Trains Galore · 14 September 2007

During the weekend of August 11 and 12, we took a tour of railways around the Puget Sound area. These were not ordinary railways though. These railways were in people’s backyards and were part of the Puget Sound Garden Railway Society’s 2007 Public Days. For our family, it was one of those must attend events because our youngest son is a train nut. We ended up seeing 6 of the 11 railways that were open to the public.

On Saturday, we went to railways from Redmond to Marysville and on Sunday, we went to a local railway just outside Monroe. The hosts and helpers from the Puget Sound Garden Railway Society were as excited about trains as my kids were. I guess I should have known that adults could be so involved in trains because we went to a train show at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds a couple years ago. All the exhibitors there were adults too.

The excitement of our kids was a significant part of our trip around the Puget Sound garden railways. However, the greatest aspect of the self-guided tour was that there was something for every member of our family during the weekend event.

Our younger two boys could barely be held in check. They were so excited that they did not want to leave the first railway. They could have spent hours there just watching the trains go around the tracks. Actually, they were not satisfied just watching the trains. They had to follow the trains and walk beside the tracks. They had to get ahead of the trains and watch them come down the line. They were so excited that we could hardly leave any of the railways until they knew we were going to see another.

Naturally, our teenager just ho-hummed at all of the railways. Well, almost all. When we got to the Everett & Monte Cristo Railway in Edmonds, his eyes lit up. The miniatures there were amazing. The buildings of the town were all made from scratch with incredible detail. The boys pointed out that there were even outhouses in the town. I thought the miniatures at all of the railways were pretty cool but anything that elicits excitement from a teenager is something really special.

My wife liked the gardens. There were trees and bushes and rocks and ponds. The railways took up considerable space and were often the focus of the yards but the plants and other landscaping complemented both the railways and the homes. At one of the sites, I heard a man say to another visitor that a book on how to take care of Japanese bonsai (miniature trees and bushes) was a must for the plants in his railroad. And the miniature plants looked like old growth trees at the Drizzle and Downpour Railroad.

I enjoyed the whole trip once we got on the road. Seeing the wonder in the boys’ eyes as they marveled at the trains and the miniatures. Listening to my wife talk to people about ponds and trees and names of plants. Imagining what it would be like to have a part of my own garden, rather, my wife’s garden, dedicated to bonsai (but probably without trains). Looking at some of the marvelous miniatures, especially those made from scratch. Even traveling from place to place was part of the fun for me.

Even though the idea to see The Beaver Cove Railway, Carousel Line, Everett & Monte Cristo Railway, Lincoln Pinnacle Railway, Drizzle and Downpour Railroad, and The BJ & J Garden Railroad was mainly to give our youngest a special summer treat, our whole family had a good time. I probably will not become a member of the Puget Sound Garden Railway Society but when he gets his own house and garden, I am sure our youngest son will join.

© 2007 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Published 04 October 2007 in The RiverCurrentNews


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