The Garden Railroad
The highest and best use of the Cold Creek & Northern Railway is to educate people while transporting them through the rich and varied landscapes of Windekind.
The Railroad is one of the best places I know to be with people and to be together
The train travels from the highly cultivated lawns and garden areas, through swamps and meadows, across bridges into a tall spruce forest. It travels on rail joined and spiked one cross tie at a time and over trestles built from historic railroad plans. It's a journey that presents the natural beauty of the land, gardens and the diverse ecology of Windekind, while using a transportation technology that is old yet, in the mandate of our energy conservation economy, presages transportation to come in a greener energy future.
The heart of the Railroad is housed in the farm's oldest building, a 150 year old former barn that now functions as an interpretive museum and working shop. It is here that we teach and learn about the old technology and the skills we need to preserve it.
Over the years five steam locomotives have been built in it along with countless other railroad related projects, including cars and the two large electric engines seen in many photos. Currently, two steam locomotives are under construction and one is being rebuilt. In keeping with the robust tooling used in the age of steam much of is is antique yet as good as when new. The shop is a great location for social gathering and interpreting.
Marijke and I value all artisan activity: wood working, gardening, music, writing, dance, photography and many others. Valuing creative processes is a big reason that we have cast the farm in the direction of the Commons.