Andy and Pattie Chester

The Deer Ridge Garden Railroad

Indiana Large Scale Railroaders
Layout Open House September 6, 2008


 In 2016 this railroad ceased operation and was dismantled.


The Deer Ridge Garden Railroad was inspired by Andy’s fascination of the long streamliners of the 1940’s and 1950’s, with great names like the “Super Chief”, “California Zephyr” or the “Empire Builder”. These trains not only sounded great, they looked great with their gleaming stainless steel cars forming a long ribbon of luxury behind ABBA lash-ups of newly minted F3’s or E8’s in glorious liveries.

Seeing other member’s railroads convinced Andy he could do this. He had the space to build the sweeping curves to showcase a 60 foot long passenger consist. All it would take was some time, muscle and money. Well, that was four years ago. Now, after moving tons of rock and yards of concrete, the railroad is transitioning from inspiration, through perspiration, to excitation!

Before deciding on a proper name, Andy really considered calling it the “Four Nuts Railroad”. This was “for all the walnuts, buckeyes and hickory nuts falling on the Big Nut – ME – for starting this project in the first place!”

Every railroad has to have its debut sooner or later, so September 6, 2008 was the BIG DAY! All the basics were complete by show time; Andy had 1200 feet of dual mainline stainless steel track and sidings in a folded dogbone configuration. The centerpiece for this railroad is a 14 foot steel bridge span modeled by Eagle Wings Iron Craft after Hells Gate Bridge. It has an additional 14 feet of steel bridge approaches. This all crosses over a pond abundant with fish, water plants and a few frogs.

The railroad descends a 1% – 2% grade through a 25 foot long, rock lined cut and then moves into a broad, slowly climbing arc through the woods. A pair of 80 foot sidings will hold alternate trains waiting for a run. The mainline tunnels under itself and curves around the future site of the main train depot.

Thanks to Bud Hunter for the description from the ILSR Newsletter
September/October 2008, Volume XIX, Number 5 Issue


Above – Andy (right) discusses operations as a long freight rumbles by. 
David Palmeter Photo – Sep 2008


Bud Hunter Photo – Sep 2008


Bud Hunter Photo – Sep 2008


Bud Hunter Photo – Sep 2008


Bud Hunter Photo – Sep 2008


Bud Hunter Photo – Sep 2008


David Palmeter Photo – Sep 2008


David Palmeter Photo – Sep 2008


David Palmeter Photo – Sep 2008


David Palmeter Photo – Sep 2008


David Palmeter Photo – Sep 2008


David Palmeter Photo – Sep 2008


David Palmeter Photo – Sep 2008


On March 8, 2008, Andy and Pattie hosted a Club meeting which included a tour of the as yet unfinished Deer Ridge Garden Railroad. The size of the layout and some of the spectacular features were actually more impressive in the winter snow.


David Palmeter Photo – March 2008


David Palmeter Photo – March 2008


David Palmeter Photo – March 2008


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