My uncle, Tom Lloyd, was a long time garden railroader with a large layout in the backyard of his home
in North Bay, Ontario. He passed away in early 2006 and I had the opportunity to purchase his railroad from the estate.
Being a HO model railroader many years ago, with an interest in gardening and modeling outdoors, I jumped at the chance,
and purchased the entire railroad which provided a wonderful head start into this great hobby.
Early in the summer of 2006 I rented a cube van and drove to North Bay, where I pretty much filled the
van with all of my uncle’s track, rolling stock, buildings, people, wiring, model building supplies, repair parts, etc.,
and returned home and unloaded everything into my garage, where it sat for the better part of a year while I planned
out what I wanted in the backyard.
After much research, and developing many different alternatives, the only real decision made was that I
wanted to make a water feature the centre point for the railroad. So with my son’s help, we simply got started building
in the spring of 2007. I have ended up with a perimeter type railroad starting at the side of our house and running
about half way around rear of our lot. There are two main lines that can run trains independently or they can be linked
together to make for one long double loop run of about 350 feet in total. The focus is the water feature, which is a
pondless water fall (Majestic Falls) that is also serviced by a cable car excursion ride passing overhead.
The railroad incorporates a town, “Lloydtown”, and some industry, using many of the buildings from my
Uncle’s railroad, plus each year I add or change several buildings with new ones of my own. The track itself is
relatively old and I was having problems with the smooth running of my trains due to electrical connection issues with
the layout being track powered. To solve this, in the spring of 2011, I began converting to battery power and the new
Aristo Revolution control system which has increased the enjoyment level significantly. I have also added one live steam
powered locomotive which is fun to run as an alternative from time to time.
Future plans include the conversion of the remaining locomotives, cabooses, snow blower, etc., to battery
power, the continued replacement of the older buildings and adding some lighting, the addition of some new rolling stock
and engines, continued experimentation with different plantings, and a possible expansion to add a third mainline running
around the other half of the lot.
Always lots to do and plans to be made! But that’s the nature of the beast and the fun for me is in the