The September 13, 2015 Columbus Garden Railway Society
Open Garden Tour

The Tour is free to the public and the Railroads are open 1:00 - 5:00 PM

Garden etiquette
Please observe the scheduled hours.
Well-behaved children are welcome; others may be asked to leave.
Stay on marked paths.
Do not expect to use hostsʼ rest rooms.
Smokers please ask permission; locomotives may smoke at will.
Please - No pets

 CGRS Open Garden Tour interactive map.

Numbered Icons correspond with numbered RR descriptions below.
Clicking on an Icon will display a picture and description for that RR
Clicking on the Icon in upper left corner of the map will display the legend.
Clicking on a RR in the legend will display the RR on the map.

For a printable sheet of directions to the Tour RRs
click here
For a printable map
click here

#1  The Puckerville RR (new RR on tour)

Owners: Paul & Camille Petersen
- 10767 Lafayette Rd., Johnstown, Ohio 43031

The Petersen's Puckerville Railroad is based on a rural and small town setting reminiscent of the 1960's.The garden design has two levels. The top level has 80 feet of track, two ponds, a stream and a waterfall. There are a number of bridges, a wooden trestle over one of the ponds, a covered bridge over the stream, and several concrete bridges for roadways . The lower level has 40 feet of track, pond and is a mining line.
There are 50 handmade figures of adults, children and pets. Many of the figures resemble family members that help personalize the railroad setting. Some of the scratch built structures are the farm house, barn, A&W Root Beer Stand, Light House, Red Owl Grocery, Puckerville Feed Mill, Pete's Garage, and Grandpa's Log Cabin.
The garden is planted with Artemisia, Spirea, Potentilla, Dwarf Cypress, Boxwood and a large number of herbs, ground covers and mosses.

photo by Camille Peterson

#2 The Squirrel Valley RR

Owners: Bill & Diane Lott - 5043 Harbor Blvd., Columbus

The Railroad consists of six different configurations with over 300 feet of track. There is a small pond with a waterfall, cattails and water lillies. It also has frogs and fish and a single-track bridge. The railroad has numerous perennials, ground covers, annuals, and conifers. For the orchard there are various miniature tomatoes and peppers. Then there is this railroad's trademark so to say; I feed the squirrels corn and needless to say they have to bury some of it and it comes up all over the railroad. Sometimes I have to pull the corn because it is to close to the track. It took us several years to get a picture of the squirrels climbing the corn stalks to eat the corn. They blend in with the dry corn stalks. Some sights along the tracks include a sawmill, Amish farm, and a circus tent and accessories. There are several towns with stations, freight sheds and figures and animals. There is a 60 foot trolley line mounted on top of the privacy fence. On the patio is a half whiskey barrel with a castle in it and an oval of track mounted on the barrel. The railroad is not modeled after any theme in particular; it is strictly a whimsical railroad.

photo by Pete Wine

#3 The Easton Express RR

Owners:  Easton Town Center - 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus

Come see Thomas the Train and his friends. The Easton Express Railway is a 1100 square foot railroad built in 2005 and features three independent train operation on multiple levels. A twelve foot long double track arch bridge anchors the railway with hills, tunnels, waterfall, and structures. Trains operate 12 hours a day seven days a week.

photo by Easton web Images

#4 Back In Time RR

Owner: Pat Waddell - 2791 Alder Vista Dr., Columbus

Back in Time Railroad was started in the spring of 2012 and continues to be a work in progress. A new Pennsylvania RR train travels through a tunnel and over two bridges as it makes its way past a talking toad, singing birds, gnomes and a lighthouse with waterfall. Included in the layout are a large pond with a new waterfall and two smaller ponds, a small village with many shops, a car wash and garage, a campground and a large farm. Many 50’s & 60’s vehicles and lifelike figures add to the scene. Landscaping has been upgraded with the addition of more dwarf conifers, alpine plants, boxwoods, sedum, arborvitae, grasses and ground covers. The layout contains other perennial miniature plants and blooming annuals. An Emmet Kelley Jr. circus train surrounds the miniature circus which includes a big top tent with performers and audience, a menagerie tent with wild animals and cage wagons, a banner line and various circus wagons including a calliope wagon with real music. A smaller round tent with performers finishes out the circus. Adjacent to the circus is a carnival including numerous rides, game booths and refreshment stands

photo by Richard Abler

 #5 The Sweet Hollow RR

Owners: Debbie & Don Sweet - 3611 Madrid Dr., Westerville

Sweet Hollow has been under (serious!) construction since 2010. Just under 200 ft of track runs past a farm, around, and tunneling through a mountain. New plantings of dwarf evergreens fill the garden space. Two loops run with track power, attempting to convert to battery power. The railroad runs an Amtrak ICE Train, a Western Maryland freight train, and an early American steam engine. There’s also a replica of the Gettysburg train station.

photo by Wayne Beedle

 #6 The Disneyland RR

Owner: Lonnie Dill - 182 E Home St., Westerville

The railroad was begun in 2008 and features an elevated line and a ground line.
Disney-themed buildings are situated throughout the railroad which runs 200 feet of track.
A replica of the Disneyland main entrance building is the focal point of the lower-level track route.
A colorful locomotive pulls rail cars on each level.
Ground covers are the featured plants.

photo by Lonnie Dill

 #7 The Ross Heron Memorial RR

Owners: Barbara & Jim Kimmel - 417 Mary Ave., Westerville

The Ross Herron Memorial Railroad, named in honor of Jim Kimmel's grandfather, was started in 1996.
It has been revised and enhanced 3 or 4 times since and currently consists of 250 feet of track, laid out in 3 loops, one of which is a reversing trolley line. Jim's use of EPL circuitry and reed switches allow 5 trains to run alternately.
All buildings are scratch-built by Jim and are reminiscent of small town Ohio scenes like those you can find in Wooster and New Philadelphia, where the Kimmels grew up.
Replicas of local Westerville buildings like Bob Evans and Bel Lago (formerly the Hoover Grille) also inhabit the railroad. The layout has a 3 tiered waterfall, a variety of dwarf conifers, thymes, sedums and flowering annuals to provide color and interest. Jim's artistic trimming of the miniature trees gives an uncanny look of reality to the railroad

photo by Jim Kimmel

 #8 The Recycled, Odds, Ends, & Leftovers RR

Owners: Jim & Lorinda Shell - 1456 Abbyhill Dr., Worthington

The Recycled, Odds, Ends & Leftovers Railroad is a fictitious railroad heading south out of Xenia, Ohio.
The line will go through Russellville in Brown Co., servicing the sawmill and feed & grain store owned by Joe Myers.
The line will terminate at Cherry Fork in Adams Co., bringing farming equipment and supplies to the Farm Bureau Company. The line offers spectacular views to the passengers.
The rolling hills of southern Ohio provide opportunities for bridges and trestles over valleys and over White Oak Creek and Cherry Fork Falls. White Oak Creek begins its journey at Cherry Fork Falls and winds its way to its end at White Oak Falls.

photo by Wayne Beedle

 #9 The Crawford Valley RR

Owners: Alvin & Beverly Mann - 5497 Crawford Dr., Columbus

The Crawford Valley Railroad meanders around a waterfall, stream, and a large pond. At the turn of the century, fashionably dressed folk go about their daily lives in Lily Pad Junction waiting for the train at the depot, shopping in the general store, listening to the banjo pickers in the gazebo, and tending to their farm animals.
See the overshot water wheel at the historic grist mill and the Little River Sawmill served by the Crawford Valley RR Shay engines. Perhaps the bullfrog will sing for you.
As usual Thomas will be wandering through the mums and this year Percy will be joining him. The mature landscaping has a wide variety of sedum, thyme, dwarf conifers and perennial favorites.
Step back in time and enjoy a peaceful afternoon with us.

photo by Wayne Beedle

 #10 The Grand Rapids & Reed Lake RR

Owners: Cora & Bob Collins - 924 Middlebury Dr., Worthington

The Grand Rapids & Reeds Lake Railroad is a reconstruction of a garden railroad originally begun in 1997. The railroad has four loops of track on a raised bed. The surface of the railroad is crushed limestone for ease of maintenance. Train operations are favored over gardening.
The theme is the imagined area around Reeds Lake in the suburb of East Grand Rapids, Michigan at the turn of the 19th century. Structures on the railroad are reflective of those which may have been in existence there at that time. Reeds Lake is constructed of blue marbles which require no maintenance and look great in winter too. Some of the structures surrounding the lake have boat docks.
One of the four track loops has an operating overhead catenary system to support streetcar operation. The other track loops are mostly level to support live-steam locomotives.

photo by Wayne Beedle

 #11 The Puddlefort & Patio RR

Owners: Barbara & Richard Abler - 990 Blind Brook Dr., Columbus

The Puddlefort & Patio Railroad (P&P RR) - The Abler's garden railroad is modeled after central Wisconsin farmland.
"Puddlefort" is the nickname of the village near Richard's hometown which was served by the Chicago & North Western RR.
The garden contains numerous dwarf, miniature and small-scale plants, including dwarf conifers, shrubs and deciduous trees, herbs, ferns, ground covers, sedum, sempervivum, annuals, rock-garden plants, and other perennials, as well as some Norway spruce being trained unwillingly to be bonsai trees.
A trolley line serves Puddlefort village.

photo by Richard Abler

 #12 The Sutter Park Lumber RR

Owners: Bob & Kathy Duggan - 2245 Suttter Pkwy., Dublin

The Duggan's railroad runs four trains at one time. There are two point-to-point lines and a double dog bone. There is about 250 feet of track. This fully landscaped RR is based on a logging railroad and has a pond with waterfall and scratch-built buildings. New this year is the Carnival line which is fully animated. Mixed in with all the landscaping are many different scenes with a touch of fantasy.

photo by Wayne Beedle

 #13 The Shelby & Sparta RR (new RR on tour)

Owners: Cecil & Jack Easterday - 7320 Macbeth Dr., Dublin

The Easterday’s Shelby & Sparta railroad was first operating in 1998. It includes approximately 1000 feet of track, comprised of a main line, a branch line, an amusement park line, a resort line with circus theme, a shuttle line and a large radius "Farm to City Line".  Trains travel through mountains, valleys, several tunnels, across trestles and bridges. A wide variety of miniature plants are displayed.

photo by Wayne Beedle

 #14 The Victorian Station RR (new RR on tour)

Owners: Deborah & John Edsall - 754 Neil Ave., Columbus

The layout of the Victorian Station Garden Railroad consists of two primary track loops with about 300' of
track with a crossover on the inner loop. There is a custom built wood trestle approximately 60 feet long on
the back side of the outer loop. There is a Victorian town at the east end with 23 homes and shops along
two boulevard streets and central community space with a bandstand. Many people and vehicles add life to
the streetscape.  West of the town, there are eleven industrial and service buildings along the inner loop and two spurs that service the various businesses and a large locomotive shed. All buildings are
illuminated. A wide variety of ground covers, shrubs and miniature trees add interest and
provide changes in views and vistas of trains on the tracks.

photo by Wayne Beedle

 #15 The MacKay Mills RR

Owners: Katy & Dan Hill - 1433 Inglis Ave., Columbus

MacKay Mills Railroad began in 1996 as two loops totaling 200 feet that were soon interconnected and a reversing wye with lay-up spur added. Numerous additions since then have brought the total length to some 630 feet, comprised of ten separate layouts. These additions include two small loops, a point-to-point layout with reversing loops, and six different back-and-forth reversing lines. The reversing lines include both steam and catenary electric cog railways; the latter is entirely overhead, as is one of the small loops. There are three tunnels, two bridges, two viaducts, and one trestle in the layouts. There are also over 50 buildings and 150 people to add character. Four pools with water lilies or other aquatic plants include a large namesake mill and a waterfall. The railroad is heavily planted with many dwarf conifers and rock garden plants. There are collections of several different types of sempervivums and hostas, also micro-mini roses, plus numerous varieties of other perennial and annual plants. The garden is handicapped accessible from the rear alley.

photo by Dan Hill

 #16 The R & P Choctaw Express RR

Owners: Ray & Patsy Chamberlain - 2285 Pawnee Dr., London

This is a new railroad under construction on a sloped lot. There are about 300 feet of brass track. There are three ovals; the locomotives will be track powered.

photo by Wayne Beedle

 #17 The Sunburst Minneapolis & Southern II RR

Owners: Harriet & Bob Dana - 2341 Pawnee Dr., London

The recently constructed Sunburst Minneapolis & Southern II consists of a raised bed, 20 ft. x 35 ft.,
with a pond and waterfall. The mostly-trestled bi-level track is divided by upright railroad ties and
Colorado sandstone. Featured plantings include dwarf Japanese maples, succulents, and a variety
of evergreens. All trains are BNSF or Great Northern logo and will include passenger and freight.

photo by  Wayne Beedle

 #18 The Kiousville Palestine & Warnersville RR

Owners: Brian & Connie Spangler - 8905 McKendree Rd., Mt. Sterling

Our railroad is named The KPW Line, the Kiousville-Palestine-Warnersville Railroad which we started in 2006.
It is about 600 feet, with two main lines that encircle two ponds and a sunken patio and a third loop around
a lighthouse that sits over a underground lake (septic tank). There’s also a trolley that runs down the middle
of the street where the town will be constructed once the depression is over. We have an inside trains storage yard. We run steam and diesel engines and a railbus. We also have a rock garden and four flower gardens that the trains run through. We use track power for the locomotives - all of which are radio-controlled.

photo by Wayne Beedle