Rick & Ruth Blank's Garden Railroads

Update: Rick and Ruth are leaving San Diego for Hawaii!

SDGRS will reluctantly say farewell to Rick and Ruth Blank.  They joined SDGRS shortly after moving to San Diego in 1999 and their visiting son said, “Dad you live in San Diego it is time to move the trains to the garden.”  Rick said the help given by SDGRS members had been integral to the success of the Sierra Blanco with instruction and advice on how to build a garden railway and also tremendous savings augmenting new purchases with many structures, trains and accessories from SDGRS members upgrading their railroads or no longer being able to keep their railroads going.  A highlight was being the featured garden railway in the April 2007 Garden Railways magazine thanks to great photos by Bob Treat.

We thank Rick for serving on the SDGRS board for the past 15 years with one term as Vice president and also editing the newsletter during the past 8 years before handing responsibilities over the Angie and Dale.  We also thank them for help with our annual picnics and the many times they have hosted us and Rick’s help building our county fair railroads.

SDGRS members were blessed as Rick and Ruth enjoyed entertaining us, with a number of open houses.  The Sierra Blanco was our holiday attraction with ten Christmas open houses between 2006 and 2017. Ruth supplied hot cider, cookies and other treats while Rick went all out decorating with Christmas lights and holiday figures, decorated trees, carolers, snow play and other holiday scenes.  To bring holiday magic to San Diego, Rick sewed white felt covers for roof tops lined with miniature Christmas lights and sprinkled white Perlite or Insta-Snow around the mountain towns of Sierra Blanco and Georgetown. 

We got to see the Sierra Blanco without snow and holiday lights when the Blanks also invited us as they hosted the Great Train Show bus tours and the Western Regional Garden Railway tours.  In 2017 J. Rennilson gave Rick the beautiful German buildings he and his beautiful wife Renate built as seen on the original Regen-Weissenstein Railroad in last month’s newsletter.  Rick built new walls for the town of Regan and installed a pond, railroad track bed, and placed the Weissenstein castle on a rock in their front yard.   We got to enjoy both railroads and their hospitality with bratwurst, sauerkraut, German potato salad and German deserts as Rick and Ruth hosted SDGRS open houses the last three years.   

As the Blanks are moving to be near grandkids, is there someone ready to keep these heritage railroads going?  After touring their house 3 different relators told them their 4 bedroom 3 bath house was obviously well maintained and in beautiful condition and would list between $925,000 and 930,000, but they would probably get more.  Added features are railroads, beautiful mountain views and location on a quiet cul-de-sac in the highly desired Poway school district.  If anyone in San Diego, or one of our sister clubs would like to move to beautiful San Diego, and is interested in maintaining the railroad, or railroads, they will sell the house for $925,000 and include at no extra cost the railroads, engines and rolling stock and all the items used to dress up the RR for open houses.  They will also include all tools for building and maintaining RRs: table saw, drill press, mitre saw, jig saw, grinding wheels and tools, parts and supplies for maintaining trains and accessories.  They will cover any required inspection and real estate transfer fees.  Contact Rick Blank at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he will provide current photos of house and interior rooms and a listing of home improvements and upgrades completed over the past 22 years.  See SDGRS newsletters on the SDGRS website for photos on invite months and following month newsletters for Christmas gatherings and, with the new Regen Weissenstein German RR, at SDGRS open houses in July 2018, May 2019 and March 2020.

Unfortunately, with COVID restrictions we can’t have the traditional last run under the Blank’s management.  If a railroad enthusiast does not buy their house with commitment to maintain railroads there will be liquidation sale so you will have opportunity to acquire these railroad treasures and special tools at giveaway prices.

Click on the links below to visit the the layouts:

Sierra Blanco

Sierra Blanco Christmas

Regen-Weissenstein Railroad

House for Sale – railroads included

We are contemplating a move to be near grandkids.

After touring our house 3 different relators each told us our 4 bedroom 3 bath 2,278 square foot living area house was obviously well maintained and in beautiful condition and they would list between $925,000 and 930,000, but we would probably get more.  Added features are railroads, beautiful mountain views and location on a quiet cul-de-sac in the highly desired Poway school district.  If anyone in San Diego, or one of our sister clubs would like to move to beautiful San Diego, and is interested in maintaining the railroad, or railroads, we will sell the house for $925,000 and include at no extra cost the railroads, engines and rolling stock and all the items used to dress up the RR for open houses.  We will also include all tools for building and maintaining RRs: table saw, drill press, jig saw, grinding wheels and tools, parts and supplies for maintaining trains and accessories.  We will cover any required inspection and real estate transfer fees.  Contact Rick Blank at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will provide current photos of house and interior rooms and a listing of home improvements and upgrades completed over the past 22 years.  The Sierra Blanco RR was the featured layout in the April 2007 Garden Railways magazine and featured many years with Christmas gatherings and with the new Regen Weissenstein German RR at SDGRS open houses in July 2018, May 2019 and March 2020.  See SDGRS newsletters on SDGRS website for photos on invite months and following month newsletters.

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Click on the links below to visit the the layouts:

Sierra Blanco

Sierra Blanco Christmas

Regen-Weissenstein Railroad