I remember growing up in the south suburbs of Chicago. The Museum of Science and Industry was a short train ride away, and I would go pretty often to be amazed by the wonders of both science and the city that surrounded me. One of my favorite exhibits was always the giant toy train set. I would watch the train go round and round for hours, hypnotized by its rotation. At the time I thought it was the biggest toy train set in the world. How could anything be bigger?! Well… I’ll tell you, at Northlandz up in New Jersey, it definitely gets bigger.
Northlandz is located out in the woods near Flemington, New Jersey, and is crown to the world’s largest miniature railroad. Remote is definitely a good way to describe it. The town has about 5000 people, and you may think you are lost while driving past endless trees to get there. You’ll eventually come to a warehouse with a simple sign, and not much else. An old railroad car sits next to the building to imply it’s contents.
Once you get past a small store in front, a small hall way opens up into a grand world. Room after room is filled with dioramas of trains. Grand Canyon, check. Philadelphia, check. Mines of Colorado. Check. New York City, CHECK!
It goes on and on. There are over 8 miles of track filling up 4 full warehouses! Not only does it have many locations, but the builder of this wonder, Bruce Williams, also has a sense of humor. If you look closely, you can see jokes built into the scenery such as the lady who wouldn’t sell out to the mining company and whose house now sits on a narrow column of land that the miners have excavated completely around.
Hours can be lost and days can be spent trying to se every little detail. I think the most fascinating part though, is all of the magnificent bridges. The amount of detail that goes into each one is absolutely incredible.
While I was there, a crew was in the process of doing its first deep clean. There is so much maintain and the dioramas are so fragile that for years, dust has been slowly settling, causing a grey winter snow over the landscape. A slow process using only water bottles and q-tips, it is finally being given new life. I look forward to coming back soon and seeing it in all of it’s glory.
Closest Supercharger North Brunswick New Jersey 25 mi
301 Grand Ave North Brunswick Township, NJ 08902
6028 495, US-202, Flemington, NJ 08822