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Holiday Train Gardens
Jimmy Hutchins' love of model trains began at
age 4, with the gift from his grandfather, Walter
Webster, of his first O-gauge Lionel train. Over
the years, Jimmy continued to collect model
trains, traveling throughout the tri-state area to
train shows, train meets, and auctions to build
his collection.
Jimmy's collection is on display during the
holiday season, beginning November 27, at
Backyard Boys, 2419 Whiteford Road, in
Whiteford. Hours are Monday through Friday,
9-5; Saturday 10-4; and Sunday 1-4. There are
5 or 6 trains running at all times, through a
detailed landscape that includes mountains,
villages and 5 tunnels. The train garden is set
up under a pergola inside the store, with a larger
G-scale train running on a circular track above
the pergola.
The freight and passenger trains travel through
villages where visitors can view houses, churches,
and businesses, including a gas station, car wash,
movie theater, McDonald's fast food, and, of
course, the train station. Many of the structures
are animated, with lights and sounds. Some of
the newer trains announce themselves: "Now
arriving on track 5 . . ." The original train from
Jimmy's grandfather is on display, along with
other pieces from his grandfather's collection,
although they are not part of the running stock.
Besides honoring his grandfather's memory and
love of model trains, Jimmy's passion for the
train garden has an added benefit. "I really
enjoy the peace of mind that I get from playing
with trains. In the stress of today's economy, I
find that playing with trains is very relaxing!"
He notes that visitors to the train garden seem
to find it relaxing as well, taking their time to
watch the full circuit of the trains.
More than mere toys, the collection represents
a considerable investment of time and money.
The display is insured and monitored by a video
camera security system as well as the occasional
presence of local police. For anyone interested
in building their own train garden, Jimmy told
us, "I would recommend that you visit my good
friend Choo-Choo Charlie at the
Forest Hill
Train Station!"
Take the time for a relaxing visit to the train
garden at
Backyard Boys. Other train gardens
to visit this holiday season include a temporary
garden at
Jarrettsville Tree Farm, 4306 St. Clair
Bridge Road in Jarrettsville;
Christopher's Train
Garden, at Broom's Bloom, 1700 S. Fountain
Green Road in Bel Air (in cooperation with
J&R Sheds), and Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire
Company, Route 165 in Jarrettsville Gardens.
HHT-090-01 Nov-Dec10:harford'sheart winter08 10/20/10 4:10 PM Page 15