Model trains, a garden, and a transport back to a much simpler time in Eagan, Minnesota.
Way back in 1978 Bud Ayako started to cultivate a beautiful garden in Eagan, Minnesota. His passion for gardening and outdoor life turned into the Lutz Railroad Garden. Bud combined his love for model trains with the serene tranquility of his garden space to form the railroad garden for all of Eagan to enjoy. He’s also Santa Claus for a couple months a year. The garden is his way of showing visitors what Santa does in the offseason. Bud has dozens of plants in his backyard railroad garden which are fresh and full of life and a “one of a kind fountain”. The area smells great too.
Bud spends his time traveling around Eagan and the Twin Cities as Santa Claus during the holiday season. He starts just before Thanksgiving and continues on right up until Christmas before he is off to deliver toys for all the children of Eagan, MN. Bud or “Santa” attend’s special events and mall visits almost every day through the month of December. He works hard and loves being Santa and putting smiles on the kid’s faces while they recite their list of gifts they hope to receive.
The Lutz Railroad Garden is located at 2690 Egan Avenue in Eagan, Minnesota 55121. It’s just off of the Interstate 35E and Exit 98. When you hit the exit go west and you shall find it. The Lutz Railroad garden is open to the public on the third Sunday of the month from June to September. The hours of operation at the Lutz railroad in Eagan are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
When you arrive at the Lutz Railroad Garden, Conductor Bud will take you on the trains’ journey through waterfalls and green landscape. You’ll also go through the town and pass Conductor Bud’s version of Mount Rushmore. There is a bamboo fountain, “mechanical mountain” and a newly added spiral waterfall. And don’t forget Bud’s pride and joy the bamboo beer chaser.
There is a bubble fountain that adds ambiance and sound while the train speeds along, not too mention it propels the water wheel. This, in turn, starts the Eagan man and woman cutting wood and washing clothes. The railroad is at G-Scale and goes through the town passing all of the local scenery. There are also handmade bridges and trestles and a surprise gorilla that escaped from the Eagan carnival, possibly near the beautiful geyser, you have to search and see.
You’ll also hear the roar of the locomotive when the 9 car train rolls through the town of Eagan along with the sound of some livestock as you go around the track. You’ll see old cars and trucks from some 50 years back as well as the townsfolk going about their day.
Conductor Bud Ayako has truly created a unique experience that has become a tourist attraction in the city of Eagan MN. He loves what he does and has fun while doing so. He hopes you will share in his enjoyment for gardens and trains here in Eagan, Minnesota.