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The land of make-believe Sunday, June 03, 2007

A self-described "rivet counter," Gary Lee shows off his garden railroad May 28 at his home in Corbett, Ore. Built to "G scale," where 1/2" equals about a foot, the fictitious Baker & Grande Ronde Railroad is set circa 1890 in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. Lee has been working on the model for four years.

Like SimCity in real life, over the past four years Gary Lee has been building a world of his own in his backyard. Starting with several dump truck loads of rock, he has literally moved mountains for his subjects, albeit on a 1/2" scale. The Baker & Grande Ronde Railway now covers a plot some 110 feet by 30 feet, with more to come.

A passenger waits for the train at Whiskey Creek Station.

Of course, he hasn't been alone. His father, Odell Lee (who runs the Odell & Hazel line in his backyard) helps with the buildings and other details. Gary's wife, Jonette, and mother, Hazel are railway gardeners, taking care of the miniature plants and trees that make the landscape look real.

The Baker & Grande Ronde and the Odell & Hazel railways will both be featured in the Rose City Garden Railway Society's 2007 summer tour on June 16.

The Baker & Grande Ronde Railway runs through tunnels, and over trestles in Gary's back yard. Every little tie was laid by hand.

You can read more about the model railroads in the June 2 edition of the Gresham Outlook, and on the RCGRS website.


Sebastian said...

This is cool. I like this model layout. And it is very convincingly realistic.