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Grand Central Railroad

Updated on March 24, 2014

Grand Central Railroad - Surprise, Arizona

Sun City Grand, Surprise, Arizona

VISITOR'S INFORMATION

THANK YOU for visiting the Sun City Grand Garden Railroad. This railroad was created in 2004 at great personal expense and countless hours of labor by about ten residents who are part of the SCG Railroad Interest Group. We now have over 30 members. Del Webb/Pulte provided this location for our hobby endeavor and your viewing pleasure.

The railroad is permanent. The track is laid on ballast exactly like a full-size railroad. It is totally weatherproof and operated by low voltage electricity. Other than removing debris and periodic cleaning, the rails require minimal maintenance. Our trains are referred to as "G" gauge for Garden size. They are about twice as large as O gauge Lionel trains and several times larger than HO gauge. We have over 1,900 feet of track.

Any trains you see running here are brought by our members and taken home at the end of the day. They may cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars. A few non-functional inexpensive trains are left out for display purposes. Our model buildings are weatherproof and also remain on the railroad site.

Yes, we do worry about theft and vandalism. Thus, we rely on you, our supportive audience to look after our little railroad and report any suspicious activity, especially during nighttime hours.

Our Community Garden Railroad is indeed a labor of love. Please remain on the sidewalk since trains, track and model structures are fragile. We also request that you supervise your grandchildren.

We operate on warm winter afternoons or cool summer mornings. By popular demand, we try to run every Thursday, Friday and possibly Saturday weather permitting. However, we too have spouses, families and other commitments. So, forgive us, if we are not here on these days and enjoy the trains when you do catch them running.

We are often told how much you appreciate the railroad and ask how you can help us grow and improve. Here's how...

First, join in the fun by becoming a member of our railroad. We are primarily a social, friendly group. We welcome beginners. You can purchase your first train for under $250, far cheaper than many hobbies.

Second, share your delight with CAM and SCG Community leaders. Perhaps suggest to them that little railroads might even be allowed in our own back yards.

Third, help us grow and improve the railroad by making a cash donation to our "Donation Caboose." We specifically need money to add buildings to create a typical miniature Western town. We also want to acquire miniature people, vehicles and farm animals as well as develop seasonal displays. Your support can result in even more enjoyment from your SCG Garden Railroad. Also remember that we provide countless hours of educational entertainment for your visiting grandchildren. Quality childcare in today's world is always expensive!

You can visit our Official Website by clicking below:

Official Website: Grand Central Railroad

April 2011 Grand Times

April 2011 Grand Times
April 2011 Grand Times

Atticus rides the Train - Little Atticus on the Train

The PBS show "Tracks Ahead" - Video segment of Dennis Sirrine's railroad

Many thanks to everyone who made my friend, Dennis Sirrine, feel so welcome at the operating session of the Grand Central Railroad. Dennis had a great time, and hopes that you all can come visit him in Mesa in the near future.

Again, many thanks to all for the help and warm welcome you provided.

Dave Baule

This is a video segment that was shot and produced by the PBS show "Tracks Ahead" for their upcoming season which airs January 2009. There are 14 shows

(1 each week, check showtimes in your area), and each show has 4 segments, all dealing with TRAINS!

This particular segment on my railroad was shot by "Tracks Ahead" in April of 2008 during the G Scale National Convention which was held in the Phoenix area. I think the segment turned out really nice and I would like to share it with you, 4 months before it airs on PBS. By the way, the young man and three small kids are my son and his three children (my grandkids), and they have a great love for trains just like me. They love to come over and play trains with me! They will probably inherit this wonderful layout when I am long gone.

I hope you enjoy this video. If you have any comments about what you see, please feel free to contact me.

Have fun!

Dennis Sirrine

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2010-2011 Run Schedule

This schedule shows who will be running their train on each day

This picture was painted by my Dad (H Mendell Smith) before he passed away in April 2010.

THURSDAY ~ 9:00 to 11:00 am

Jim Miller

Phil Nelson

Bob Little

Erv Nemec

Jerry Whitton

George Tolar

Bob Smith

FRIDAY ~ 9:00 to 11:00 am

Donn Nelson

Ron Underwood

Joe Wiesman

Rick Gamble

Harry M Smith

Carl Robertson

Bob Grimes

Tom Butler

SATURDAY ~ 9:00 to 11:00 am

John Soine

Dave Bone

George Tolar

Gary Littrell

Bill Boehm

Gary Jueckstock

Bob Grimes

New YouTube Videos of Grand Central Railroad

Grand Central Railroad Membership Roster

If you are a member of the Grand Central Railroad Club and would like a copy of the official Grand Central Railroad Roster,

just send your request by E-mail to: hmsmithtravel@hotmail.com

And I will send you the attachment file by E-mail.

Harry M Smith

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealer

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealer
Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Dealer

PAT METHENY GROUP - Last Train Home (Railway Version)

When was the last time you got shivers down your spine to watch a stupid train with a soundtrack. Crank it up if it hasn't happened to you, and watch this again; and I guarantee you will feel alive again! You will see the beauty of green in the states!! Sing along too..it helps with the shivers..Yeah baby!! travling by train! Wooot!

Wunderland in 5 Minutes - Miniatur Wunderland cannot be explored in a couple of minutes...

http://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/exhibit/video/5...

Many visitors show up early in the morning and leave in the very last minute, only to come back next morning. Miniatur Wunderland cannot be explored in a couple of minutes. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to show you Wunderland in a 5 minute movie, but we can at least give your some impressions:

The Engine House donated by Ron Underwood

The Engine House donated by Ron Underwood
The Engine House donated by Ron Underwood

Our trains are referred to as "G" gauge for Garden size

Some may ask, 'Is the garden railroad similar to an indoor railroad?'

At its most basic level, it works just like an indoor railway, including turnouts and turntables. However, special considerations must be taken for everything from sunlight and water to dirt and leaves, and even wildlife. The distance covered also means that electrical resistance in and between sections is much higher, and electrical power will tend to drop off at the far end.

To eliminate this, some are rigged to use RC car parts such as rechargeable batteries. Others even use live steam and run as a real steam locomotive would. The steam can be generated from a variety of sources, ranging from messy solid pellet (i.e. methenamine) or sterno-type fuel, through clean-burning butane gas, to prototypical coal burners. Live steam is particularly widespread amongst 16mm scale garden railway enthusiasts.

Many also have digital audio on-board, so they sound like a real train. They can also use Digital Command Control or other similar systems, though dirty outdoor track can cause less of a problem with signal than with simple DC power. This is because DCC puts the full voltage on the rails at all times. There are many benefits of DCC when compared to DC analog systems.

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The North Side of the Grand Central Railroad is Developing Nicely

Grand Central Railroad is collecting photographs

The North Side of the Grand Central Railroad is Developing Nicely

Grand Central Railroad is collecting photographs for the 2011 April Grand Times cover. Here are two photos that show some of the new buildings on the north side of the layout.

In this photo you can see the new passenger station; in the background you can also see the coaling tower that George built from scratch, and the water tower purchased from Eaglewings. The water tower was painted by George and Bob. The train in the foreground is Jim Miller's "Sumpter Valley Ry 2662 Mallet" passing the new railroad station with 10 logging cars.

The picture below shows the new passenger station set in place; you can also see the engine house donated by Ron Underwood and the new houses that were recently purchased.

AS you can see, the North side of the new layout is developing nicely.

Kids love to watch the trains

Kids love to watch the trains
Kids love to watch the trains
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Beautiful train paintings

American artist Christopher P. Jenkins

Trainsshipsplanes on FaceBook

This is the Facebook page of American artist Christopher P. Jenkins. I specialize in painting transportation machines, including trains, ships, and airplanes.

Go to this facebook page for the first pictures of new paintings.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/trainsshipsplanes/269841562878

The location this picture represents is near Thistle, KS

CRI&P FA units on the roll across Kansas

18 x 24 inches, oil on stretched canvas

The painting below is:

M & STL on the Prairie

by American artist Christopher P. Jenkins

M & STL on the Prairie

M & STL on the Prairie
M & STL on the Prairie

The Railroad is Permanent

The Design of a Typical Garden Raioroad

Buildings are also often used in a garden railway, though they too must be constructed to withstand the weather. Train stations and freight depots are popular, some even building whole towns trackside. The loco shed is a common place to store a locomotive (or the whole train) when not in use.

Other geographic features are used, such as a small pond to represent a lake, rocks for boulders, or tunnels through "mountains" or under stairways. Tunnels can be a particular challenge, because everything from cats to raccoons and more like to hide in them, particularly to get out of the rain or heat, sometimes even to sleep, nest, or hibernate. A derailment inside a tunnel can also be permanent if careful planning is not done to ensure that it can be reached by access panels (trapdoors) or at arm's length from either end.

A frequent theme is the railway in an idealised urban or rural environment, so it is often found in the context of a model village. Some Garden Railways work opposite to the model village style and opt more for a railway in the garden, where the railways runs amongst normal plants, not in scale with the railway. These sort of railway designs allow for large scale planting and many gardeners have the railway as a secondary hobby to gardening.

Joe Weisman

Joe Weisman
Joe Weisman

Ron Underwood

Ron Underwood
Ron Underwood

Dual Engines

Dual Engines
Dual Engines

BNSF

BNSF
BNSF

Polaroid of US Marine and Santa Fe

Polaroid of US Marine and Santa Fe
Polaroid of US Marine and Santa Fe

Marine Military Train

Marine Military Train
Marine Military Train

Santa Fe

Santa Fe
Santa Fe

U S Marine Corps

U S Marine Corps
U S Marine Corps

Grand Central Railroad

The Community Garden Railroad of Sun City Grand

Thank you for your interest in the Grand Central Railroad. We encourage you to join, run trains and socialize with others who share your interest. Here is some important information for you to understand and accept before joining our group.

HISTORY -- This railroad was started inb December 2003 primarily through the efforts and donations of the three founding members. A number of other individuals also provided contributions, labor, encouragement and moral support for this venture. A considerable amount of work, great personal expense and much organizational planning time went into obtaining our site from Del Webb/Pulte, establishing the basic loop system and creating this group.

AFFILIATION -- We are a Sun City Grand Interest Group recognized by CAM (COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGEMENT) and bound to a legal agreement with CAM under which we occupy our railroad site.

PURPOSE -- It is our goal to provide an interesting, large layout on which members can run their own G scale trains as well as work on track and scenery projects. We also desire to enable Sun City Grand residents and their visitors to view garden railroading not only during seasonal holiday displays, but throughout the entire year.

Did you ever wish you could ride on a toy train? - Now you can go for a ride on my Garden Railroad

I always wondered what it would be like to ride in one of the toy trains. So I decided to design a flatcar for my Garden train that would transport a Sony Digital Camcorder. The result is a video of "Track number two" at the Sun City Grand Garden Railroad Club. Enjoy the ride!

Grand Central Railroad LOGO

Grand Central Railroad LOGO
Grand Central Railroad LOGO

Dave Bone: Grand Central Railroad President

Dave Bone: Grand Central Railroad President
Dave Bone: Grand Central Railroad President
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New Station for the White House

The dimensions of the model are 2'10" long x 2'3" wide x 2'8" tall.

Dave Bone said, "Attached is a picture of the train station model Eaglewings built for the 2010 White House Christmas tree layout. The second photo is of the real station located in the state of Maryland. The dimensions of the model are 2'10" long x 2'3" wide x 2'8" tall."

Tom Butler said, "The prototype is the station at Point of Rocks, a junction on the Baltimore and Ohio, west of The Washington, DC area. When I lived in the DC area back in the '70's, I visited the site several times. The area is very picturesque."

Point of Rocks, Maryland, USA

Point of Rocks is a passenger station stop on the MARC Brunswick Line. The station, designed by E. Francis Baldwin, was built by the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad and completed in 1876. Marking the junction between CSX's Metropolitan Subdivision (the current main line) and the Old Main Line Subdivision, it remains one of the former B&O's signature landmarks, and is a popular subject of railroad photography.

Eaglewings Iron Craft has recreated this magnificent building in a limited edition of 100, in 1/24th scale. The replica measures 34 inches by 25 inches by 31 inches tall. Each building will be numbered, and a certificate of authenticity will be provided with each sale; the buyer receives the benefit of a truly magnificent recreation of the Point of Rocks Train Station, and Eaglewings Iron Craft's commitment to quality.

To order please call Eaglewings at: 602-276-8101

The real station located in the state of Maryland

The real station located in the state of Maryland
The real station located in the state of Maryland

Return to the Old West via the Grand Canyon Railway

It wasn’t the cowboys and it wasn’t the cavalry, but the iron horse that finally conquered the West’s great wilderness. And there’s no better example of hidden treasures revealed by the locomotive’s journey west than the Grand Canyon.

While the canyon’s potential was realized as early as the 1880s, the journey at the time was difficult to say the least. The remoteness of the area would have sealed its fate as merely a very deep hole in the earth marked on a map, had it not been for William Owen “Buckey” O’Niell and his grand visions of a railroad to the canyon.

O’Neill, who was mayor of Prescott at the time, owned several mineral claims and had built a substantial cabin on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. But while he’d found his wealth, he wasn’t able to unlock it from the canyon due to the high cost of transporting the ore. A man of action, he lobbied for nearly five years before securing the funding for the Railway.

On September 17, 1901, O’Neill’s vision became a reality when the first steam train took passengers and supplies from Williams, Arizona, to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The Railway revolutionized the canyon, sharing its natural wonder with the general public. In its heyday, Grand Canyon Railway – then a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe Railway Company –

Had two scheduled arrivals per day at the South Rim, but as many as six special trains might also arrive at the Grand Canyon in one day.

Notable passengers included President Theodore Roosevelt, President William Howard Taft, John Muir, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, King Paul and Queen Fredericka of Greece, President Dwight David Eisenhower, Clark Gable, Candice Bergen, Jimmy Durante, Doris Day, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater and Arizona Governor Rose Mofford.

It was the preferred method of travel until the advent of the automobile. And as America fell in love with the automobile, the locomotive’s romantic wail faded like an Arizona sunset.

The final rays of golden sunlight disappeared June 30, 1968 as Train No. 14, a diesel locomotive pulling only one baggage car and one coach car, left Grand Canyon Depot with just three people aboard. Beginning the 65-mile trek to Williams, the engineer gave the horn two short blasts heard only by those aboard and canyon wildlife. No one was present to send the train off, or to celebrate the contributions the Railway had made.

As the last passenger train traveled out of sight, the tracks grew quiet and stayed that way for nearly 20 years.

The World's Largest Model Railroad... - This is a video of the largest model railway in the world and one of the most successful permanent exhibitions in German

Books Available from Amazon - How to start your own Garden Railroad

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The National Christmas Tree Railroad

Point of Rocks at "The National Christmas Tree Display"

The National Christmas Tree Railroad

Point of Rocks at "The National Christmas Tree Display"

We just got some pictures back from the guys at "The National Christmas Tree Railroad" And as promised we are glad to share them with you ... enjoy:

I would like to thank Jack from "The National Christmas Tree Railroad" for the photos and the great job he did decorating and setting up his Point of Rocks Replica. We would like to hear your comments or questions please feel free to email us at: info@eaglewingsironcraft.com . We also have other Eaglewings structures on display at this layout. We'll keep posting pictures as they become available.

The National Christmas Tree Railroad View A

The National Christmas Tree Railroad View A
The National Christmas Tree Railroad View A

The National Christmas Tree Railroad view B

The National Christmas Tree Railroad view B
The National Christmas Tree Railroad view B

Picture of the Actual Point of Rocks Trains Station

Picture of the Actual Point of Rocks Trains Station
Picture of the Actual Point of Rocks Trains Station

National Christmas Tree Polaroid 01

National Christmas Tree Polaroid 01
National Christmas Tree Polaroid 01

National Christmas Tree Polaroid 02

National Christmas Tree Polaroid 02
National Christmas Tree Polaroid 02

Garden Railroad - Night Run - This is What a Typical Garden Railroad Looks Like at Night

Grand Canyon Railroad 2010

Grand Canyon Railroad 2010
Grand Canyon Railroad 2010

Grand Canyon Railroad Diesel Engines

Grand Canyon Railroad Diesel Engines
Grand Canyon Railroad Diesel Engines

Grand Canyon Railroad Passenger Cars

Grand Canyon Railroad Passenger Cars
Grand Canyon Railroad Passenger Cars

Grand Canyon Railroad, All Aboard

Grand Canyon Railroad, All Aboard
Grand Canyon Railroad, All Aboard

Grand Canyon Railroad, Dining and ObservationCar

Grand Canyon Railroad, Dining and ObservationCar
Grand Canyon Railroad, Dining and ObservationCar

Railroad Crossing

Railroad Crossing
Railroad Crossing

Railroading

At the Grand Railroad Park, located between the Chaparral Center and the tennis courts, trains run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9-11:00 a.m. However, members may run their trains at any time of the year, day or night. All homeowners in Sun City Grand are invited to join. This great group has fun running trains for all ages. E-mail Donn Nelson at neltrain@worldnet.att.net

This site and all contents copyright ©2014

H M Smith. All rights reserved.

E-mail changes or corrections to: Harry M Smith, Web Master -- hmsmithtravel@hotmail.com

Lots and Lots of Toy Trains - This kids DVD video makes a great gift...

It's the greatest toy train DVD adventure ever produced! No other one on the market is better! Visit www.lotsoftoytrains.com or call Toll-Free 888-300-3455 - This kids DVD video makes a great gift.

Feedback from Squidoo fans

Reader Feedback from Genjud

Love your lens. My brother has a garden railroad in Indiana. It takes up his whole back yard. In July he had an open house and had 65 visitors attend. He even was written up in the local newspaper back there. I always enjoy seeing his latest additions when I go home for a visit.

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    • Cop-Speak profile image
      Author

      Smitty 3 years ago from Arizona

      From: Sally

      Sent: Sunday, December 01, 2013 1:02 PM

      To: Dave Bone

      Subject: thanks for a great evening

      Actually, ANOTHER great evening -- there's just no way to express what delight you Railroaders give us when you do a night run.

      Part of the fun for us is seeing our friend Dave at work -- you make it come alive and personal. No kid with a train set ever looked happier than you do out there.

      Hope you will pass along our gratitude to all the fellows for putting these shows on for all of us --

      Looking forward to the Christmas run!!!

      Sally & Dick

      Sally Everett & Dick Walsh

      19204 N Hunters Run

      Surprise, Az 85387

      623-594-6820

    • Cop-Speak profile image
      Author

      Smitty 3 years ago from Arizona

      From: Sally

      Sent: Sunday, December 01, 2013 1:02 PM

      To: Dave Bone

      Subject: thanks for a great evening

      Actually, ANOTHER great evening -- there's just no way to express what delight you Railroaders give us when you do a night run.

      Part of the fun for us is seeing our friend Dave at work -- you make it come alive and personal. No kid with a train set ever looked happier than you do out there.

      Hope you will pass along our gratitude to all the fellows for putting these shows on for all of us --

      Looking forward to the Christmas run!!!

      Sally & Dick

      Sally Everett & Dick Walsh

      19204 N Hunters Run

      Surprise, Az 85387

      623-594-6820

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 5 years ago

      Always loved trains and everything to do with them.

    • profile image

      moonlitta 5 years ago

      Will trains ever be a thing of the past? I don't think so. Your garden trains collection is a living proof.

    • Genjud profile image

      Genjud 6 years ago

      Love your lens. My brother has a garden railroad in Indiana. It takes up his whole back yard. In July he had an open house and had 65 visitors attend. He even was written up in the local newspaper back there. I always enjoy seeing his latest additions when I go home for a visit.

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 6 years ago from Corona, CA

      Love the trains. Wish I could put one in my backyard. Great lens!

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 6 years ago

      I love trains and I sure would love to visit the Miniatur Wonderland. What a treat to see that layout! Nice lens and many thumbs up!

    • Sami4u LM profile image

      Sami4u LM 6 years ago

      Hi,

      A sprinkling of Angel Dust for Christmas :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great idea putting this all together. Very Nice!

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 6 years ago

      What a wonderful lens. I have been several times in the Miniatur Wonderland in Hamburg, Germany and it is awesome to see such an installation in real life.

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 7 years ago

      Fun lens! Looks like great fun!

    • profile image

      sjfine 7 years ago

      Nice story - reminds me of the sadness when we found out my mother gave away a box of Lionel trains to our cleaning lady. What is junk to one person is a treasure to another. I just hope Mable saw the value in the gift

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great read, 5***** and favorited.

      Best wishes.

      Ftuley

    • JollyvilleChick profile image

      JollyvilleChick 7 years ago

      Really well done lens. Nice photos and videos. Thanks for putting it all together.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Wonderful story. I love mini railways and we have a model railway exhibition in Canberra every year. 5* and fave

    • funwithtrains lm profile image

      funwithtrains lm 8 years ago

      Awesome garden railroad, and great lens -- 5 stars from me! Thanks for visiting my lens on LGB Trains.

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 8 years ago

      nice lens !!

    • Teddi14 LM profile image

      Teddi14 LM 8 years ago

      We have a railroad something like this near me. It is called Hesston Steam Museum at http://www.hesston.org/events.html You can ride on a small train too. My son loved it when he went a few years ago.

    • tonyab lm profile image

      tonyab lm 8 years ago

      We have a fun place here in Colorado called "Tiny Town" that I take my son to - this reminds me a lot of this. Fun lens! =)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      That is so cool! My husband has his old American Flyer's but he hasn't done anything with them. I'd love to see them set up on a track and running.

      Great lens

      Lizzy