Garden train project stumps local woman

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We get all kinds of questions here at the Daily Inter Lake.

What time does the band concert start tonight?

Can I get a copy of my grandmother’s obituary? I have her name and know she died sometime in the 1950s, I think.

What’s that building going up at the corner of such-and-such intersection?

Did you know there are four robins in my yard?

Can I get a copy of that cake recipe in the food section last week? I must have thrown out my paper.

You get the idea. It’s nice that people see us as a general clearinghouse for information, and for the most part we’re happy to oblige as time allows.

It was no surprise, then, when Trish Hurley gave me a call last week and said she needed help with her garden railroad.

“What’s a garden railroad?” I inquired. (She was starting at square one with me).

Of course a quick online search told me that garden railroads are a big deal in the world of model railroading and apparently the epitome of unique garden décor. I looked at photographs on various websites of railroad sets that wound through tunnels created with gardens. They’re pretty neat. Family Garden Trains’ website notes how the hobby is growing by leaps and bounds and that their trouble-shooters have answered more than a thousand questions about garden trains. Apparently Trish is not the only one who has needed some direction.

A disabled veteran from the Vietnam War era, Trish bought a garden railroad set online and had it up and running until she decided to add a new loop. Her project is about to be derailed unless she gets some help.

“It’s not that I want someone to do it for me,” she stressed. “I just need someone to explain some of this to me in plain English.

“For some reason when you get older your brain functions more slowly,” she added with a laugh.

Trish is sure there must be other garden railroad enthusiasts in the Flathead and she’d love to find someone to give her some pointers. Her train short-circuited when she tried to run it on the new loop. It has something to do with reverse polarity (I have no idea what that is).

I told her I’d put the word out. If you can help Trish out, give her a call at 755-2099. Her garden is located in the West Valley area off Farm to Market Road.

As for me, I’m diving into my own gardening right now, planting the early vegetables that can withstand cooler temperatures. Though it’s a lovely idea, there will be no garden train at my house. I have enough to deal with in battling voles and moles. If there were a train set running through my raised beds, those critters would sure enough find a way to destroy it, or get a free ride.

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

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