Bob Rustemeyer of Norwood Park stands in the middle of his family's garden-scale model train layout in the backyard as he arranges some of the figurines which fell over in the wind. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
How much time do you spend on your hobby?
Updated: July 19, 2012 10:10AM
What started as a simple model train loop in the backyard in 1998 has expanded to take up the whole backyard at Bill Rustemeyer’s home in Norwood Park.
“It started a lot smaller and every year we expanded it a little bit,” Bill said.
Now that all the grass is covered in the backyard, there’s nowhere else to expand.
The garden-scale model train layout has been a family affair. Bill and his sons, Bob and Don, along with daughter Judy designed the layout, added the buildings and wired the eight separate trains that run on the tracks.
Bill’s wife Shirley was skeptical of the project at first, but quickly became absorbed too. She planted the shrubs and bushes to look like miniature trees, as well as added several flowers around the track.
The family of five Rustemeyers calls their train layout the Five R Railroad Norwood Junction.
“This is our pride and joy,” said Don, who also volunteers as an assistant engineer on the model trains on display at the Chicago Botanic Garden in summer and Christmas.
“I have a cold beer and watch the trains run around. It’s a great way to relax,” he said.
The Rustemeyers are members of a garden-scale model train club and occasionally host an open house for other club members to see their trains.
Bob, who also volunteers building model train sets at a library, said, “This is fun. It gives you something to do. If you find a problem, you repair it.”