Peter & Lori Thomas's Cothran Valley Gardens (G) [Dawsonville, GA] and Dawson Shortline (HO)

Layout Tour Dates

Saturday, October 23, 2021 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm
In-person tour of an outdoor garden railway, and an HO modular layout (in a garage). Hosts have NO SPECIAL RESTRICTIONS for healthy guests who do not have Covid-19 symptoms.
Cothran Valley Gardens (G) [Dawsonville, GA] and Dawson Shortline
422 Cothran Road
Dawsonville, GA 30534
Over 3 Years on Tour
Contact Information
Peter & Lori Thomas
404-435-5684
Wheelchair Accessible: 
Yes
Layout Details

The video above is a replay from our 2020 "virtual" Piedmont Pilgrimage.

For 2021, this will be an in-person tour of Lori's outdoor garden railway and Peter's modular layout (setup in the garage).

Layout Descriptions:

Lori's Garden Railroad:

What do you do when you can't get grass to grow in your front yard?  You build a garden railroad, of course!  Inspired in March 2017 by a display of G-Scale trains by the Georgia Garden Railway Society at the Piedmont Division Model Train Show, Lori and Peter set about planning and building the Cothran Valley Garden Railroad.

This railroad travels back to late 1960's on a fictitious short line running through rural North Georgia mountains.  The railroad features a 60-foot oval of track surrounded by farmsteads, a small train depot, and a magical village on the far side of the mountain.  The rolling stock showcases iconic billboards of the era.  The railway is nestled into existing gardens and includes scale plantings.

Scale

G

Size

30’ x 20’

Prototype

Freelance

Locale

Dawson County, GA

Era

1960’s

Style

   2 main line loops and a branch line

Len. of Mainline

60’

Layout Height

Ground level

Benchwork

None / not applicable

Roadbed

ballast

Trackwork

LGB

Turnouts

LGB

Min. Radius

4’

Maximum Grade

2%

Scenery

100 % Combination or planting and models

Backdrop

The garden !!!

Controls

DC - Digitrax zephyr

Wheelchair Accessible

Yes

Peter's Modular HO Scale:

Module 1 (60 by 30 inches) is a simple passing loop station in Dawsonville, GA.  Module 2 is a wye.  Modules 3 and 4 are staging.

Scale

HO

Size

12’ 6” x 10’

Prototype

L&N to Southern connector

Locale

Dawson County, GA

Era

Spring, mid-1920’s

Style

End-to-end modular layout

Len. of Mainline

10 feet (really – the layout has just started)

Layout Height

tabletop

Benchwork

modular

Roadbed

cork

Trackwork

Atlas code 83

Turnouts

Atlas #6

Min. Radius

22”

Maximum Grade

None

Scenery

50 %

Backdrop

None

Controls

DCC - Digitrax Zephyr – JMRI – engine driver (on phone)

Wheelchair Accessible

Yes – but no grab bars in restroom

Directions 

From Atlanta take Georgia 400 north and approximately 3.5 miles after the Premium Outlet
Mall, turn left on GA 136 toward Dawsonville, then in 1.8 miles turn left onto Cothran Road.
Travel 0.8 miles and we are on left.