Exposing the Secret Railway Community of Aldershot's Hidden Valley

Adventure #44: Ride the Rails in Hidden Valley.

Nestled along Grindstone creek, in a picturesque wooded valley, sits a part of Burlington that many residents don’t even realize exists. This place is called Hidden Valley.

Hidden Valley is one part municipal park and another part lost world. On the other side of the park, and on the other side of a long, narrow, claustrophobic tunnel beneath Highway 403, is a dead-end road of rustic homes of another time and place. Hidden Valley is described by one former resident as, “a magic little place; the kind of place a girl can get lost in the woods looking for fairies and dinosaur bones all day without her parents worrying at all.”

Burlington Model Railway Club

Hidden Valley Park is one of our city’s most popular group picnic spots used for family reunions and corporate gatherings.

This park was once home to a locally famous outdoor swimming pool called Hidden Valley Pool. Built in the ’50s, the pool was lined with asphalt and required climbing up a rope to get out. In the early ’70s, the original pool was replaced by a new “modern” pool just across the street.

Today, that pool is also gone but its memory lives on in the form of a Model Railway Club (of all things!).

Which way the Model Railway Club?

The former pool facilities now host the Burlington Model Railway Club with modular layouts setup in the pool house. The pool itself has been filled in and topped with an elaborate outdoor track plan.

The Burlington Model Railway Club was started in the early 1980’s, and consists of men, women, and families

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from Burlington and the where to buy cialis online safely surrounding areas who have an interest in model railroading. But mostly, it’s a group of grown up boys who still love their toys!

Club members own and operate model railroads in three different scales: HO, N and G (garden) scale.

Boys and their toys

Club members meet weekly at the Burlington Model Railway Centre. Many members also have model railroads in their homes or gardens

A few times each year, in the spring and fall, the club hosts an Open House to show off their active displays to the community. We attended their Spring Open canadian pharmacy how to block House and were anxious to see all the trains in motion.

Watching the trains go by

Members of the G Division of the club have been able to combine the past times of model railroading and gardening in a single hobby.

The outdoor track plan consists of a double track line that circles the area of the former pool, and a third loop of track that has been elevated approximately a metre by many cubic metres of fill.

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G-Scale Trains at the Burlington Model Railway Club

One of the attractions of garden railroading is the ability to use natural materials when building a layout. The members of the G Division have planted many plants, scrubs and small trees on their layout. These include Hostas, Euonymus, cedars, dwarf pines and viagra like pills spruces. Another feature is the pond with goldfish, tadpoles in the spring and frogs in the summer.

All of the kids were excited to see James from the Thomas and Friends series. It’s amazing to see how boys are drawn to these trains at such a young age. Baby Burlington, just 18 months, sits in awe whenever Thomas comes on the TV. He recently found his brother’s stash of Thomas toys and now plays with them non-stop — with no encouragement from us. I guess there’s something about chugging choo-choos that’s loaded with kiddie appeal.

James from Thomas and Friends

Next we went inside to see cialis with dapoxetine the smaller HO- and N-Scale layouts.

watching-go-train

The members of the N-Scale Division have built a permanent layout they call the Burlington, Erie & Northern Railway, which is a fictional railway based on a “What-if..?” scenario. Their railway is based on the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo and other railways operating in the Niagara Peninsula. The premise is that Canadian National and Canadian Pacific leased all their trackage in the viagra south africa Niagara Peninsula to a short line operator, the Burlington, Erie & Northern. CN and CP have trackage rights, so trains belonging to these railways can still run, as well as passenger trains belonging to GO Transit, VIA Rail and Amtrak.

Here comes the GO Train

The scenes that have been built, while not exactly prototypical, are reminiscent of localities in the Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario.

Jr Burlington loved the layouts, especially the various dioramas. Small trains passed through tunnels, forests, rural and urban scenes. Some of the scenery was so intricately constructed that even up close it was hard to tell that it wasn’t reality.

Indoor scenery

Back outside, we sat and watched the trains for quite a while. It seems there’s something hypnotic about watching miniature trains go around and around, through tunnels and over bridges.

Oscar Mayer and McDonalds trains

Thanks to the members of Burlington Model Railway Club for sharing your hobby with us.

Burlington Model Railway Club G-Scale

If you want to see the trains for yourself, the group has traditionally held a fall Open House around the end of September. The club also started a new tradition this past Christmas season with the debut of “Train Weekend” at Royal Botanical Gardens’ new best price generic viagra seasonal event, Holiday Traditions. We’re looking forward to experiencing that one as one of our last 2013 adventures. Stay tuned!

Did you own a model train growing up? Share what you remember in the comments form below.

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