10 Miniature Railroads for Backyard Train Enthusiasts | askBAMLand

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Ever dreamed of having a train you can ride in your own backyard?

Imagine being the conductor on your personal locomotive, weaving through meticulously designed tracks amidst your flower beds and vegetable patches.

Backyard railroading isn't just for kids; it's a hobby that adults can dive into and create a miniature world of their own, complete with detailed landscapes and functional rail systems.

Building your own miniature railroad can be a satisfying blend of technical challenge and creative landscaping, offering a unique way to enjoy your outdoor space.

Key Takeaways

  • Miniature railroads can turn a garden into a fun activity hub.
  • Detailed landscaping enhances the backyard train experience.
  • Building your own railroad is a creative and technical hobby.

Table of Contents

Backyard Train Co.

Ever dreamed of being a train conductor in your own backyard?

Backyard Train Co. might be your ticket to that dream!

Imagine chugging along on your very own 1/8 scale model, waving to the neighbors as you pass by your meticulously crafted miniature landscape.

What can you expect from Backyard Train Co.?

Well, have you ever wanted a train model made from real steel that feels just like the big ones?

These guys specialize in creating fine diesel locomotive models in 1/8 scale, 1" scale, 4 3/4" gauge, and the ever-popular 7.5" gauge.

Perfect for those looking to build a realistic train experience in their own slice of the outdoors.

Here's a quick breakdown of the basics:

  • Scales Available: 1/8, 1", 1.5", 1.6"
  • Materials: Durable, real steel construction
  • Pricing: Starting at $14,000 for a basic, all-steel GP20 engine, ready-to-run and unpainted
  • Customization: Add paint and lettering up to three colors for an additional $750.00, gloss or matte clear coat finishes available

And just so you know, these models aren't just static showpieces.

They're designed to be ridden!

Imagine hosting a backyard barbecue and offering train rides – you'd be the talk of the town!

Need a price list?

Backyard Train Co. is currently working on that, but they've got their basics ready for any curious customer.

And don't worry, there's a range to pick from, whether you're starting out or adding to an existing collection.

Located in Denver, Colorado, they're a call or click away from starting your backyard railroad adventure.

Keep in mind, each train is a serious piece of kit – these aren't your average hobby shop finds.

So, are you ready to add a touch of locomotive magic to your backyard?

All aboard!

The Livi B. Railroad

Have you ever dreamed of a miniature world where trains chug along right in your backyard, weaving through the flowers and whistling past tiny stations?

Well, you're in luck!

The Livi B.

Railroad in Willow Glen, California, is a picture-perfect example of just that.

Picture yourself sitting back and watching a dainty locomotive navigating its way around a 250-foot track—yes, you read that right, 250 feet!

This charming setup was conceived by Evan Bautista, also known for his presence on YouTube as @trainbuilder.

Isn't it quite the personal touch to name it after his daughter?

You bet it is!

Now, let’s talk track details:

  • Type of Track: A mix of permanent and temporary sections
  • Total Length: 250 feet
  • Location: Willow Glen, CA

What's fascinating about this railroad is its ability to blend seamlessly into family life.

It's not just about the stunning visual journey; it's also about creating memories.

And let me tell you, this isn't your average toy train set.

The craftsmanship will make you pause and appreciate the effort that goes into this kind of hobby.

Wanna know more about what goes into setting up each session?

Imagine laying out tracks, just right, for an afternoon of fun—it's like playing real-life conductor, right in your own backyard.

So, if you find yourself in the vicinity of Willow Glen, why not take a peek at this quaint railroading marvel?

No doubt, it's a little oasis of joy for those who appreciate the smaller things in life—quite literally!

The Redwood Valley Railway

Ever dreamt of chugging along through a forest of towering redwoods, whistle blowing and steam puffing?

Well, you don't have to be a giant to live this experience—just head over to Redwood Valley Railway in Berkeley's Tilden Park!

Did you know?

It's not just a whimsical ride but a source of inspiration for backyard train enthusiasts.

Imagine the delightful fun of having your own detailed miniature steam trains.

Let's break down what makes Redwood Valley Railway a gem:

  • Scale and detail: These aren't your average toy trains. Each miniature train is a work of art, crafted with attention to the smallest detail. It's like beholding a living, steaming museum on tracks!
  • Ride experience: A 12-minute journey takes you on a delightful escapade through a redwood forest. It's immersive and magical, whether you're a kid or just a kid at heart.
  • Accessibility: Tickets won't break the bank—priced at $3.50 with free rides for children under 2. And yes, they've got you covered with Cash, Visa, and MasterCard accepted.
  • Operation times: On weekends, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., this miniature railway comes to life. Isn't it perfect for a family weekend adventure?
  • Location matters: Tucked at Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Lomas Cantadas Road, the railway lies at the south end of Tilden Park, boasting of picturesque views of the Bay Area.

What started in the 1950s by train lovers is now a staple for magical moments.

So, how about it?

Fancy planning your next fun outing or getting ideas to fuel your own backyard railway project?

Remember, every great journey starts with a single steam whistle blow! 🚂✨

The Grand Scales Railroad

Hey there, train enthusiast!

Have you ever dreamed of stepping outside to a locomotive wonderland right in your own backyard?

Well, the Grand Scales Railroad can turn that dream into a bustling reality.

Picture this: chuffing along on a 1/8 scale engine that's big enough to ride.

Sound like your cup of tea?

Let's chat about it!

These aren't your typical model railroads.

We're talking large-scale, people.

With gauges like 4 3/4" and 7.5" available, you're in for a ride that's got the heft and authenticity of the real deal.

Imagine the thrill of engineering your very own diesel locomotive model, built from true-to-life materials.

And when I say "built," you have options!

Whether it's a DIY project or a custom build by pros, there’s plenty of help and resources at hand.

Here's the scoop on what you might need:

  • Rails: Usually, for a small-scale setup, think about starting with about 40 feet of track.
  • Budget: Costs can be as friendly as $300, but if you're going full-throttle, some enthusiasts spend thousands to perfect their miniature railway empire.

There's a community out there brimming with folks just like you, ready to share tips and tricks on everything from laying down those first tracks to building a minute yet mighty steam engine.

So, what do you say?

Are you ready to be the conductor of your very own backyard adventure?

All aboard the backyard railroad express! 🚂

The Train Department

Ever dreamed of chugging along on your very own backyard railroad?

Well, you're in luck!

The Train Department is your go-to for scaling down those locomotive dreams into a delightful miniature reality.

They’re all about fueling your enthusiasm for backyard tracks with a range of high-quality live steam and electric model trains.

Whether you're just starting or you're a seasoned collector, they've got the goods to amplify your hobby.

Wondering where to begin?

Here's the scoop:

  • Live Steam Locomotives: Imagine the hiss of steam and the feel of real power between your fingers. These models bring the romance of the rails right to your garden.
  • Electric Trains: Fancy something a little more plug-and-play? Electric trains offer the ease of a flip-switch start—perfect for instant gratification.
  • Tracks and Accessories: All aboard the customization express! You'll find tracks to layout your railway empire, plus bridges, stations, and figurines to bring it all to life.

The best part is that regardless of what you choose, The Train Department provides support for all their products.

Stuck on a tricky installation or have questions about maintenance?

They're just a phone call or email away – talk about customer service!

Feeling pumped to start laying down tracks?

With The Train Department, your backyard adventures are just beginning.

Don't just dream about it—let your conductor's cap sit proudly on your head as you watch your very own miniature railroad become a backyard centerpiece!

Discover Live Steam

Hey there, train enthusiast!

Have you heard of Discover Live Steam?

If you're keen on bringing the thrilling experience of railroading right to your backyard, this place is a treasure trove!

It's like the one-stop-shop for everyone crazy about miniature railroads.

So, what can you find at Discover Live Steam?

A whole bunch of rideable backyard trains for sale, that's what!

Whether you’re hankering for an elegant 7.5" gauge Baldwin S12 Switcher or have your heart set on a classic, vintage amusement train and track (psst, there's one reduced to $33,000), they’ve got you covered.

Fancy building your railroad from scratch?

No problem!

They're also the perfect resources to build your railroad.

A little insider tip: They even have a collection of 1/8 scale drawings on a thumb drive perfect for live steam projects.

But it's not all just buying and selling over there.

Discover Live Steam is jam-packed with articles, how-tos, and even a forum where you can chat with fellow enthusiasts.

You know what they say, "Sharing is caring," and what better way to level up your hobby than sharing tips and stories?

A few things catch the eye like their Backyard Track System—so subtle it barely shows on your lawn, yet strong enough to withstand being mowed over.

And for those looking to sell or expand their collection, Discover Live Steam's For Sale Page is the go-to spot, offering more rideable trains than you can shake a conductor's hat at.

To sum it up, whether you're starting out or already have your own little railway empire, Discover Live Steam is your golden ticket.

All aboard the hobby express! 🚂

The Great Northern & Cascade Railway

Ever imagined having a slice of railway history buzzing around your very own backyard?

Well, pack your conductor's hat because The Great Northern & Cascade Railway is more than just a miniature train ride; it's a source of backyard railroad wonder!

Tucked away in Skykomish, Washington, this little gem operates on 7.5-inch gauge tracks, stretching over a spectacular 4,800 feet of hand-laid rails.

Just like your dream garden setup, the railway brings history to life with a fleet that includes an electric engine, a trusty diesel, and even guest steam locomotives.

Imagine sitting atop one of the five or six cars, chugging along through beautifully landscaped settings—inspiring, right?

Here's what you'll find:

  • Free Train Rides: Absolutely! Who doesn't love freebies?
  • Scenic Layout: Painstakingly detailed, just as you would in your backyard.
  • Museum & Souvenir Shop: Grab a memento or delve into railway lore.
  • Family-Friendly: It's an all-ages adventure.

Running adjacent to the BNSF mainline, it not only offers an authentic rail experience but also doubles as a museum and gift shop housed in an historic depot.

Picture-perfect with its clean areas and sheltered picnic spots, it's the kind of place you'd stop to stretch your legs during a road trip and end up staying for the sheer charm.

So, whether you're a train enthusiast looking for inspiration or just someone who appreciates the intricacies of miniaturized grandeur, The Great Northern & Cascade Railway is a must-visit.

Who knows?

You might even leave with a blueprint in mind for your own backyard railway!

All aboard?

The Train Mountain Railroad

Ever imagined riding through a pine-scented forest on a miniature train?

You don't need to shrink yourself, just head over to Train Mountain in Chiloquin, Oregon!

With 36 miles of tiny tracks, this place isn't just a novelty; it's a full-scale escape for model train enthusiasts like you and me.

Let's talk numbers for a second – this isn't your run-of-the-mill backyard setup.

Train Mountain boasts a 2,300-acre wonderland of meticulously maintained 7.5-inch gauge track.

That's like setting up a track that could lace its way throughout Central Park!

  • Miniature marvel: Yes, it’s officially the largest model railroad, recognized by none other than the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Forest forays: Imagine winding through a forest that's all your own. Except, you know, it's also everyone else's who visits. But hey, sharing is caring!

So, what can you glean from Train Mountain for your backyard empire?

It's all about dreaming big (or should I say, small in scale but large in scope?).

  1. Design: Think about how your tracks meander through your available space – be it a humble backyard or a sprawling garden.
  2. Construction: Study how they build durable, weatherproof tracks. Rain or shine, your mini trains need to keep chugging along!

Remember, it's not just about laying tracks; it's about crafting adventures.

Train Mountain combines locomotive love with the great outdoors.

Whether you're a seasoned builder or just starting out, there's inspiration at every turn and tunnel.

So, grab your conductor's hat, and let's get to planning your mini railroad masterpiece!

Miniature Train Company

Hey there, train enthusiast!

Did you know Miniature Train Company (MTC) was like a magical workshop for backyard railroads?

Crafting miniature trains since the mid-20th century, MTC gave many dads and hobbyists the thrill of owning a piece of history.

Ever fancy a ride on your own steel stallion?

MTC models are known for their robust construction and historical charm.

They're not just toys; they're staples for any serious collector.

You might even stumble upon a 1940s G-16 model.

Picture this: a splendid find with a story to tell—a genuine antique vibe for your backyard!

So, what can you do with a Mini Train in your backyard?


Connect with a vibrant community on Facebook groups, snagging tips and tricks or perhaps a rare treasure for sale.

Imagine chatting with fellow mini train buffs, exchanging stories, or showing off your latest backyard track extensions.

Whether you’re a fan of G12s, stalwart E10s, or sleek S16s, it's the perfect place to mingle with those who share your passion.

If you’re thinking to get your hands dirty, consider this: some MTC enthusiasts even craft DIY kits.

Yes, you could build your very own railroad.

Talk about a conversation starter for your next barbecue event!

Remember the joy of your first model train circling under the Christmas tree?

That’s the spirit of MTC—nostalgia on rails.

Keep an eye out at auctions and sales posts; you never know when you might clinch a deal on a classic G-16 or perhaps find a cozy conversation on an enthusiast's group.

Happy railroading!

The Backyard Railroaders

Have you ever dreamt of chugging along through your own garden, waving to your family as you pass by each loop and tunnel?

Now, imagine that’s not a distant dream, but a hobby you could actually dive into—welcome to the world of backyard railroading!

Backyard railroading is more than just a pastime; it's a vibrant community of enthusiasts who share a love for mini trains and the tracks they run on.

Whether your backyard empire spans a cozy 40 feet or stretches out to a massive 550 feet mirroring the layout of a state, you're part of a group that thrives on creativity and a collective passion for tiny trains.

Materials to Get Started:

  • Rails: You'll need enough for the size of your track. 40-foot tracks are a good start.
  • Maintenance Tools: For easy up-keep, without the complexities.

It's not just about owning a miniature version of a locomotive; it’s about building a network of tracks, landscaping around it, and sometimes connecting with others who share the thrill.

At the heart, you're creating memories and a hands-on experience that brings joy to friends and family at gatherings.

Did you know?

There's a subreddit dedicated to backyard railroading!

Fellow hobbyists are sharing their experiences there, making it a cozy corner on the internet filled with advice, project photos, and stories of personal railroads that carve through backyards just like yours.

If you're worried about the technical side, let's ease that concern.

Maintenance can be simple, with many opting for low-effort track systems.

Plus, with varying budgets, your own choo-choo adventure could start with as little as $300.

Curious about others' setups?

Take Russ and Barb Larson’s railroad for example, a 90 feet by 30 feet wonder nestled in their Waukesha County home, or the Snake River Railroad, inspired by the Union Pacific and designed around natural yard features.

So, what do you say?

Ready to join the ranks of backyard railroaders?

All aboard! 🚂


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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