Things to Do and See at The Living Desert

G-Scale Model Train

Train Operating Hours are
9am - 5pm from October 1 to May 31
8am - 11am from June 1 to September 30
Model trains became a part of The Living Desert in 1998 during the annual WildLights holiday program from the day after Thanksgiving until the New Year. Initially, it was decided that although the trains would operate only in the evenings as part of WildLights, basic layout of track would remain in place; only the trains and buildings would be stored. However, because of the popularity of the display, the trains started running full time during the regular park hours beginning January 1, 2001. The trains are referred to as "G" scale, which is approximately 1/2 inch to the foot or 1:22.5 inches, about twice the size of Lionel trains. Although not the largest model scale train, it is the most popular "large scale" train. The locomotives, rolling stock, track, switches and most of the equipment are made by LGB. In fact, the letters "LGB" stand for Lehmann Gross Bahn or Lehmann's Big Train.

LGB, the world's first "G-scale" train, was born in 1968. However, the family history of LGB goes back to 1881, when Ernst Paul Lehmann founded a small toy-making company in Brandenburg, Germany. Lehmann had a keen eye for new ideas and his"patent" toys, like the honking Tut Tut auto and flying Ikarus airplane, soon gave "Ernest Paul Lehmann Patentwerk" a worldwide reputation for toy innovation. Ernst Paul Lehmann's cousin, Johannes Richter, joined the company in 1921 and built on Lehmann's reputation with patented toys like the ingenious Skirolf skier. After the East German government seized the company in 1948, Richter moved his family and the firm to Nurnberg in the West. Then, 20 years later, Richter's sons, Eberhard and Wolfgang, introduced the family's boldest invention: LGB- The Big Train. Today, Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk is still family owned with Eberhard and Wolfgang's sons, Johannes and Rolf, at the helm. The LGB family also includes the many dedicated employees at the Lehmann's home in Nurnberg and at LGB of America in San Diego, California. They craft LGB trains using the latest in computer aided design, precision machining processes and robotic production techniques. Together, the LGB family has over 100 years of experience creating innovative products and serving demanding customers. LGB trains are one of the best selling big trains in the world.

To learn more about how to Adopt A Train at The Living Desert, click here.