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The Descanso Garden Enchanted Railroad Trip 10/8/2016

by Chris Guenzler

From the El Dorado Express, Robin and I drove northwest to Flintridge and our next stop of the day. We parked in the lot and I had called them so when we arrived at the ticket windows, our tickets were waiting for us. We made a restroom stop before starting to explore Descanso Garden.

Descanco Garden History

Descanso Gardens, located in La Canada Flintridge, Los Angeles County, is a 150 acres botanical garden. At one time, this property belonged to newspaper magnate E. Manchester Boddy, who owned the Los Angeles Daily News. He ran a commercial camellia garden at the location, supplying prom boutonnieres, for example, until he ceded the site to Los Angeles County in 1953. The county has developed the property to include a rosarium, as well as a Japanese tea house, lilac garden, bird sanctuary, xeriscape and a gift shop. They also regularly host professional camellia shows, chamber music and weddings. They are busiest however on the Easter weekend, when the tulips are in bloom.

The park also features the Descanso Gardens Enchanted Railroad, an eighth scale replica of a diesel train, that takes visitors around a section of the park.

In 1942, while the Japanese and Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast of the United States were being sent to internment camps, Boddy bought out two local successful Japanese nurseries. According to different sources, he acquired somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 camellias.

Enchanted Railroad

Take a light-hearted look at Descanso Gardens from a 1/8th-scale replica of a diesel train. The Enchanted Railroad is a Descanso icon, delighting young and old who climb aboard. The railroad travels a section of the Gardens near the Promenade. The Descanso Gardens Enchanted Railway is 7 1/2" gauge.

Hours and Schedule

Price: Tickets are sold at the Visitor Center and are $3 per rider or $25 for a book of 10 tickets. Requirements: Riders must be at least 30 inches tall and able to sit on their own.

Schedule: All schedules are subject to weather and availability. Please call ahead to see if the train is running at (818) 949-4200.

Our visit

Armed with a map we headed towards the railroad.

The pumpkins were sure out on the grounds of Descanso Gardens as we walked to the train boarding area.

The train arrived at the station area. Once everyone had detrained we boarded and after the safety rules were given, the conductor blew her whistle and the engineeer tooted the horn and I was off on another unique train adventure.

The train crossed one of the paths at the gardens.

The train twists and turns on its route through the gardens.

This sunny spot will work for a picture of the next train after our trip.

The train took the north curve on this railroad.

The pond on the north curve on this railroad.

Oak trees are very plentiful at the Descanso Gardens.

The train finished the north curve on the railroad.

Rolling the through the forest at the gardens.

Crossing a bridge.

Starting around the south curve.

Crossing the road at the south end of the route.

Those pumpkins again.

The entrance to the rose garden.

The train finished the trek around the south curve.

One last curve and we would back where we started.

The train returned to the station area where the next group of riders would board after everyone detrained. Robin and I walked to the only sunny spot on the railroad to get pictures of the train passing our photo location.

Three views of the train we just ridden.

The pond by our photo location. We then heard the whistle blown by the conductor then a toot of the horn by the engineer so we knew the train was on the way to us.

The train ran by us at our photo location in the park. Now we will see more of Descanso Gardens.

Here are the views as walked around Descanso Gardens. Next we will see the Japanese Gardens here.

The Japanese Garden.

A pond of Koi Fish.

More of the Japanese Gardens. A special thank you to the Descanso Gardens for having Robin and I here today. We fought freeway traffic all the way home.