This last Saturday, I drug my family all over Phoenix to tour the 9th annual Garden Railroad Open House. In 6 hours, we visited 9 layouts and drove a total of 124 miles. Needless to say, we were some tired puppies by the end of the day. It was hosted by Eaglewings Iron Craft and was held just days before the 2008 National Garden Railway Convention in Chandler, AZ. It was really neat to see each unique and different approach for each layout. Someday soon, we're going to build one of our own and we sure got a ton of ideas! I took a few pictures of each layout we visited and I thought I'd share them with you fine folk here. Stop #1 Eaglewings Iron Craft An impressive use of a small backyard. While we were there, he was running at least 12 different trains simultaneously with 7 of those being point to point. Stop #2 The Miller's This was in a large backyard with some neat use of natural scenery. The Millers favorite thing seemed to be running the tracks through old rotten logs and stumps as tunnels. Stop #3 The Alberti's Stop #4 C & R Desert RR Stop #5 St. John RR This layout had to have been fairly new as it had no greenery or shade as of yet and it was a hot day. Hence, my older boy remembers this one as the "hot one." I'm sure the greenery will come later. The St. John RR is meant to replicate the Colorado mining areas. He runs 1:20.3 as well as live steam. This 'ol mudhen was fantastic! Stop #6 The Field's This layout was a very neat, single mainline route with parts along the historic route 66. This was also the only layout I saw that was undergoing a massive addition that looked as if it would double the layout size. Future site of the Canyon Diablo bridge. Stop #7 Gem and Fossil RR The name says it all as this guy had geological tidbits all over. It was not very complex but for some reason, this was one of my boys favorites. Stop #8 A & T Express Not only did this family have a layout in the backyard, they also had a circus loop in the front yard as well as a mail retrieving trolley from the house to the mailbox. My son especially liked the stepping stones across the raging river that dropped down into the pool! Stop #9 Trainquility Junction As opposed to being on or near ground level, most of this layout was on risers several feet above the ground. The dense vegetation helped out a lot!