December 3, 2011. Always having an interest in model trains, I visited many a "Christmas Putz" in Pennsylvania. When I read about Northlandz as the "worlds largest miniature railway" I paid a visit in 1998. I spend a long time at the first train scene because it dwarfed the largest "Christmas Putz" I ever remember as a kid. It took me a couple of seperate train scenes to realize this place was big! Now that I have 4 year old grandson, it was time to revisit. I had the same enjoyment this visit as I did years ago.
There were trains running everywhere. I think the museum has 100 trains in operation all the time ! In many scenes, there were multiple running trains simultaneously.
There were very elaborate bridges everywhere. The skill level and the many hours of dedicated art is clearly demonstrated. There were roller coasters and deep strip mines and if one looked carefully, could see a train way down in the mine.
At one point during our tour we heard Christmas Music played on a pipe organ. We eventually found the area and saw Bruce Williams Zaccagnino, the curator, playing on the white organ. I was so caught up with the music that I forgot to take his photo.
The nice thing about the visit was the continuous walkway that allowed everyone to see all the exhibits. Along the way were displays of trains and many other historic items. There were elaborate doll house displays with items to scale . The girls like this a lot.
The central control panel had rows and rows of individual train controllers to keep the rolling stock in action.
One is struck with the level of detail at every scene in the museum. Awesome.
At the end of the tour, was the gift shop. Had to buy my grandson a couple of "Thomas the Tank" items.
There were items added since my first visit, but the vastness of the museum was such that I couldn't list them all. I did note that the white organ was something I didn't see, or hear, on my first visit.
Northlandz is a great place to visit, I highly recommend it.