Selected Images of Garden Railroad Conventions
Many garden railroaders belong to local clubs, which periodically hold open houses, giving members of the club the opportunity to visit the garden railroads of selected other members. Frequently, the clubs also have some sort of modular layout that can be set up at local train and hobby shows, children’s hospitals, or local malls to promote both garden railroading in general and the club in particular.
Each year, one garden railroad club is selected to host a national convention, inviting all garden railroaders (in the world) to come to their city and spend time visiting select layouts of the club members and visiting local railroad-centric attractions such as railroad museums and full-sized tourist railroads. These national conventions started in Denver in 1982 and continue today. I have been to a number of these, but not recently.
There is also another national club that also holds conventions annually. This is the Big Train Operators Club, or simply BTO, founded in 1978. The BTO conventions are more family oriented. There are seldom private garden railroads to visit and the attractions visited are less likely to be railroad oriented. I have been to two of these and a good time was had by all.
This list includes all the gatherings of garden railroaders that I have attended and documented. It includes images of garden railroads, railroad museums, tourist railroads, and other attractions visited at those gatherings.