When making additions please use a new "H3" sub-heading (under the Format menu), and insert yourself alphabetically into the list. I challenge you to provide an entry in Drabble form - i.e. exactly 100 words long. If you're stuck or puzzled, just paste your description in the comment box and one of us can slot it into the page for you. Kevin.

Alec K

My first three years were spent watching the activity at Laira sheds, from the end of our garden in Plymouth, something that has pretty much set the seal on the rest of my spare time for the last 62 years! I grew up in Saltash, out of England, in Cornwall, recording what was left of local mines and mineral lines up to the mid-60s. I retired nearly three years ago after 21 years working with a wide and rewarding brief in Public Health in the NHS in Worcestershire, where I reside. After researching the huge MOD railway system at RE Long Marston (about 30 mins drive from home) I built a 4mm scale tiny version which was featured in the model railway press in 1995. After I created a suite of buildings for the next 4mm layout, it was clear my eyesight was not at its best, so I moved to garden railway work, a step I have never regretted. The Caradon Branch is a modest 45mm garden line that tries to celebrate the mineral line to which I'm 'closest', the Caradon-Liskeard-Looe system, but inevitably there's a nod or two in the direction of the Princetown branch, on which I travelled as a child. The Caradon Branch is also a work in (slow) progress. Other interests include military railways and industrial archaeology, and I'm currently researching the last and lost years of the real Liskeard and Caradon Railway.

3 Valve (Gareth)

Hi. I’m Gareth, owner/operator of the Stanworth Heath Light Railway (SHLR), a small fictional railway empire in a modest garden in Telford.   My railway modelling “career” began at the age of 8 and I’ve dabbled in both OO and N Gauges until 2002 when I ventured into the garden.

Professionally I’m an ICT Director for a busy law firm, so the garden railway is a great source of relaxation and relief from a pretty stressful job.
So why "3 Valve".  This originates from my other hobby.  I play the Cornet, Trumpet and Flugelhorn.  They're all 3 valved instruments.

brianthesnail (Matt)

Ok, I take the hint- it's high time I filled this in! I'm Matt, probably one of the younger (if not the youngest) group member. I'm 21 and in my final year of an engineering course at the University of Plymouth, which I've really enjoyed. Looking forwards to going out into the big, scary real world now though. As for railways, well having dabbled in various indoor scales I seem to have settled on 16mm. My main interest is industrial steam- gauge doesn't bother me, grotty industrial atmosphere is the important bit. I must admit I find a lot a garden railways a little "twee" which isn't my thing at all- but then again, there aren't many people who want to see wasp- striped steam engines hauling grimy coal wagons through their garden; part of the big appeal of this hobby is the variety you get. That and the friendly and welcoming attitude of the majority of the people behind it of course.I don't have a railway of my own, as I don't own a garden- so I'm very grateful for this prevailing attitude.
Other interests include pretty much anything "classic"- especially Land Rovers, but also old bikes, lorries, and of course road steam.

Bruce H&DLR

Fascinated by narrow gauge railways all over Europe, my garden railway, the Hillhead & Dales Light Railway, initially reflected this wide range of interests. However, it has evolved from being a generic narrow gauge line somewhere in the British Isles featuring rolling stock from all over the place into a specifically ÖBB (or occasionally DR Saxon) themed narrow gauge line. Moving to a more consistent theme has given greater unity of style covering stations, locomotives and rolling stock. As a direct consequence of focussing on a specific theme, I have found that the whole railway has become much more satisfying.

Cheeseminer (Kevin)

Kevin, former resident of the great and dull flatness of Cambridgeshire and creator of the Flatland Washes Railway.  In 2014 we left our jobs and the flatness to re-open a B&B in Malvern Wells. Left the FWR in the hands of a young family. 

The (provisionally) Flatland Wells Railway (can't be bothered to think of new initials...) is the successor. It'll probably be themed around the Hanley Road station (Midland) that existed a mile down the road. I've a tennis court area to play with. Literally.

My other interests are boardgames, gardening, karate, folkiness, woodworking, science fiction and (other?) nonsense.

Chris Bird

I created the Summerlands Light Railway in 16mm scale and more recently the Summerlands Works Railway in 7/8ths inch scale (on the same track).

I believe garden railways are all about enjoyment. I have scale locos and stock and I have freelance stuff – I love it all. Photography and video are a key part of my enjoyment and I believe that a crucial element of the steam experience is sound – and so developed the Summerlands Chuffer.

I am retired and think of myself as a marketing man as much as anything. I love gardening too – which helps!

Corgi (Ron)

I worked for Telstra for 34 years. Had 3 rail Hornby dublo from a young age and then went hormonal. Interest re aroused with sons. Joined AMRA (Australian Model Railway Assn). After move to townhouse got interested in garden rail and then live steam. Been retired for many years and now a volunteer conductor on Puffing Billy Railway. Current editor of "The Outer Circle".

Doc Turner (David)

I used to be a GP in an East Midlands town that actually had steam locos still working in it when I first arrived....and I was too busy to notice. Now retired, I thought I would have all the time in the world to indulge my hobbies but it doesn't work that way. My passions include Argentine Tango, writing,  and training my Manchester Terrier in dog agility. I was oblivious to garden railway until I did some consultancy work for the printing company that prints Garden Rail magazine. I now submit articles to that esteemed organ. Well, it brings back some of the moolah I splash out on this game!
I began to create the Dingle Leigh Railway  at the beginning of 2009 but various factors have slowed the work needed to complete it to my satisfaction, not least a huge lime tree that is about to be pollarded. Maybe what is needed is a shift in my perception of what is OK, not to mention a filthy amount of sweat once the weather permits it.
From 2013 I have been devoting more of my modelling to 7/8ths scale

David Halfpenny

I’m a retired railway engineer from Derby, England. I started garden railways in 1955 - Hornby clockwork and Bowman live steam. Don Boreham converted me to 16mm scale, but then I got tangled up with 12” scale for many years. I restarted 16mm as a project for a rug-rat, and it led to a Mamod line on a garage roof. That gave much pleasure, but when kids and a house move put domestic railways on hold I concentrated on the public line at Butterley. I work in 16mm and half a dozen scales on G1, mostly logging and bush trams.

Don ChCh NZ

Hello, Started in Garden Railways in 1986 while working in Sydney, returned home to Christchurch New Zealand in 1989 to start building an outdoor GR which I have now pulled up, and have restarted on a larger plot allowing me to run from a shed with storage, seems I will be going the UK way and trackage will be at about 4 foot high, instead of the last railway at ground level, this due to me being another 24 years older than when I started. The Railway is called the Lincoln Greenbelt Railway, Have completed the new shed and have started building an indoor yard section & Loco depot 1st, When the weather is not so good I have an N scale Layout to keep my eyes in shape. Also a Member of the Christchurch Garden Railway Society.

G H WOOD (Mike)

I was quite happy running electric trains in my garden until I met Neil! About 30 minutes into our new friendship, he thrust the controls of his very expensive VOR roundhouse live steamer into my hands, and changed my outlook on the hobby forever. Shortly afterwards the trackpower was history.
The Foxdale & St. Marks Extension Railway exists in my imagination, following the proposed route of the link line from the centre to the south of the Isle of Man Somehow, by a miracle, it survived the closures of the 60's, probably because nearly everyone forgot it was there. Its principal reason for being is to convey vast quantities of Okells Ale and Curtis and Deverau's Kippers to the farming communities around St. Marks and the Tosaby area, any tickets sold to a bona fide tourist are thought of as a bit of a bonus.
The Loco fleet has taken on a more Isle Of Man look these days with the arrival of the Accucraft "Caledonia" and "Peveril", two scratchbuilt  ex County Donegal Walkers Railcars complete the motive power roster at present.
Rolling stock is mostly scratchbuilt and that gives the line a unique look and feel, which I am pleased with, but there are also a few kits from the likes of DJB Engineering and I. P. Engineering.
The route of the F&St.M has been described as "Undulating" but never in the presence of Finlo Qualtrough, the erstwhile PW chargehand, who takes a dim view of any criticism. The line occupies the boundries of our small garden.

Grant LNR

Hi! I’m Grant, chief of everything on the Leawarra Nayook Railway. Now retired, been a modeler since childhood, building cars out of balsa long before my first Dinky toy. Dad handed down an extensive Hornby ‘O’ gauge clockwork railway and I was hooked.

Since then, I’ve dabbled in planes and boats, the latter leading me to become a Boat-builder/Shipwright by trade, along with marine engineering, masting and rigging.

I still have a large 24ft x 14ft HO railway, but I like scratch building best, making something out of scrap and raw materials, although the small amounts required are getting harder to obtain. 

John Roach (Beancounter)

As the old forum name implies, I earn my train tokens as an accountant; part-time for a manufacturing company, part time as a freelance lecturer/trainer.

Although I had the obligatory Hornby-Dublo 3-rail train set as a lad, my first love was aircraft (plane-spotting at Speke Airport). Lots of Airfix kits were assembled, too. Model railways only really came to the fore on the birth of our son (29 years ago - eeek!). I soon moved into French HO and US HO and N, building a total of 4 layouts. G-Scale arrived in the late 1990's with some Bachmann items, and the first steps into the garden were in 2002. In the last 12 months I've started to migrate from US stock to British outline, and the Linville and Cedar Junction Railroad has given way to the Ardnacraish Light Railway, a 3ft gauge line in the west of Scotland. So I'm now creating a wee bit of hilly Scotland in the flatlands of Cambridgeshire...
Away from trains, my other interests overlap with some others on here: military history(Napoleonic wars and WW2), music (rock, folk and classical), photography, real ale and malt whisky. Oh, and sailing. 

JohnStJames (Graham)

I am Graham, the owner of the Evensford and Midland Railway. I wanted a Midland theme. Evensford is served by the Midland, with an exchange station and a 3 foot gauge railway going off into the hills. "Hills, what hills? There are no hills around Rushden." But this is not Rushden, this is Evensford and I can have hills if I want. Otherwise, I would not need a narrow-gauge railway to run in the hills. 

The Evensford and Midland Railway was born. The Midland Railway has a controlling influence, although the EMR General Manager can be a bit of maverick...

JR inTawa (John)

I'm John, the principal operator and builder of the H&M Garden Railway which I share with my daughters Hannah and Michelle who are the railway's directors.  I have been actively involved in model railways since my early teens, even holding the interest through "those years" and have full support of my wife.  My indoor Sn3½ NZR circa 1900 railway hasn't had much running since the H&MGR opened on 28th February 2006 but my interest in early NZ railway remains and the H&MGR is themed accordingly, with a heavy emphasis to an NZ bush tramway feel.

Scratch building, and adding extra detail to proprietary models holds equal interest for me as running our railway.  I'm pretty fussy on the civl engineering side of constructing garden railways, a hang over from my occupation in Civil Engineering.

I have a very cosmopolitan interest in railways and enjoy seeing what others are up too regardless of prototype, there is so much we learn from others.

Martin Owen

I was introduced to model railways at a very early age by my father with some Hornby 3 rail and some Triang wagons. He also used to lay out an oval of hand built O gauge track in the garden on which we ran early 30's clockwork trains.  Hence I always wanted a garden railway.

I grew up in South Bucks in England and have spent 40 odd years (and some of them were VERY odd!) in the travel business in the UK, Europe, Australia and the US.  I moved to the US in 2007, after marrying a flight attendant, and became a joint UK/US citizen in 2010.
We live in Northwest Florida, near Destin, on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  Nowhere near Orlando or Miami, but closer to New Orleans and in the 'Deep South'.  I handle marketing for 3000 vacation rental properties on the Gulf, so if you're looking for a vacation, you know who to call!
The move (and an understanding wife) gave rise to the South Buckinghamshire Light Railway, a 3' English narrow gauge line in 16mm/ft (or there abouts). The line is about 400' meandering around the yard.  All DCC with no live steam, but I'm hoping to be encouraged to move to the a Dark Side.
Other railway interests revolve around all things GWR, and as a teenager I used to be with the GWS at the Taplow goods shed where we had Prairie Tank 6106, Ocean Liner Saloon 9118 and Dynamometer car W7W.  Part of my misspent youth.

Matthew Foster

Hello all.  I began my garden railway in 2005 with a cardboard box diesel loco and some Peco track.  I have two live steamers, a Regner Vincent and a Roundhouse Billy.  My railway in 16mm scale with most everything scratch-built.
I teach English at a senior high school in Gunma, Japan.  That keeps me far too busy so time for the railway is always precious!


Hello I'm Mel, owner and CME of the Wetton Gooey Light Railway which is set on the Shropshire / Montgomeryshire borders, but which is actually located in North Worcestershire within hearing distance of the Severn Valley Railway. I have been retired since August 08 after 5 years in the RAF followed by 30 years in the fire service.
I have been a modeller since a very early age starting off with Airfix kits and having "dabbled" with model tanks, model cars, model aircraft, Scalextric and 00 railways before finally realising an ambition and building a garden railway in 2006.
My other interests include the history of World War Two (with special interest in the Battle Of Britain), motor sport, football (Wolves I'm afraid)  and rock music. My railway also has to share the garden with 3 aviaries containing a collection of foreign birds.

midwalestokie (James)

James please add your content here.

Neil (New Haven Neil)

Hi, I'm Neil and I'm a railway-holic from the Isle of Man. My Leodest & Larivane garden railway gives me the opportunity to run live steam, which is what it's all about for me in the larger scales. I also have HO scale New Haven (aha!) and New York Central in the garage, for when it really is too cold and windy outside. I have played and modelled trains since I could walk, in N, OO, HO, 009, G, 0......been about! I just love trains.

I am a one-time Merchant Navy engineer officer, and then worked in the NHS for years, in estates, HR and lastly managing an outpatients service, which almost killed me - stress. I now am the office manager of the Youth Justice Team in the IoM.....sort of like a YOT in the UK, but.....quieter! Dreaming of my retirement in 9 years, not that I want to wish my life away.

Neil Ramsay

Hi, I am another Neil, and work as a signalman in a manual box on the full size railway in rural Herefordshire. I have been a garden railwayman for nearly 20 years, after buying a house that already had a trackbed from the 1940's or 50's.I model Irish railways to 15mm scale, mainly narrow gauge, but with an ever increasing broad gauge 'branch' of 79mm track!

My unnamed narrow gauge railway is a simple 30m oval, with few buildings, designed to represent a length of 3 foot line somewhere in the north west of Ireland. I enjoy live steam and manual running - with a positive dislike of radio control. The broad gauge line is less than a year old and is also about 30m of single line.

I am a bit of a stickler for prototypical fidelity, so just about everything is scratchbuilt with some help from my friend John Campbell.

Paul (owlpool)

I have been into railways and their history since a child - the influence of my dad
The garden railway started when we bought some LGB for my son 14 years ago. We moved outdoors about 10 years ago, live steam about 6yrs ago, scratchbuilt coach construction, and kits along the way
The Pwll Dylluan Railway is a mainline oval loosely based on Welsh Narrow Gauge 45mm ? 2'6" to take coal from a mine to a canal
Tracklaying and landscape tend to predominate, as the dog tends to eat buildings and soft scenery. Last years highland extension takes us into the hills - 60 mtrs at 1:33 via horseshoe bends and a spiral, there are plans for more....
We live in the Brecon Beacons and I work locally. I also walk in the mountains when I have the time. My railway bookshelf space encroaches progressively across my wife's territory, mirroring the garden situation.

Peter Bunce

I have been modelling railways for about 40 years or so, being interested in the Midland Railway and also Colorado narrow gauge of the 1880's with a liking for the Denver South Park & Pacific RR, which used Mason Bogies, or single Fairlies,.and I have built one of these.

I am now retired, after being a policeman, and having moved to my mother in laws house (to look after her, when her husband died) I had a large garden, that was reduced by some building work, (workshop for me included), I still had enough space for a G scale garden layout. Not enough for the Midland, but OK for US narrow gauge!

A loop was built around one lawn with a station (depot) at the back of that lawn, at the end of it was started a small village built by me, and it is still being added to. A new railroad extension is under way round the other lawn now.

Meanwhile I build the rest of the railroad, locos etc, as they are not generally available at a reasonable (and affordable) price. That keeps me busy - with a huge 'to do' list, that gets longer by the day there is plenty to do.

Philip Brockbank (railwayman198)

I'm another of the 'recently retired but still not enough time' group. I try to ensure that my railway is always kept in full working order but I most enjoy trying to improve how it looks rather than delving too deeply into how it all works. Not much of my stock stays in 'out of the box' condition for long but the changes I make are usually cosmetic not mechanical or electrical. I've amassed a fair toolkit with the intention of scratchbuilding but not much scratching has happened yet...mainly my head, in fact.
Most visitors to my garden are family and friends, not railway buffs, so I try to create something that they can enjoy.
I also dabble in photography and oil painting, when I get the chance.

Peter Pimlico

Without any doubt my first introduction to Garden Railways was Tag Gorton's (TAG) first publication, "Steam in Your Garden," 1996. I found this a most fascinating and inspiring book. R. E. Tustin's "Garden Railways" published way back in 1949, was also avidly read before the first sod was cut.
Of course like most others, especially when my son Nick was young, we had a room devoted to 00. But the thought of a garden railway was something different...... a new challenge!....... 'The Spread Eagle Light Railway' was launched first in 1997 and after four years or so was more or less completed, with two loops round a fair sized garden, long sidings leading to a quarry, steaming bay sidings, run through 8ft X 4ft storage shed, etc. But sadly all had to be broken up due to a house move.
Pimlico House didn't have a garden! But somehow we have managed to cobble together a small tramway which is dependent on four bridges to complete a circuit around our 30ft x 11ft available space of which 9ft x 4ft is taken up by a torpedo type gas tank! At first it really did seem an impossible task, but all things are possible if you really want a garden railway and let's face it what else could you do with such a small space other than build a railway! lol.

Rhinochugger (Ian)

I've played with railways since owning a Lone Star diecast push 000 railway as a child. Various layouts in different gauges have been built but never finished, until the time came for us to downsize the house and my long suffering wife suggested a railway in the garden. Narrow guage appeals to me because of its haphazard nature, and the lack of rivet counting on the model front. US outline appealed to me because I have a wheel fetish - the more the merrier - and because Bachmann Big Hauler rolling stock made it affordable. My tail-chasing philosphy is explained in my railway page, but I try to keep to the narrow gauge theme, and to the US outline. As might be noticed, I don't place to much store by railroad names - I have stock from Victor and Florence & Cripple Creek on the Gold Belt in the south, to White Pass & Yukon in the far north. I have a hankering to try to move even further south to Latin America, but whether I achieve that remains to be seen. I try not to take myself and my railroad too seriously - hence the little cameos such as the hobos in the box car which has an MP3 player with only railroad songs, at the moment just from Johnny Cash, and there's more to come!

Shawn V

I'm probably one of the younger ones into garden railways.  I live in Wantage NJ, USA and work as a Park Police Officer in High Point State Park and Stokes State Forest. Some of my hobbies are, hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and mountain biking.  I have a 4 year old son and 9 year old daughter.  I started my garden railroad, The Kittatinny Mountain Railroad, about 6 years ago.  My main focus is narrow gauge logging.  I run mostly live steam but will occasionally run some sparkies or battery powered trains.  I enjoying scratch building most of my structures and rolling stock.  I also enjoying taking photos and making videos of my garden railroad.  I belong to the Pocono Mountain Garden Railroad Society as well as a member on multiple garden train sites.  I also enjoying collecting clockwork O gauge trains and running them on my clockwork layout when the weather outside is rainy or windy.  I'm glad to be part of a great hobby and great people.  To see my layout and videos go to


I'm that rare thing a female railway modelmaker! I live in the English midlands, in Derbyshire, with my long suffering husband and am an artist specialising in illustrating and painting birds and wildlife. I have loved railways, and narrow gauge in particular, for as long as I can remember and used to model in the small scales such as 009. I never got anything to really satisfy and drifted away into my other obsession, birdwatching. Then I saw Garden Railways and Garden Rail and found the scale of 7/8ths through the internet and I haven't looked back! I final achived my long held ambition of owning live steam models and running them in the garden. I love simple railways that are really well intigrated into the garden so thats what I did with the St Andrews Island Line, trying to capture that rambling, "whats round the next corner" feel of UK narrow gauge.  I am still though very active in the birdwatching and every so often the modelling takes a very back seat..... especially in spring and autumn when I am found watching small bundles of feathers in windswept coastal bushes! 

Tom B


Hi my name is Tom. Railways have been a part of my life from around the age of 8. Started out with OO like most, but progressed to 9.5 inch gauge live steam passenger carrying alongside pal NHN.
College and careers got in the way for many years, but friendship reunited with NHN found him sending me many pics of R/H 'Jack' and friends steaming around the L&LR.
Well that was it, plans were soon afoot for a garden railway in 45mm gauge, live steam of course.

Full size, I am a member of the MPD at North Yorkshire Moors, where I can be seen 'multi-tasking' in the sheds-black as the ace of spades:-) 

Whatlep (Peter Whatley) 

Like most of this merry throng, I've had model railways since the Dark Ages. British OO, N gauge successively Germanic, British and American in outline and back to British OO again. Despite all that, I've always had a thing about European and US narrow gauge lines. Dunno why, I just do!Whatlep (Peter Whatley) 
Like most of this merry throng, I've had model railways since the Dark Ages.   British OO, N gauge successively Germanic, British and American in outline and back to British OO again.  Despite all that, I've always had a thing about European and US narrow gauge lines.  Dunno why, I just do!
My garden railway history dates back to 1999, but the seeds were sown long before that.  I will explain more in an article about my line, Ruritanian Railways, which is now in its second incarnation.  Suffice it here to say that the style is Central European, 45mm and DCC controlled.   An overwhelming majority of the stock is LGB, but that reflects the era in which I started and my working life abroad between 1998 and 2007 rather than anything else.  A rivet counter I am not, but having a layout which runs smoothly with just enough electrical tricks to make things happen efficiently is very much my bag.
I am now semi-retired after an initial career with British Rail, followed by many years working in IT and project management.   Other interests include history, following Oldham Athletic (Nil) and providing a source of ridicule and taxi services for my daughter.

and ... Railway Pie

The Railway Pie article has some information about contributors' interests too. Pop over and take a look at Railway Pie
Subpages (1): Martin Owen