The M&SRR sits atop a “stabilized dune,” an ancient layer of tumbled, smooth sea sand, as found on any beach.  Because there is no firm base for track-laying, Will installed a strong foundation of concrete masonry blocks placed several inches into the sand.  This foundation, topped with concrete masonry cap blocks, is hardly prototypical but is genuinely necessary.  Diorama displays are brought out from storage on train run days, and the only permanent outdoor feature of the M&SRR is a functional Western-Cullen-Hayes Model 333 crossing bell. 

Railroad crossing bell decorated with garden railroad logo.
This operational Western Cullen Hayes Model 333 crossing warning bell has been detailed with The Monarch & Sand Railroad. Ask Will to operate it for you during your next visit! (W. Kastner, image)
Rural America (Mark Edwards, image).


An important feature of the layout is the M&SRR High Flyer, a fence-mounted auto-reversing rail that supports Eggliners and other small engines.

Less than 2 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the sandy soils necessitated the stability of a concrete block roadbed for reliable operation (Mark Edwards, image).

Layout Specifications

The railroad is basically an “L.”  The Main Line, a dog bone about 40’ by 10’, parallels the back (west) fence and features 10’ diameter curves.  From the south end of the Main Line, the Upper Branch and the Lower Branch connect to run about 65’ along the south fence and culminate in a 53’ loop.  Including the 3 sidings and a wye, the entire track length available is about 280’.

Originally track powered, the main portions of this layout now support only battery-powered locomotives, though the loop and its siding can be powered, especially so that children can play with the farm and a simple hauling railroad. 


Track gauge (mm)45
Total length (ft.)410
Mainline (ft.)100
Maximum gradient (%)
High Flyer6
Control system
MainlineOn-board battery power, AirWire remote control
High FlyerDC analog track power