The inspiration for our central California garden railway is the “Happiest Place On Earth.” Not one you may visit today, but one you knew growing up – or might have known, if plans had developed as intended.
This freelance 2300 sq. ft. layout is sighted above a “counter height” retaining wall. LGB track is used throughout. LGB locomotives and rolling stock from the North American steam era are featured. Structures include POLA and PIKO kits, some of which are kit bashed.
As most projects of this scope, ours will never truly be finished, but the Main Street Trolley (Jan-2014), perimeter loop (Jun-2016), and new Mine Train (Sep-2018) are now complete and operating. Placeholders exist so visitors may visualize future additions. We invite you for an early preview of these lands, in the hope you will return and share the excitement as our story unfolds.
|Track gauge (mm)||45|
|Total length (ft.)||738|
|Maximum gradient (%)||2.0|
|Minimum radius (ft.)||7.7|
Highlights (will) include a typical American Main Street flanked by Liberty Street, a journey around Cascade Peak through Nature’s Wonderland and Rainbow Caverns, and a showcase of future transportation alternatives, including PeopleMover and Monorail systems. The entire site is encircled by passenger and freight steam trains on a “grand circle tour” climbing through Horseshoe Curve over the Cuesta Grade, clinging along Carrizo Gorge, passing in the shadows of Dos Cabezas rocks, precariously traversing Goat Canyon trestle, and descending over the falls feeding the Rivers of America before returning to the Main Street Station. Locomotives and rolling stock collected from Denver and Rio Grande Western still operate under that historic herald on this tourist destination line.
The layout is oriented east-west with full southern exposure. The current collection includes plants that tolerate full sun, have a reduced water needs once established, and are not preferred by plant predators.
USDA Hardiness Zone (2012): 9a
AHS Heat Zone: 4
Sunset Magazine Zone: 7
|Creeping lemon thyme||Thymus spp.|
|Archer’s golden thyme||Thymus x citriodorus ‘Archer’s Gold’|
|Lemon thyme||Thymus x citriodorus ‘Lemon”|
|Highland cream thyme||Thymus praecox ‘Highland Cream’|
|Red thyme||Thymus serphyllum|
|Red creeping thyme||Thymus serphyllum ‘Coccineus’|
|Elfin thyme||Thymus serphyllum ‘Elfin’|
|Magic carpet thyme||Thymus serphyllum ‘Magic Carpet’|
|Pink chintz thyme||Thymus serphyllum ‘Pink Chintz’|
|Peanut cactus||Echinopsis chamaecereus|
|Hens and chicks||Sempervinum spp.|
|Miniature common juniper||Juniperus communis ‘miniature’|
|Compressa common juniper||Juniperus communis compressa|
|SMALL TREES, SHRUBS|
|Dwarf Kingsville boxwood||Buxus microphylla ‘Kingsville’|
|Dwarf rosemary||Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Blue Boy’|
|Dwarf lavender cotton||Santolina ‘Little Nicky’|
Efforts such as the Cascade Peak & Buena Vista Railway do not occur in isolation, or through the efforts of only one person. We are grateful to our many friends who have contributed this project. We would like to specially recognize:
- Jim Davis
- Jamie Foster
- Dave Hayes
- Charlie Kleeman
- Jay Rennilson
- Bob Treat
- Walt Wajda