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

Layout Tour Dates

Sunday, October 22, 2017
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

We have several outdoor garden gauge layouts and indoor HO layouts depicting western mining areas in the 1900 to 1920 era. You will see cowboys, mines, ranches, circuses, and an Indian village. Everything revolves around The Grand Western Mining Company (GWMC), which owns the Idalee silver mine and the Grand Western Mining Company Railroad. Major scenes on the layouts include the Idaleesilver mine, a sawmill, a cemetery, an engine house, the town of Crystal City, Crystal River, and Crystal Falls waterfall. The theme for the 2017 pilgrimage on the HO layout is "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" depicting acts from his extravaganza that traveled throughout the United States and Europe from 1883 through 1908. This scene is one of several lift-out scenes, which we use to refresh and invigorate the HO layout any time we want. For you circus buffs, "The Great Circus Train" by Walthers will be on display, including all 20 cars and the rare 4-6-2 "Old Milwaukee" locomotive. Visitors have the opportunity to run some of the indoor and outdoor railroads, so you can interact directly with the trains.In addition to the electric trains, we will be running live steam locomotives on the outdoor garden railroad layout.

In addition to the layouts, we will have activities to entertain adults and children alike, including a scavenger hunt. Educational displays include how to simulate water on the layout, how to make a waterfall, how to ballast track, and which adhesives to use. 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.

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' & 4' x 10' kids layout


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.