The joy of a railroad in the garden

“Everybody needs a passion,” said Chris Reid’s wife, Rosemary, pointing out a bookcase full of train books. Reid found his a long time ago as a small boy growing up in England, and it continues to bring joy to his life today.

That’s why he’s excited to share information about the upcoming Northern Colorado Garden Railroaders’ annual “open day” on July 18 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., scheduled to coincide with National Garden Railroad Convention in Denver. Nine garden railroads in Fort Collins and Loveland will be open to the public free of charge. Visitors may donate to the support of the Fort Collins Municipal Railway that operates the Mountain Avenue trolley with volunteer labor and no support from the city. Any canned goods contributed will be donated to the Loveland House of Neighborly Service.

“The trolley provides a historic link to Fort Collins’ past and is an appropriate recipient of funds from a railroad club,” Reid said. NCGR meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of every month at one of the Fort Collins public libraries in winter and at the home of a member in the summer. New members, whether novices or experts, are always welcome.

Founded in 1999, NCGR has a current membership of 40 families from Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley and the surrounding communities. About half have operational railroads either indoors or in gardens, and more are under construction.

Reid appreciates garden railroading because it enhances an otherwise ordinary garden by adding sound and movement, invites interest from friends, family and neighbors and is a dynamic display, changing with the seasons.

Garden railroads can be viewed at the following locations on July 18.

Fort Collins:
Bruce and Nancy Maxwell, 1500 Wagon Tongue Road
Mark Goldrich and Prue Kaley, 1212 Clark St.
Chris and Rosemary Reid, 215 Whedbee St.
The Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave.
Robert and Sally Linton, 1501 Peterson St.
Fred and Sheilah Mann, 1713 Eastwood

Bob and Nancy Ferrero, 1779 Red Cliff Place
Gary and Brenda Wood, 755W. 10th St.
Timberlane Farm Museum, 2306 East First St.

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