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“A Really Weird Experience that Could Use a Little Marketing Help” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hartmann Model Railroad & Toy Museum

Hartmann Model Railroad & Toy Museum
Route 16/302, 15 Town Hall Road, PO Box 165, Intervale, Bartlett, NH 03845
603 356-9922
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Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Intervale
Attraction details
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
66 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
“A Really Weird Experience that Could Use a Little Marketing Help”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

A lot of the reviews below are spot on. Here are my impressions:

We were the ONLY family at this gigantic property. There are two large buildings that look like they were built specifically for this hobby/business. The fact that they were open shocked me, especially just coming from a jam-packed Story Land.

The gentleman attending the layout museum was very nice and explained the museum prices, however we wanted to ride the train that was outside. This is when it got, well, weird. He directed us over to the shop, run by the lady (I think his wife).

The local town will not allow them to sell tickets to ride the cool looking train out front, some government politics or whatnot. OK. So to get around this rule, they want you to buy a souvenir at $8 (or higher) to ride the train. What? Huh? too weird, complicated. I was just about to say, "How about I just give you a $20 donation to let us ride?" (there were 4 of us, the ride is about a mile long...) But she said to me first, "If you don't see anything you like, you could also donate $8 per person to ride."

Whoa, $32 to ride ONE ride for my family? That's too much. The couple seemed nice enough, they are retired from Switzerland we found out, but there were NO OTHER GUESTS VISITING THE PLACE. I said to my wife... They must have retired rich. I can't imagine they even make $50 dollars in one day, it is worth it to turn the electricity on? It must be one big hobby to give them something to do.

OK, so the local town doesn't like them for whatever reason, and imposed a restrictive ordinance against them. Why not erect a GIANT sign out front: "FREE TRAIN RIDES!" and give each person a free ride when they pay admission to visit the layout museum? Why launch into a whole speech about the local government... It came across as bitter before we even got into the front door.

I just don't understand their business model or their marketing strategy... literally mind boggling. The actual shop is GIANT. A model railroader's dream, for sure. They must have inventory to last them for years- I couldn't believe the AMOUNT of product they had. But again, the prices are astronomical. I realize these are premium products, but anyone who is really into model railroading would know where to find these products cheaper online.

We left without riding or buying anything, and I am still trying to make sense of the whole thing.

Visited July 2013
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40 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Shoreham, New York
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Be a KID again ! All Aboard !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

If you LOVE trains,toys, nostalgia and have kids I think you'll LOVE Hartman's. The many layouts of different gauges which are basic, which could have actual trains running rather then just engines.However there is a lot more then trains such as examples of,slot cars,Matchbox,Dinky, Gorki, various detailed models, die cast of every car and truck you could think of. One can say it's a "Boy Thing" and they'd probably be right (and possibly politically incorrect for the day) but that's what it is. As a "TOY" person I just really found that seeing toys from the past that I either played with or still own today exciting and enjoyable. I especially enjoyed seeing the military terminal and yard. In good weather there is an outdoor railroad that runs around the property and the kids will enjoy the experience. All and all it was a nice fun place to visit that has taken care of their collections and enjoy sharing them with the public. I've seen much more impressive modern toy museum but for a "Mom & Pop" operation I was glad I stopped in for a visit.

Visited June 2013
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Intervale, NH 03845
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Interesting Selection of Model Railroads for Children”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

My 6-year old grandson loves trains, so the Hartman Model Railroad seemed a logical destination on a rainy day. There are many model train setups in a variety of sizes and guages. There are stepstools for the children, and the children get to push the buttons to activate each model train display. My grandson made three circuits of the railroad displays and enjoyed himself. Some of the displays feature only 1 or 2 trains in motion on circular routes. The displays feature a variety of layouts depending on the time period. The cost was $5 per person, the the price is reasonable. The owners were pleasant, and the man came over to speak to my grandson because my grandson was so interested in the trains.

Visited June 2013
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Bridgeport, West Virginia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Very unwelcoming for families”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

We heard about Hartmann Railroad when traveling through NH with our 8 yr old who loves trains and model railroading. The purpose of our trip to New England was to ride as many trains as we could in New England. We thought this place would be fun. We visited the museum first. I opted out as the museum had a musty odor and I did not want to pay 6 dollars to see it. My son and husband visited the museum while I prepared to wait. They were out of the museum in less than 5 minutes. Keep in mind that my son and husband can spend hours in train museums and model railroad displays. They both reported that it was not worth the price.
We then visited the model train store. We felt very unwelcome with all the rude signage and rules with exclamation marks for emphasis. My son who is well behaved ( at least in train stores :) was watched very closely. We frequent model railroad stores and the prices were high. The worst part of the visit was the table of overpriced junky items that had to be purchased in order to ride the amusement train on the property. For example, they had a coloring book that is given out for free to children by Operation Lifesaver priced for $8.00. Yes. 8 dollars for a coloring pages that are given for free to teach train safety to children. They also had some used dirty looking stuffed animals that were priced at ten dollars. My husband thinks this is done to avoid an amusement tax...not sure but still.....very tacky.
I hesitate to write negative reviews, but traveling is pricey and even more so with kids who love trains. Save your money.

Visited July 2013
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Peterborough, New Hampshire
1 review
“OK, but not great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

I read the reviews on this place and was disappointed most people were negative, but I went anyway because I like trains. The reviews here are mostly accurate but here are my impressions. The owners, a Swiss couple, may seem cool at first, as Europeans can be, but open up if you are warm. They are very friendly after a few minutes, if you care. I liked them. The layouts are not the best. Simple big ovals, dusty, poorly crafted, not a lot going on. There are some rare trains in glass cases but the lighting is sooo dim. If you are a model fan, its interesting because you will overlook the glitches. I wouldn't recommend it for children. I didn't try the outdoor train ride, it was raining, but that would be fun for families if the weather is nice. Separately is a hobby store loaded with trains and supplies. The prices seem outrageous, but they are inline with Marklin and Euro trains which are high quality and are not toys in the USA sense. Bottom line: if you like model trains, Lionel, Euro brands, old models of cars, etc. the museum is worth the visit. If you have kids in tow and don't care about this hobby, forget it.

Visited June 2013
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