James & Sally Bando's Grand Western Mining Company, FN3 Garden and (HO)

Over 5 Years on Tour
Contact Information
James & Sally Bando
1258 Hendon Rd
Woodstock, GA 30188
Wheelchair Accessible: 
Accessibility Note: 
Basement access via short lawn area

We have indoor and outdoor "G"arden gauge (NMRA Fn3 scale) layouts and an indoor HO layout. All layouts depict western mining areas in the 1900 to 1920 era. You will see cowboys, mines, ranches, and resorts. All activities revolve around The Grand Western Mining Company (GWMC), which owns the silver mines and the Grand Western Mining Company Railroad. Major scenes on the layouts include the Idalee silver mine, a sawmill, a cemetery, an engine house, a circus, the town of Crystal City, Crystal River, and the Crystal Falls waterfall.

What is new for 2019? The indoor "G"arden gauge layout! We are in the process of building the layout this summer (2019) and hope to have two trains continuously running by the pilgrimage. For those of you who have seen the indoor "G"arden gauge switching layout in previous years, it is being incorporated in the new layout.

In addition to the layouts, we will have activities to entertain adults and children alike, including a scavenger hunt. Educational displays include instructions to simulate water on the layout, instructions to make a waterfall, instructions to ballast track, and how to use adhesives effectively. Mining and railroad artifacts will be on display, including locomotive oil cans, railroad tools, a dynamite blasting machine, mining lanterns, and even a candle from a Colorado mine. Not only is this an entertaining experience, but also an educational experience. Almost everything is handicap accessible, as long it is not raining.

See detailed information for protype, indoor and outdoor layouts in table below.


Indoor: HO

Garden: Fn3 (outdoor)


HO: 4' x 7' Highly detailed

Outdoor: 46' x 25'


Freelance Western mining


Western mining areas circa 1900



Layout Style

Old Western town with mine

Len. Mainline

HO: 15'

Outdoor: 104' oval and 230' folded dogbone

Layout Height

HO: 40"

Garden: 32" for easy viewing


HO: "L" Girder

Garden: Wood frame deck


HO: Vinyl roadbed on plywood sub roadbed

Garden: Wood and ballast


HO: Code 83 Flextrack

Garden: Code 332 stainless steel and brass

Turnout Min

HO: #5 Mainline

Garden: Various/

Minimum Radius

HO: 18" Mainline



From I-575, exit at the Town Lake Parkway. Go east (into downtown Woodstock). Before downtown, there is a "Y"; stay to your left and go straight through downtown Woodstock. You are now on Arnold Mill Road. Be sure to obey the speed limits as they are very strict (2 miles per hour over the limit gets you a ticket). Stay on Arnold mill road about four miles (you will pass a Mobil gas station) until you get to a traffic light (there is a Luthern Church on the corner). Make a left onto North Arnold Mill Road. Follow this curvy road about 1.26 miles to Hendon Road (there will be a magnificent horse farm with white vinyl fencing and a pink house at the corner). Turn left (north). We are the first house on the right, a single story red brick house with four white pillars set back 3oo feet from the road.