trains (Mallets are always a bit hit with my 5-year-old) and the well-executed farm and village scenes. The rotary snowplow was also a highlight for us. I also enjoyed seeing two beautifully restored Model A Fords in the driveway.
See all the photos on Flickr.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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These are great. I really feel like you've saved us a trip to Denver. Be sure you get to Sac.
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