Design and Operations
The Railroad as a Garden Feature
Changing Scales
Plant List
Windy Point
Garden Railroads

The railroad is fully landscaped, but the landscaping is continually enhanced as buildings and structures are added. And since it is a living garden, the plants and foliage constantly change with the seasons.
The plants in the garden are divided into planting areas based upon the amount of sun, shade, and water each area receives.
Because Steve and Betty have several beautiful, tall trees whose canopy covers nearly the entire backyard, most of the layout gets only morning sun, with filtered sunlight the rest of the day.
Photo by Jay Harvey
Filtered Sunlight
The full tree canopy covers most of the backyard, so the railroad gets only morning sun with filtered sunlight for the rest of the day.
Photo by Steve Blackson
The "Garden" Side of a Garden Railroad.
Steve's design philosophy is that a garden railroad should be a garden feature that not only can contain a railroad, but can also stand on its own beauty even if you took out all the trains and track.
He believes that in model railroading in the smaller scales, the emphasis is on the "model". But when outdoors with a garden railroad, the emphasis is on the "garden".
Steve often descibes himself as a Level-5 modeler. "It doesn't mean I'm any good, it just means it takes me five times to build and re-build something until I get it right!"
The Cypress Canyon Railroad is four years old.
Photo by Steve Blackson
The "Railroad" Side of the photo on the left.
All Aboard!

About the Builder/Author
Steve and Betty Blackson reside in Austin, Texas. Married for over 39 years, they have 3 children and 12 grandchildren. Steve has been an active model railroader since the early 1970's and over the years, had built three, large, HO/HOn3 layouts in his garage. Like many baby boomers, Steve had a Lionel train set in his childhood. Betty gave him is first HO train as a present on their second Christmas together.
Steve is a life member of the National Model Railroading Association and the Lone Star Region of the NMRA. He has won numerous regional and national awards for his modeling, and often serves as a contest judge at regional conventions.
His national award-winning model of the Michigan-California Lumber Co.'s "Pino Grande" twin sawmill complex, complete with fully operating, dual transfer tables, is on permanent display at the El Dorado County Historical Museum in Placerville, California.
The experiences he encountered while building the Cypress Canyon Railroad, led him to form Windy Point Garden Railroads to design and build garden railroads for others.
Steve and Betty Blackson

About the Photographer
Jay Harvey is an avid amature photographer who was first introduced to railroad photography when Union Pacific's 844 visited Austin in 2006.
Since photographing the Cypress Canyon Railroad, Jay has photographed most of the garden railroads Steve has built.
Jay Harvey

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