About

IN THE BEGINNING

It was 1993 when two London couples happened to be in Chatham at a garden railroad open house. They did not know each other but started chatting and discovered they both had g-scale layouts. It was exciting to realize that someone else in London had the same hobby. Arrangements were made to visit each others homes and check out the backyard creations. The two couples were soon good friends and as time went by they began to talk about starting a club so they could share this exciting hobby even more. The London Garden Railroad Society was formed in 1995 with a small but optimistic membership. Gradually word got around and other people started to join.

about01OPEN HOUSES

In 1996 a display was held early one Saturday morning at Coyle’s Store north of Tillsonburg. LGRS members just laid some track on the grass and ran a large scale train! They handed out maps to some layouts that would be open that same afternoon in London and thus was our first Open House. In 1997 the second Open House was a big success with nine layouts available to see. We opened for both Saturday and Sunday and had large crowds. Word was spreading about this wonderful new hobby, one year over 200 people visited our layouts. A two day event was too exhausting though so we smartened up and went back to one day.

PARKWOOD

Over the next ten years the club membership was steady, between 15 or 20 couples who really enjoyed the hobby. In 2005 we were asked by Parkwood Hospital in London to help them plan and install a therapeutic railroad garden for the use of their patients and residents. This was a huge undertaking but one that has given joy and satisfaction to all concerned. The garden was dedicated in October that year and our members continue to volunteer with both maintenance tasks and running schedules in the summer months. We are lucky to be able to have our winter meetings at the hospital in a nice big room with work tables and a full kitchen.  See some photos in our ‘Photo Gallery’.

about02NOW

In 2008 we decided to stop the open house tradition for a while, in favour of other activities, one of which was a multi-club bus tour to “Entertrainment Junction” in Cincinnati. We also decided to tour more amongst our own layouts and those of local clubs as well as visit train attractions around Ontario. We’ve had a lot of fun and now alternate open house years with quieter years featuring other events. In 2013 we assisted another senior residential home to establish an outdoor train layout that was dedicated in the spring of 2014.  We also wanted some sort of portable display, so we built individual ‘modules’ that link to form enough track to run a small train around.  One member has also retrofitted a camping trailer so that we can use it as a mobile display.  We’re having fun at train shows, fairs, steam shows etc. with our ‘On the Road’ displays. See more pictures in the ‘Photo Gallery’.

THE CLUB

Our goal as a club is to provide information, assistance, and fellowship to the large scale model railfan. We meet at 2 pm on the fourth Sunday monthly, year round except February and December. In the good weather months we meet at the home of one of our members. Some meetings may be joint with another club in Ontario. Our goal is to keep it simple and have fun. Men and women are both welcomed as we consider this a family hobby. We meet, converse, plan outings, exchange ideas, participate in clinics, displays, or workshops and run trains. Each meeting ends with a pot luck dinner. We have excellent creative cooks but the best dish of all is always the fellowship! We all go home recharged and can’t wait till we meet again the next month.

about03

INFORMATION

If you would like information regarding membership in this club please contact:

caseyjones@rogers.com

Any other questions or inquiries may be directed to:

mctrains@rogers.com

We would be pleased to have you as a guest at one of our meetings. Should you decide to become part of the group our yearly dues are $30 per couple, $15 single. A love of trains is the only prerequisite to membership.