"Howdy Folks! Welcome to the little mining town of Rainbow Ridge, the gateway to Nature's Wonderland"

This is my documentation of my miniature re-creation of the long-gone Disneyland attraction: Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland. This is a selectively compressed model railroad, in On30 scale at 5' X 7.5' that has been in progress since September 2005. In May of 2016, I finally got the layout to a point where I declared it "finished".

I started the layout when I was a sophomore in high school with basic skills and over the years the layout has been improved and reworked in drastic ways to match my ever improving model making skills. In fact, since I started rebuilding the sections to better quality and standards, I've actually created a whole new layout, piece by piece.

This is a stand-by basis project without a deadline, so it tends to hit the back-burner a lot due to other things with higher priorities. But whenever I can, I'll give an update when there is something worth talking about. All of my updates since day one are here, which include photos, videos, and plenty of rambling notes and descriptions.

September 2012 Update

As of today, the layout has been in production for 7 years. While at the snail pace that it progresses, it's still slowly becoming the finished and professional layout that it was intended to be.

If you haven't checked it out already, the layout has been getting updates posted over at FaceBook at

While the layout is rotated into the orientation that allows easy access to the waterfall side of Cascade Peak, I took advantage of that. Continuing the new look of the waterfalls I redid during the summer (scroll down to the June/July update) I worked on the middle set of falls to reflect the updated style.

First order of business was to rip out the silicone falls and get the base part of the falls ready for the new ones. Since the silicone is extremely flexible, it was easy enough to peel off the pools and falls from the layout with minimal repairs. However, with the addition of the new LED lighting, those minimal repairs were just a starting point.

I punched a couple holes through the scenery to run wiring for the LED's. Unfortunately, in the process I knocked the speaker that broadcasts the sounds of falling water out of position and it need to be re-attached (hence the bigger hole in the middle).

Once the wiring was finalized and the LED's soldered on, patchwork commenced with celluclay and paint touch-ups were applied. Good as new!

The falls themselves were fabricated from 0.040" plastic sheets and a soldering iron was dragged across in vertical streaks to create the shimmering look. I'll go into much more detail when Big Thunder falls get their rehab in the next update. 

As with the last set of waterfalls, the pools were poured with Enviro-tex resin and later coated with a layer of Mod Podge to hide the glass-like finish. 

A plastic sheet protects the resin from unwanted dust while it sets. 

And finally, the new waterfalls! 

Not only do they look great during the day, they look even more spectacular at night! 

Even though Big Thunder falls haven't been updated yet, the lighting package had already begun installation. The greenish light at the top of Big Thunder Falls is the last incandescent light that was once the standard for the layout before LED's took over.