Building of the Birchwood & St. Criox Railroad began in late 2013. As of fall 2015, the layout was maybe about half done. (At least that's what I said in 2015 - in retrospect, probably 1/3 done.) The original plan was to put up a web site after it was all done. But I found so many people interested in observing progress, this web site went online in 2015.

As of late summer 2016, the layout was still not done. But the mountain loop did get completed in early August and the logging train ran for the first time for an open house in August 2016.

Track beds and track for the remaining three loops went down in the summer of 2017. Detail work on the buildings, including wiring LED lighting in many of them, was done over the winter of 2016-2017. The entire layout was operational for the first time in August 2017.

Click here to see video posted on YouTube by Minnesota Garden Railroad Society President Sue Elliot. This video of the logging train is from the first open house in August 2016.


Raised Bed Construction

Layout Design

Foam Cutting

Mountain Finishing

More Layout Detail

Locomotives (Updated 2017)

Rolling Stock


Diorama (Added 2017)


Railroad Gardening

The Deer Chaser (Added 2017)

Are you new to model railroading and planning to build a Garden Railroad layout? If so...

Read This if Planning a Railroad!
(or if you just want to know more about things like scale, gauge, etc.)

The first feedback I got on this web site was "If someone was contemplating starting a garden railroad, I don't know if this would be encouraging or discouraging..." Before you decide, first let me assure you that I blatantly disregarded all advice to start small. And there are a few other tips you may find useful at the "read this..." link if you are new to the hobby and you are thinking about building a layout of your own.

Links back to other fun areas of this web site...