Stony Trail Railway
He arrived home from yet another Model Railroad Show. Although his heavy-lidded eyes revealed the weariness of his long day, he was energized. He was full of stories. He still had that sunny glint of new adventure in his eyes as if he had recaptured some of his youthful exuberance. He became an indefatigable story-teller. He chuckled to himself as his own Huckleberry-like tales of the railway display interactions with young and old unfolded. He was animated and lively. He relived the moments of the day as I watched him in contemplation.
I can see it every single time my husband, Steve, finishes another weekend model railroad show. He and his railway enthusiastic club friends set up huge displays of model railroad trains with miniature worlds of village layouts, people, animals, trees and all the paraphernalia that make it look real and life-like. It seems like far too much work to me, toting it all from one place to another and then back again.
Yet, he always appears so uplifted and rejuvenated after these gatherings.
I had to pause and think about that.
It seems having a hobby that you are passionate about reduces stress and provides a true sense of accomplishment. Spending time with people, sharing your passion, engaging in an experience that deeply interests you, all generate a sense of gratification on an emotional level. This can only lead to a healthy heart.
Model railroading keeps you active as it requires you to get into motion, getting all those trains in and out of the house and set up again at the auditorium. He remains in good spirits, laughing and chatting and on and on which, on an emotional level, prevents depression, which is closely associated with cardiovascular disease. ♥
Not only does your emotional state raise risk for heart disease, but if you already have the condition, stress, anxiety and depression may become hurdles to making time to exercise, cooking healthy meals and complying with all the great advice you have learned.
Furthermore studies have shown that those who do volunteer work have better cardiovascular health. Those who find gratification in tasks associated with helping others, feeling useful and having a significant life, have fewer negative thoughts that affect one’s health.
These model railroad club members have set up displays for churches and nursing homes, more frequently around the holidays. I cannot tell you the number of stories this generates among the nursing home residents when they see and hear the model trains. Childhood memories and narratives blossom like tulips in the springtime.
Clubs, in general foster human relationships that lead to heart healthy. Dedicating a portion of your life to friends and family and others is fundamental to keeping mind and body in harmony.
Integrating this passion and increased physical activity, along with human relationships, reaps the reward of improved physical health, preventing possible heart related diseases and increases mental well-being.
According to a 2010 study in Heart Vessels that tracked men and women in the early stages of atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) for two to three years “those with hobbies had less arterial narrowing and fewer symptoms of heart disease than those who had no hobbies.”
My husband is a big-time model railroad buff. While stress and emotional distress may be destructive to your heart, the sight of a model railroad and train trekking along the steel tracks brings him true peace. Tinkering with old engines, making them new again and seeing the locomotives back “on track” brings a pure sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Time passes so quickly with track laying, rock casting, model construction, airbrushing and perfecting building structures for train layouts.
With that foundation laid, I want to share Steve’s story of Stony Trail Railway. It is his passion and love of old locomotives. It is his method of heart disease prevention. ♥ May it bring you some small sense of joy and serenity.
Stony Trail Railway is a circling pathway of stainless steel track upon a nineteen-inch high free-standing wall, crowned with a rugged 12-inch wide concrete cap. The trail is flanked by a background of oak trees and elms and bordered by a hedge of vibrant lilacs.
Nearby you can see an old water pump, a worn, wooden redwood picnic table, and a well-used twine rope suspended from the branch of an aged and weathered tree. Grandkids climb the unwavering rope and sway to and fro in the afternoon breezes.
Stony Trail Railway is unique and customized by Doug of Circle M Nursery from Chippewa Falls, WI who spent countless hours to achieve the results necessary to perfect G-scale train navigation. Both Doug and the railway engineer, Steve went through a myriad of thoughts and scenarios to achieve the railway.
Trains tunnel through towers of perfectly laid bricks, passing by onlookers sitting nearby in a separate garden and patio area.
“Choo-choo” and “Here it comes – ALL ABOARD” echo in the air. Grandkids, pretending they are the engineers, climb up on the pillars and bend over to see the trains enter and leave the tunnels, sending their treats circling around until they can have their next bite!
Stony Trail Railway typifies the best of eras past and present, representing small town USA. Flagstone steppers in a bordering garden area, lead to the 20 foot diameter railway and will be connected by three distinct bridges, decked by six vintage towers, each five feet in height. Additional labor went into the cutting and assembly of the towers. Pipes were laid for electrical in the lighted towers.
A patio and garden area lie to its north, where all can partake in the delights from the kitchen area or just sit and “rest a spell” while trains pass by.
The garden area displays the beauty of nature’s finest colors, some of which include: day lily Stella doro, blue chip juniper, Iris Siberian Caesar’s brother, day lily pardon me, catmint little titch and globemaster alliums.
A weeping caragana tree accents tranquility of the area. Yet, my all-time favorite will always remain the globe alliums.
Stony Trail Railway was a compromise between two people, who each wanted something different in a new patio creation. The passionate Garden Railroader envisioned a scenic garden railway with buildings and plants and engines tracking this way and that.
His wife was seeking peace and tranquility – a serene environment where she could sit in the sun and enjoys the day with friends and family – a place that did not require pulling weed after weed after weed.
They needed to mutually agree on this last foolish endeavor before they settled into a world with no weekly pay check – that yet untold chapter that is known as retirement.
Thus… Stony Trail Railway was born…
Stony Trail Railway is the beginning of a dream. It is a work in progress. It will unfold over the years, leaving a trail of memories. We can build a water tower on stilts above the track. There has to be a small town named Stony Trail! We want a village store. We want a farm land setting too. It will all come to being. It will all be built from scratch, like the pioneers of our country.
It is a place to create fond memories; a place to relive times past –a gathering up of joy and fun and action with the sights and sounds of good old-fashioned times.
It is a place of being and an even deeper well-being.
We call it Stony Trail Railway.
Please share your passion. What energizes you? How do you find peace and tranquility in your day? How do you relieve stress?