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SCV club stays on track

Santa Clarita Garden Railroad Club started in 2000 and is free to join

Posted: July 19, 2014 9:45 p.m.
Updated: July 19, 2014 9:45 p.m.

Allen Fuqua adjusts his miniature Santa Fe train at the Santa Clarita Valley Garden Railroad Club on Saturday.

Most people would not be too happy about a train running through their yard, but it suits the Sweer household in Saugus just fine.

Grant Sweer and his wife, Jenny, are one of the about 20 couples that make up the Santa Clarita Valley Garden Railroad Club — an organization that provides a chance to meet and spend time with other garden train enthusiasts.

“It’s a good way that we can all network together and really enjoy the hobby,” Grant Sweer said Saturday.

The club held a “Train Play Day” Saturday to welcome those who might be interested in learning more about garden trains or about the club itself.

“We had quite a few new people who came in that were interested in this,” Sweer said.

Garden railroads, as their name would suggest, are model train sets designed to be set up outside, such as in a garden setting.

The Sweer household, for instance, features several sets of tracks set up on a pavement path in the backyard.

“This sort of thing is really big in Southern California because the weather is perfect for it,” Sweer said.

The Santa Clarita Valley Garden Railroad Club was formed following the National Garden Railroad Convention in 2000. Membership in the club is relatively small, averaging about 25 families at any one time.

“This and the informal structure of the organization has made the club a friendly, helpful place,” reads a flier describing the club.

While the trains may be the main attraction, Jenny Sweer said another aspect of the club is gardening, and coming up with ways to work plant life or other features in with the railroad setup.

Sweet said the club, which is free to join, is looking for new members and anyone wanting additional information can contact him directly at

“It’s a lot of fun sharing this with other people,” he said, as a train rumbled softly through the yard.


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