The Paul Busse Garden Railway At Franklin Park Conservatory Is Open And It’s Spectacular

All aboard! We’re heading to Franklin Park Conservatory to check out something incredible.

After three months of closure due to COVID-19, Franklin Park Conservatory is opening back up with a brand new exhibition. The Paul Busse Garden Railway features model trains whirling around on 1,122 feet of track in the Grand Mallway at Franklin Park Conservatory.

The Garden Railway explores botanical themes, including Fairytale Land, Wild West Town, the animal-themed Who Lives Here, and a European Travels section. Features include an enchanted children’s tree cove, two waterfalls, a bubbling brook, sculpted cedar mountains, and plantings specific to each theme.

The Paul Busse Garden Railway via Franklin Park Conservatory

The train is designed by Paul Busse and his team at Applied Imagination. Busse is a graduate of the Ohio State University and created his first public garden railroad at the request of Ohio Governor Jim Rhodes for the 1982 State Fair. Busse’s big break came during AmeriFlora ’92 when one of his creations was featured in a German-themed garden. He’s most widely known for the New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show, one of the Big Apple’s most famous holiday attractions.

“We saw more people than ever connecting with nature during the pandemic, and the Paul Busse Garden Railway is a great way for the community to continue this appreciation,” said Conservatory President and CEO Bruce Harkey. “This exhibition invites visitors to look at plant life in a different way, right down to every sculptural detail. We are so excited to welcome the community back to the Conservatory with an exhibition that celebrates nature through an Ohio artist’s eyes.”

Admission to The Paul Busse Garden Railway is included in your admission to Franklin Park Conservatory. The conservatory is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with special hours for the elderly or immunosuppressed. You can see Franklin Park Conservatory’s full COVID-19 guidelines right here.

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