Attraction Spotlight: Minnesota Garden Railway Society

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The Minnesota Garden Railway Society was created by a small group of model rail hobbyists that wanted to run large scale trains in backyards and gardens. The club has grown since its start in 1990 and Minnesota’s summers have offered a great place to set up the outdoor hobby.

The Historic Wayzata Depot is the home of the “club layout” which is a joint project of the City of Wayzata, the Wayzata Historical Society, the Lake Minnetonka Garden Club and the Minnesota Garden Railway Society. Here is a look at what the Minnesota Garden Railway Society is all about.

About Minnesota Garden Railway Society

Founded in 1990 by a small group of model rail hobbyists, the Society has grown to over 100 members around the state. All of their members have various levels of experience and interests. Some members collect large scale trains while others operate indoor layouts.

Some members build elaborate outdoor railroads and plan a future garden railroad while others simply want to watch trains run through beautiful gardens with rivers, waterfalls and miniature plants.

Open houses

The public can check out open houses in the spring, summer and early fall. You can meet, see new equipment, learn about gardening railway techniques and enjoy the company of other hobbyists. In the winter, enjoy an annual banquet and holiday celebration. The Society is always welcoming to potential new members.


There are several laytous in town. A few of them include: 

  • Mark & Jan’s Chipton & Daleburg Railroad which started in 2004 and features a modern diesel freight free floating on a granite trap rock roadbed well-planted with miniature conifers and alpine ground covers
  • Dick & Annette’s Perennial Point Railway which began in 1999 serving the three communities of Smidgen River, Hosta Vista and Bloomstone
  • Wayzata Depot Layout is a garden railroad exhibit available to see every weekend in the Historic Wayzata Depot that is full of landscaping, G-scale locomotives, rolling stock, structures and track

For more information on the Minnesota Garden Railway Society, you can contact MGRS at 12964 Nicollet Avenue #320 in Burnsville.

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