Thousands of train enthusiasts have once again flocked to an Illinois native's garden for a once-a-year attraction.
Elaine Silets has gained the name 'Train Lady' due to her immense love for everything railway-related and once a year she shares her passion with thousands of visitors. Ms Silets has transformed ten acres of her garden into waterfalls, lakes, trestles, bridges and replica towns with model trains weaving around the site through a series of intricate railways. It's a sight which puts York's National Railway Museum similar attraction to shame.
Named the Gloree & Tryumfant Garden Railway she has dedicated her life to creating one of the most memorable miniature railways across the US. She became the Train Lady after her late husband Harvey's law career hit the big time and she found herself needing a hobby. Ms Silets has not looked back since creating Huff & Puff Industries which designs and manufactures model railways.
The special exhibition has seen visitors from all over the state descend on to the North Barrington suburb. Around 6,000 people viewed the Gloree & Tryumfant Garden Railway each paying $10 (£6.60), with all proceeds going towards providing scholarships for artists wanting to attend the prestigious Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan, a scheme which Ms Silets attended in the past.
Speaking to the Barrington Courier-Review, she even gave tips on how to start a railway, stating: "I tell everyone it’s real easy. All you need is to live here 40-plus years, and buckets of money. I’ve lived here 44 years now.There was almost nothing here – the pond was here and a shabby, 1,000-square-foot house. I live in heaven," she said. "I do. Isn’t it beautiful?"
Ms Silets proves that it is not only here in the UK where people are enjoying creating their own miniature railways and thanks to Mamod's extensive range of models and tracks that dream can become a reality.