February was a month of “firsts” for the Central California Coast Garden Railroad Society (CCCGRS).
The first open house of our ambitious 2018 calendar was generously hosted by Mark and Lori Hays, two of our newest club members. This was the first CCCGRS open house held at the MNL Railroad, located in scenic Arroyo Grande. Mark and Lori have constructed an impressive hillside railroad that takes full advantage of the topography with steep cliffs, deep canyons, expansive water features, tunnels and a wide array of spectacular bridges. In fact, only days before, Mark returned from an Arizona birding trip, during which he just happened to pick-up a new Eagle Wings Iron Craft bridge. We understand when you are in the neighborhood, you have to make a road trip count. Seriously, we cannot wait to see the bridge fully integrated into the existing track plan.
Lori and Mark have detailed the layout with creative vignettes that illustrate some of their other hobbies, interests and personal heritage. The DCC layout easily accommodated visiting analog DC, DCC and battery-powered locomotives with the expansive track plan. At one point, five people were running six trains on the same line!
Mark and Lori have exciting plans for the layout, as it continues to develop and mature. As in 2017, the MNL Railroad will again be one of several garden railroads open to the general public for the Central Coast Railroad Festival, held 5-7 October 2018 . For those that do not live on the central California coast, we suggest you start planning your road trip now!
The weather for the event could not have been better. We had an excellent turn-out for this open house, which included the other important “firsts” – our first open house to share with John and Will, our two newest CCCGRS members. Please join us in making them feel most welcome.