I grew up around model railroading. The set you see here takes up the bulk of the room, and is merely the longest-standing part of my Dad's efforts in model railroading. Since November is National Model Railroad Month, today seems like a good day to share some pictures of the collection at my parents' home in Louisville, KY. The main part, as seen here, is an HO scale layout (to non- model train folks, that means 1:87.1 scale). This is the part that Dad started putting together while he was still in high school, and has mountains, buildings, trees, and so on.
You can actually see my dad and his dad in this picture, taken from about where the camera was sitting in the previous picture. Right at Dad's arm is the beginning of another track, this one intended for O scale engines (in the US, generally 1:48 scale). This track runs in along most of the wall of the basement, but I apologize that none of the pictures here show any of the engines for that track. Above their heads, you see a track and engines for the G scale track (actually, that's not the correct language here. It's more properly called "G Gauge". The reason for this is that trains that go on this track may actually be out of scale with each other, but they're built to run on the same size track.). In both this picture and the one above, you can see that the G track runs just under the ceiling of the basement, and it really does go all around the basement in a fairly complex loop. But that's just the beginning.
Dad built the G Gauge track to go through one of the windows along the top of the basement (the window you see in this picture is not the one the trains come out of, but it gives you an idea of where the level of the basement is) so the trains can come outside and into this garden railway. Although it seems to be a myth that the "G" in G Gauge comes from "garden railway," it makes for an easy way to remember what scale/gauge we're talking about. This garden railway has a fountain that runs into the pond you see here, which is filled with koi. As you can imagine, this set-up requires a fair bit of maintenance, but it never fails to elicit an appreciative response whenever people come to visit.
So, if this interests you, how do you plan to celebrate National Model Railroad Month in your area? Here is a link with some ideas and links to get you started.