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I've thought about this from time to time but have never really tried to do anything about it...till now. What changed my mind (or more accurately, stiffened my resolve) was a conversation I was having with Jim Carter(pimanjc) about whether our club should have an "Open House" Garden Railway Tour this year. 2007-08 was a hard year for WAGRS (the Wichita Area Garden Railway Society) as many of our finest railroads folded and are no more.

Of the eight that were featured on our 2006 tour, only three are active with one still intact but not being used this year. The other four have been dismantled. Three others that were featured in 2003 and 2004 have also disappeared. Did these people leave the hobby? Mostly, no. What's happened is that they have moved and are planning on rebuilding but their magnificent garden railroads are now only memories.

We share so much of our hobby with each other here at MLS and some of the more interesting ones have been our layouts. I have very much enjoyed each and every post where we get to see all of the different designs and styles of our layouts. In many ways it has been almost a reference book that has helped me to construct my own pike.

This brings me back to my original thought. There are many really nice layouts that, for one reason or another, have been dismantled and/or abandoned. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to see them again in their glory days? Kind of like taking a trip down memory lane...

So, what do you guys think? I have pictures of some really nice layouts that are now just memories. Would anybody else join in? It could be fun!
 

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Posted By Steve Stockham on 06/09/2008 7:33 PM

I've thought about this from time to time but have never really tried to do anything about it...till now. What changed my mind (or more accurately, stiffened my resolve) was a conversation I was having with Jim Carter(pimanjc) about whether our club should have an "Open House" Garden Railway Tour this year.



2007-08 was a hard year for WAGRS (the Wichita Area Garden Railway Society) as many of our finest railroads folded and are no more. Of the eight that were featured on our 2006 tour, only three are active with one still intact but not being used this year. The other four have been dismantled. Three others that were featured in 2003 and 2004 have also disappeared.



Did these people leave the hobby? Mostly, no. What's happened is that they have moved and are planning on rebuilding but their magnificent garden railroads are now only memories. We share so much of our hobby with each other here at MLS and some of the more interesting ones have been our layouts. I have very much enjoyed each and every post where we get to see all of the different designs and styles of our layouts. In many ways it has been almost a reference book that has helped me to construct my own pike.



This brings me back to my original thought. There are many really nice layouts that, for one reason or another, have been dismantled and/or abandoned. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to see them again in their glory days? Kind of like taking a trip down memory lane... So, what do you guys think? I have pictures of some really nice layouts that are now just memories. Would anybody else join in? It could be fun!


You mean run it as a thread or series of threads?  That's quite a fatality rate on those garden railroads. It would be interesting to see some of what we have lost. 
 

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As posted before......

Last summer, we had a chance to walk through our old house in Ohio. It has had two owners since we left, many changes, etc etc. The current owners told the neighbors if we were to ever come by, to stop and knock on the door.

Well, we did. Got quite a tour of the house (a lot of good changes since the 1980s) and a few discussions. When we got to the back yard, the lady asked "So where was this railroad we have heard about?"

And like the real thing, we pointed to a much changed corner of the yard where other than a few lumps and timbers, it just looks now like a large (disused) flower bed as they woods have taken over in the past 18 odd years.

Got a few photos, and a lot of tales of now NOT to build a railway. Step one, do not use Atlas track......
 

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The Triple R ground layout that operated electric, battery and live steam has been converted to a trail. From 1984 to 2006 this railway had a variety of locomotives operating on the track from Aster to LGB (our starting point in the hobby).


Due to physical limitations of the younger years that have know become the "ol' man" stories the layout is now a elevated portable track:


So, when the time comes and the mood is such that we feel the need to go on the road....


Ain't as pretty but very practical.
 

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I agree that doing a document on 'Fallen-Flags' garden railroads would be interesting and helpful to others.

However,the same old problems rear their heads. First you're going to need to find someone with time and inclination to gather together the information, organize it, publish it, and then you run into the problem of permanence. Sort of a 'Fallen Article' of 'Fallen Flags' type thing.

Like Dwight mentioned, topics tend to fade away fairly fast and there's the problem of all the comments getting in the middle of the storyline. Using the 'Builder's Log' (aka blog) helps with keeping the comments out of the storyline, but they both still have the problem of the pictures disappearing for the multitude of reasons that they do.

Then there's the old adage 'a picture is worth a thousand words' and it's true. Go back and look through some of the old archived topics, the ones with the little red x's in a box. What you'll find is the proof of the old adage, because the individual composing the reply was counting on the presence of the picture to add in it's thousand words, which in turn cut way down on the amount of work the author had to put in coming up with descriptive wording. But, when the picture disappears so does it's 'thousand words' not leaving much behind.

So my suggestion would be, if someone is going to take on this type of project, using some type of format that is independent and self contained would be the best idea. Personally I would opt for Adobe's PDF format, since to me it has maintained its viability in use and backwards compatability over a long duration.

While the advent of the computer and the Internet has provided us a way of instantaneously sharing information over vast distances, the trade off is it's permanence. For example, take a look at the pictures you have of your most favorite "Fallen Flag" railroad. The image you're looking at may well be digital in nature, but the original I'd bet wasn't, take a moment to reflect on just how many of these wondrous "digital" images will be around 70, 100, 150, years from now, and for those that do survive will the 'by then' antiquated technology still be available to view them.
 

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Gents,
In this same vein, I trust you noted Tom Ruddel has folded the Bethlehem Central in Alabama and is offering the whole kit and kaboodle for $8,500. This was a fantastic layout and used regularly for good purposes.
Sad to see it go.
Jim Shutt
 

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Steve,

Who all's layout in WAGRS has bit the dust?? I went to some of the tours in the early 00's, Gary A's, Jim in Derby, Robert on the west side of town.. Notice the lack of last names, I have slep to many times!!

BulletBob
 

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I have a fallen flag RR too, the Aunt Patty's Lane Railway Company. When my parents moved, the railroad was removed. From what I have been able to see from online, the right of way still exists, but I doubt the current owner knows what it was for.

Here's the resized scanned photo of our new bridge installation in 1995:


Since that time, the APLRy was reloacated to a different location and finally, all rolling stock was transferred to the Millersvillanova 5 years ago. Luckily, no repainting was required.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bob,
In answer to your question, Gary Agard's layout (probably the premier layout in the Wichita area) is dormant as he and Norma are traveling this year. They have been slowly burning out the past three years or so and I hope this time off will recharge their batteries so to speak! Roger Ellis married and moved into his wife's apartment so his layout went bye bye back in 2004. Robert Francis' layout, the L&R, is also dormant (his layout was featured in Garden Railways about four years ago with the "Bridge over the river Koi") as he has been more interested in Koi than trains at the present!
Claudia Rollstin has moved and is planning on rebuilding her layout. Phil Weller also has just moved into a new house and will rebuild soon (the trestle from his layout was rescued by me and can be seen in the Bridges, Trestles, Tunnels, Roadbed etc... thread) Gene Speer's layout bit the dust when his wife died and he decided to move into a smaller house. A silver lining to this sad story: he has donated the bulk of his layout to the club for a permanent installation at the Wichita Botanica Gardens (what I'm restoring Phil's trestle for as well.)
Each one of these garden railroads has been featured multiple times on our annual tours as "must not miss" railroads! The smallest, Phil's, was actually featured in the Wichita Eagle's garden section about our tour last season! These four were all on the 2007 tour.

Just to jog your memory:

Gary and Norma Agard's in Augusta:







Phil Weller's:





Claudia Rollstin's:







and Gene Speer's:





 

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Steve,

Been to all of those layouts.. We tried to due Wichita every other year.. Then got caught in the move to Ashland.. Caused us to miss about 3 years.. Had planned on making it this year..
The other person was Jim Parks in Derby I think, he & Gary were good friends.. Hope to see you in Overland Park!! Will be there on Friday & Saturday..

BulletBob
 

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Bob,
The Derby layout belonged to Jack Parker. "Roger Carter" mentioned above, should have been "Roger Ellis."
JimC.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oops! (That's what I get for trying to go on memory...) Thanks for the catch Jim! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif
 

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It appears that the Chicago Botanic came close to becoming a fallen flag garden railroad during the storms last weekend. :eek:
 
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