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“Little Boy Heaven!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Roads and Rails Museum

Roads and Rails Museum
200 N. East Street, Frederick, MD 21701
+1 301-624-5526
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Ranked #5 of 16 Attractions in Frederick
Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
Attraction details
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Little Boy Heaven!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013 via mobile

I have three boys who get excited just driving past real railroad tracks. So seeing model railroad displays is always a joy for them. We have been twice, for 45-60 minutes each time. The layout is huge. I find the scenes whimsical and entertaining. The buttons have always worked for my boys, over and over, and over. The layout is circular, so my boys do a lot of running around it. They provide stools for shorter children to stand on. They provide a scavenger hunt that I think my oldest would enjoy, but younger fans don't seem to have the attention our ability to do it. It might be a fun date for a couple, though. I think the price is reasonable. They just completed a major upgrade to their Lego reason collection, it looks like we need to take another trip. The staff has always been very friendly.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Frederick, Maryland
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Train loving kids will be impressed.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

My son is a train fanatic so this is a favorite place for him to visit. Unfortunately it can get quite expensive to visit often. While I understand charging admission to everyone, it would be nice if adults who visit frequently were given a discount. Just for the mere fact that I've already seen it. I'm not here to see it again. I'm just here to supervise my kid who wants to see it again. So I pay money for myself to see an attraction that I have little interest in, but can't let my child visit alone. They would make more money from me if they raised the children's admission price a little bit and let adults go in free after so many visits. Because at that point most adults are not there to see the trains. (at least not the moms I know) We are just there to supervise our kids! I would visit a lot more often if my budget allowed but unless the prices change we will still continue to make only rare visits.

Now, on to the things we like about it. The layout is huge and very well done. The people who run this place have a real passion for what they do and it shows. There is a mini Thomas layout in another room that preschoolers will enjoy. There are buttons to push and lots of little details to look for. A scavenger hunt and nods to local haunts everywhere. My son is most impressed by the small coal mine display and the castle on the hill which he claims is Hogwarts. (It's not.) The zoo and carnival are also favorites of his because the buttons make it come alive. The displays are impressive and there is a lot to see. But if you're like me, once you've seen it, you've seen it and I get quite bored very quickly after that.

The layout is a big circle so your child WILL run all the way around it over and over again, no matter how many times you tell them not to. And after paying all that money to get in I'm not about to leave to give the kid a time-out! There are step stools for the kids to use but they are large so bring your own small one if you don't want to have to cart a cumbersome step stool around the entire room ten times. (another "fun" feature for the grown ups)

Restrooms are clean. They do host parties but again you pay admission on top of the room rental fee so if you have guests who won't care about the train layout they will be sitting in the party room alone while the kids all enjoy the trains.

Would be nice if they offered gift cards so that grandma and grandpa could help pay for future admission prices.

Beware the huge gift shop area. Your child will beg you to buy trains. It will sully the whole happy experience because they will likely leave in tears (after having a great time looking at the layout) because you can't afford to spend $20 on a Thomas train after having spent money to see the attraction itself. The gift shop does house a very cool LEGO train display which is worth a look.

Staff is friendly and well-informed. Although like most grown men who have a love of model trains, they take themselves a little too seriously.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Market, Maryland
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Grand Kids loved it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

If you or any one you know enjoys model trains, this is a must see. The layout is one of the largest I have ever enjoyed. The vignettes were all working properly with a very large selection of styles and sizes. The community scenes were adorable and our grand kids loved them. I know we will be back regularly.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Impressive layout; an enjoyable experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

For whatever reason, I wasn't expecting much out of this museum. However, when I walked through the cave-style entrance, I was so impressed by the display. The set-up was so detailed-oriented; even the walls were painted to look like skies. At first, it may not seem like much, but upon closer inspection, you begin to notice all sorts of witty details. If you are from the Frederick area, you might enjoy the pint-size Flying Dog Brewery. The scavenger hunt is a must do; it forces you to open your eyes to all of the humor and details of the exhibit. While we probably would have spent less time there, the scavenger hunt encouraged us to stay for almost two hours!

The employees were quite friendly and definitely served to make the experience more enjoyable. My entire group was over 21 years of age, but we all enjoyed the Museum immensely. If you have any sense of adventure or are still a child at heart, I definitely recommend visiting Roads and Rails!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Good job”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012 via mobile

Really nice thing to do for kids under 10-11. Expansive train layout very imaginatively done. Not something you see everywhere.

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