The Living Desert
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Adopt a Train

Adopt a Train at The Living Desert’s Garden Railroad

Did you know our desert has a rich history with the railroad?

In the mid 1890s, Southern Pacific began advertising to individuals suffering from tuberculosis and other consumptive ailments encouraging them to visit and benefit from the “natural healing powers” of the Colorado desert region, using their newly laid railroad tracks set in place during the Gold Rush. Soon, a colony of small cottages was built around the Indio Station and by 1896, Indio had nearly 50 permanent residents and became an important stop for the Southern Pacific’s “Yuma Main” line between Los Angeles and Yuma. See a replica of the Indio hotel, cottages, station and so much more at The Garden Railroad.

What is a Garden Railroad?

This exhibit features G-scale railroad models, measuring approximately 12 inches to the foot. The exhibit provides a miniature view of the area’s rich historic past, including real plants, different climate zones and more!

  • See a G-gauge redwood trestle that is 201’8″ in length with a two-foot elevation change!
  • Watch as the train meanders through the ghost towns and frontier life of the Old West as well as world-famous attractions such as Main Street USA and Napa Valley vineyards!
  • View a variety of botanical plants native to arid climates, which retain the G-scale balance!

Who runs the trains?

Each year volunteers who are passionate about the art of model railroading continue to add new touches, expand and improve the layout of the exhibit under the expert supervision of the Director of Trains, Joe Schneider. In addition, the exhibit is in need of enthusiastic volunteers and docents to interact with the daily visitors.

Who can join in?

The Living Desert’s Garden Railroad is open from October 1st thru early June (depending on the temperature). During the summer months, despite the heat, our volunteers and staff continue to work daily to refurbish and expand the displays.

For more information on Train Adoption, please call (760) 346-5694, ext. 2126.
For more information about the Garden Railroad, please call (760) 346-5694, ext. 2651.
For more information on becoming a train volunteer, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (760) 346-5694, ext. 2503.

Adopt a Train at The Living Desert's Garden Railroad

Adopt a Train at The Living Desert's Garden Railroad

Adopt a Train at The Living Desert's Garden Railroad

Adopt a Train at The Living Desert's Garden Railroad

Adopt a Train
Opportunities
$50
Grandy Dancer
$100
Break Man
$250
Fireman
$500
Train Conductor
$1,000
Big Boy
Run the train
from the Tower
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Name a Major Feature
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Personalize a Train
Adopt Certificate
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Recognition on the
Donor Board
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Special Acknowledgments
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Adopt Party Invitation
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Guest Passes to
The Living Desert
2 4 6 8
VIP Private Tour of
Train Tower for 6
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Message on Train Billboard
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Name a Building
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A G-Scale Wish List for Under $100

Why have a Wish List???

It takes over 10,000 Q-Tips annually to give the Train it’s daily cleaning, and the fabulous details of the Garden Train such as the people, the signs and all the other wonderful elements can cost anywhere from $5 to $30 each!

While these may seem like unusual needs, they are on the “Wish List” for anyone who is willing to make a smaller but ever so important general donation to keep our trains up and running and expanding each season.

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