Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Model Railroad Bucket List

New England, Berkshire & Western.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article about the closing of the Toronto Model Railroad Club. In it, I expressed my regret at never having seen it in person.
That made me think of other layouts I have missed seeing--and of those I want to see. It prompted me to think of making a model railroad bucket list of famed publicly accessible layouts to see before I die.

The Great Train Story.

I thought it would be interesting to get a little help in this quest, so I posed that question on several model railroad forums. What well-known public layouts (not home layouts) would people like to see before they, you know, kick the bucket?
I got a number of answers, including one that made me smile: "I'd like to see my own layout be completed before I die." I think a lot of us would share that sentiment!

So here, in no particular order, are the public layouts other model railroaders say they would like to see before they die. 

Curiously, nobody mentioned the Milwaukee, Racine & Troy, the layout owned by Model Railroader magazine. I wonder why that is--is it because we've seen so much of it in the magazine? (That is one famous layout I actually have seen!)
Minatur Wunderland. (Hamburg, Germany.)

Nortlandz. (Flemington, New Jersey)

New England, Berkshire & Western (Renssellaer Polytechnic Institute club, Troy, New York.)
Greeley Freight Station Museum. 
(Greeley, Colorado)

The Great Train Story at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum. (In San Diego, of course.)

Franklin & South Manchester. (George Sellios' private layout in Peabody, Mass., but one he apparently opens for public viewing).

Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers in Tacoma, Washington.

Some of those are on my bucket list; I also hope to make it to the Doubleheaders layout tour in Kitchener/Waterloo, some day.

What would be on your list?

Puget Sound Model Railroad club.


  1. The Allagash Railroad, The Utah Belt, Franklin and South Manchester, and the USMRR among others.

    I've seen the Great Train Story in Chicago. It's big and cool, but it's built for watching trains run from a distance. The San Diego layout looks amazing though. I'd love to check that one out.

  2. The 'Modellbundesbahn' in Bad Driburg, Germany (, is quite nice. It is a rather small yet very well crafted layout that models a specific line in the fifties or sixties.


  3. I hate to say it but Northlandz is most certainly not worth a visit. I will grant you that it is truly enormous but in order to achieve this size, quality has been completely skipped. Also, the layout simply consists of a large number of isolated loops on which a single train is whizzing around a top speed. My main thoughts when viewing this layout was to question the sanity of the creator.