Largest Outdoor G Scale Operation

On Monday, January 31st, 2011, in Featured Layout, Garden Railway Friends, Model Railroading, Railroading, by Al Gengler
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A sneak peek at Taltree Railway Garden. Here is a first look at one of the largest outdoor G Scale operations in the United States. The completed Railway Garden at Taltree will cover over 2.5 acres of the Arboretum in Valparaiso Indiana.

Entry to the Railway Garden is through a 1920s-era railroad depot with vintage-style benches and panoramic views of the garden. Mountains, towers, bridges, tunnels and vignettes will transformed the landscape behind the depot into a trip through the steam era of the American railroads.

A wide-range of landscapes carved into the Taltree Railway Garden will show an exciting balance of gardens and a variety of highly detailed and accurate vignettes depicting historical scenes and events. Members of the IGRS participated in the development and construction of this Botanic venue.

The Taltree Railway Garden is expected to open to the public in May of 2011.

Become an IGRS Branch Line Member today! Get Directions to Samuelson’s Garden Center.

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12 Responses to Largest Outdoor G Scale Operation

  1. Christine Aylesworth says:

    Hello, Al — I work as a horticulturist on the estate side of the gardens at Taltree Arboretum. I have been watching the development of this model railroad and am looking forward to the grand opening this spring. I just wanted to complement you for the great video and post of the new Railway Garden at Taltree. This sneak peek should really help to get people interested.

    Thanks to you and all the volunteers for the many, many hours of work to make this whole project come to life.

    Christine Aylesworth
    Taltree Estate Horticulturist

    • Woody says:


      The Taltree Railway Garden looks great! Hope the snow is not a hindering factor. I would love to see the site when I come up to Illinois – Indiana in October. I have no doubt that your artistic and display talents will be incorporated into the finished display.


  2. Rob Bolton says:

    What a remarkable display of engineering, design, and creativity. Well done.

    Rob Bolton

  3. Dennis Rayon says:

    Hello Al,

    It sure has come a long ways since June. I am excited about seeing it again at a later date. Hope I get the oppurtunity to see it before the Garden Railroad Convention in Chicago in 2012. The rock work and bridges really look great! I hope the success of this adventure exceeds the
    owners expectations.

    Keep us posted of new photos and videos.


  4. David Palmeter says:

    This looks to be a spectacular display! I am anxious to see it. I asume the Taltree Railway Garden Spring 2011 opening is for Phase One only, correct?

    David Palmeter
    Indiana Large Scale Railroaders

  5. Patrick Hook says:

    Hey Al,

    Can’t wait for spring and start the The Bull Moose Line up again!


  6. Bill Molony says:

    Taltree has successfully combined a world-class Garden Railway with a world-class arboretum; what an accomplishment! This facility will be an asset to northwest Indiana for decades to come.

    Bill Molony, President
    Blackhawk Chapter
    National Railway Historical Society

  7. Hans Hertzfeldt says:

    Hello Al,

    Just curious, can you tell me who is actually building this large scale garden railway layout and who is the G Scale train supplier?

    Thank You,


    • Al Gengler says:


      The planning and building of the Taltree Railway Garden involved members of the IGRS in collaboration with the Taltree Railway Garden Volunteers and the professional services of landscape architect, Hitz Design – Petoskey, MI; general contractor, Smock Fansler – Indianapolis, IN; water effects, Williams Creek – Indianapolis, IN; garden landscaping, Smalls Landscaping – Valparaiso, IN; lighting, R.L. Millies & Associates, Valparaiso, IN; and historical exhibit planner, B. Becker – Chicago, IL.

      The Taltree Depot Building was designed by the architectural firm Design Organization, Inc. – Valparaiso IN.

      Prior to its demise LGB principal, Wolfgang Richter, had planned to donate the steam trains for the first garden through LGB of America. Currently there is no main manufacturing supplier or donor of engines and rolling stock.


  8. JoAnn Alford says:

    Is the Taltree Railway Garden still ons schedule to open In May? I would like to plan a trip down to see it.
    JoAnn Alford
    Royal Oak, Mi

    • Al Gengler says:


      Although the Taltree Railway Garden is on schedule to open in late May, the Garden’s formal Grand Opening will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th 2011. By then, it will be in full operation and all of the historical vignettes will be in place. You might want to plan your visit for June to have the total Taltree Railway Garden experience.


IGRS Branch Line Members

Karen Bachman
Gary Barneko
Jonathon Creutzburg
Patrick Hook
Don Coleman
Don Hewlett
IGRS Bull Moose Line
Philip Bachman
Elizabeth Gengler
Max Samuelson
Paul Volk
Gary Babcoke
IGRS Bull Moose Line
Jane Paluchniak
Annemarie Riley
Alex Appel
Corey Gardner
Richard Riley
IGRS Bull Moose Line
Mike Hughes
David Ransom
Al Gengler
Roz Besterman
Dave Besterman
Tom Kreiger
Dave Casey
George Sarver
Dorothy Kreiger
Dolly Hewlett
Marilyn Gossman
Dane Wallace
Fran Samuelson
Arv Gossman
Patty Babcoke
IGRS Bull Moose Line
Al Ankus

Thanks for dropping by! Interested in becoming an IGRS Member? See branch line membership application page. Need directions? See map for directions to Samuelson's Garden Center.


The Bull Moose Line
295 North State Rd. 2
Valparaiso, Indiana 46383

Open to the Public
Saturdays 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.
May through September (weather permitting)

Tel: 219-299-2996 or by Email. See map for directions.