Northlandz
Paint & Pottery Studios • Private Tours • Rail Tours • Day Trips
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10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Northlandz is in the Guinness Book of World's Records for being the World's Largest Model railroad with over 8 miles of track and a 52,000 square foot building. Boasting hundreds of tunnels and canyons 3 and 1/2 stories high, it's an amazing display of creativity. Completely handicap accessible, Northlandz has something for everyone, model train enthusiast or not.
Flemington, New Jersey
Tours and Tickets by Northlandz
Travelers talk about
(9 reviews)
(228 reviews)
(30 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
409 reviews
Excellent
163
Very good
123
Average
61
Poor
36
Terrible
26

Y F
1 contribution
Apr 2019 • Family
My children (ages 3-16) got bored after the first hour, but I could’ve stayed for days. There are quite literally millions of details, and I tried my best to take it all in but it’s impossible in one day. I met the owner, a very humbling and unassuming man, who has dedicated his life to this project. He says he spends the vast majority of the hours that the place is closed to the public on building/improving the models. It’s worth going just to meet the guy. He actually keeps track (no pun intended) of how many hours he spends on each exhibit. 200 on this one, 300 on that one etc. Although technically this place seems to appeal to children, there is no way in the world they will appreciate the details the way adults would. And don’t forget about the humor. Bruce’s favorite character, Grandma, is very well represented. And I don’t know if I should tell you about Grandma‘s favorite possession, or if I should let you come and see for you yourself. No, I can’t control myself. It’s her outhouse.

I’ve read in some of the other reviews that it is dim, the carpet is worn out, and the bathrooms should be updated and cleaner. These are all accurate constructive criticisms and I hope the management will work on it. (last time I was there was over two years ago, this issue may have been resolved by now. I don’t know.) But this review is not about all of that. It’s about one man’s passion and dedication and how he has created something with his two hands that is literally beyond belief.

PS Don’t tell my children but I plan on secretly taking a day off sometime and visiting this place myself. That is the only way to do it justice, without the children dragging me along because they’re bored.

PPS Here’s a tip if you go with children. Try to ride the beautiful outdoor train before you go inside, because your children will pester you the entire time you’re inside that they want to go on the real train.
Written March 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

P F B
Edison, NJ1,645 contributions
Jul 2022
OMG! This place is fantastic! Did not realize that this is as big as it is. There are several ramps that take you to view the scenery along the way as well as to look down. Along the way are tidbits of interesting train facts. Plenty of dolls on display, including Elvis dolls. A room with several antique organs. There is a snack food area. The staff was helpful in ordering discounted tickets online right in the gift shop. Definitely want to return to video the trains running around the many track scenes,
Written July 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear, Thanks for taking the time to review and visit Northlandz Miniature Wonderland. We are so grateful for the pleasure of serving you and hope we met your expectations. I hope you come again. Thanks again. Northlandz Team
Written July 25, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

plurp8
Dover, DE173 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
First time we came was sad, dust, cobwebs, derelict scenes, holes in scenes, broken buildings and trains. Just went march 1 2020 and it's much improved. Still has dust but has people going around keeping trains running, cobwebs are about gone. Still has holes in scenery floors, maybe people fixing trains go thru scenery floors? Its brighter and staff is friendlier. Has events at night like buffets and bands. Has play area for kids too
Written February 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joanne
1 contribution
Feb 2020 • Couples
We have been to many Train Museums but Northlandz was by far the best most authenic train lay out with so much detail in the landscaping along with some very unique displays. Viewing these displays on open connecting levels lets you see the landscaping and trains from afar as well as up close for all the details...they have gone above and beyond in their presentation.
Written February 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

melfred123
New York City, NY10 contributions
Apr 2021 • Family
Went there with my 2 children and father and felt very uncomfortable. Masks were not being enforced and the place was very crowded with no social distancing being monitored at all. Central room became a play room full of individuals with no masks on running around with no supervision. I explained this to management who seemed more concerned about bringing people in then safety. Everyone needs to make their own decisions about their safety level but I felt incredible uncomfortable there. In non-Covid times I have always enjoyed my visits there but not today.
Written April 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thanks for visiting, we believe you came to visit Northlandz during the week of Passover. It was difficult for management to make some people understand in English that a mask is a must. We had to have people stand by the entrance, also walk through the layout to keep people reminding about masks. After adding more people to enforce the masks we were able to have get a lot more ppl to wear the masks.
Written April 28, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Nicole R
Morrisville, PA4 contributions
Mar 2020 • Family
This was a fun family trip! Our children loved it! The train display was the largest I have ever seen! It takes up multiple rooms and stories. You can even see the control room where they run the trains from. The attention to detail in the display is amazing. Definitely worth a visit!
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

janetfromphilly
Philadelphia5 contributions
My husband, a model train enthusiast, and I finally found time to visit this widely touted attraction. We were ushered into a musty, dank, run down fire trap at an admission price that surely would embarrass any but the most crass roadside hawker. The macabre atmosphere was replete with spiders and beetles (real) hugging the dark wobbly floored corridors, that were littered with dirt and trash. Paper mache scenes seemed to have withered under many layers of dust and years of neglect. And everything, even the so-called art gallery items, was covered with thick layers of dust and debris. The "art" and "doll" display glasses were smeared so badly that it was hard to tell what was on display. We were so anxious to leave that filthy maze like-building that we hardly noticed any trains (which were few and unremarkable.)

If Flemington has a health or licensing department, it should check out this house of horrors.
Written November 1, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

cwoncape
1 contribution
Northlandz is second in size to MINIATUR WUNDERLAND in Hamburg Germany and is not anywhere near as imaginative or fun to visit and it's way to expensive.
Also, if you're a model train fan, I hope you like the EMD F7 and four car trains as that's 95% of what you will see.
Channing Wilroy
Provincetown, MA.
Written November 6, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

InformedTraveller
Northern Virginia215 contributions
Sep 2013 • Solo
Introduction
I recently had the opportunity to tack a relatively short visit to Northlandz onto a business trip. The following is my review of this attraction.

General Impressions:
This really is HUGE. Nothing that I read really prepared me for the sheer scale of the thing. For that reason alone, it is worth a visit by any model rail fan. Having said that, for the reasons I indicate below, in the terms of the Michelin or Mobil travel guides, Northlandz is worth a detour of an hour or even a bit more, but not a special trip.

I visited on a Wednesday mid-day, mid-September i.e. the schools were all in session. When I arrived, I was the only visitor. While I was there, a train enthusiast arrived and started dragging his young daughter, young wife and their newborn through the exhibit. I have no personal experience to support the following statement, but I imagine that weekends and holidays definitely, and even summer and vacation days to a lesser extent, see a lot of children. I have nothing against children and we have raised some ourselves, but I believe their presence in any numbers would have an impact on my enjoyment.

I would allow 2.5 to 3 hours for a thorough tour of the railroad. I didn’t have that much time, and I knew that I didn’t have the time that I needed to do justice to it. But – the 1.25 hours I did have was better than nothing. I do hope to return someday when I can carve out enough time.
Given the amount of time needed, and the weekday hours (10:30 to 4), it is likely that you will want lunch, or at least a snack, while you are there. I regret to say that unless candy, cookies and other sweeties are your thing, I HIGHLY recommend that you bring your own food. Aside from the deficiencies of the in-house snack bar, there is NOTHING in the immediate vicinity.

It was interesting to see the control area. The whole thing is powered by a huge rank (100? More? Had I had time I would have counted them) of basic Tech II MRC power packs. Very little in the way of monitor lights etc. Understandable for a set of loops, but personally I would want a bit more electronics telling me what is working and what is not (don’t tell me that on a set-up of this scale, everything is always working). Maybe these exist but down in the entry area; if so, it would be interesting to see them. This display also reminded me of the investment. Individual items may be inexpensive but so many are needed – if he got a great price, say $15 – it still represents an investment of well over $1,000.

One thing to understand before deciding to visit: for the most part this is not a “serious” model railroad. While a number of the structures themselves are “serious” HO scale models (a highlight – see below), there is no theme or set time. In particular, the set-up is highly whimsical. Buildings are from all over North America and Europe (e.g. at least two castles), although to be fair, North America predominates. Many buildings are in impossibly whimsical physical locations. The number of wrecks was very much overdone and the wreck scenes themselves were unrealistic. Many of the bridges are hopelessly unrealistic (while a few are terrific models) and would never support the scale loads. Rolling stock also has numerous whimsical touches. Most industrial structures don’t have rail connections (see below). Cutesy stuff such as the world’s highest and narrow air landing strip, the toothpick farm, numerous “Grandma” jokes, the Star Trek landing scene, etc. are just not at all to my taste. I’m not at all sure, by the way, that this stuff necessarily appeals to children either. I know that my son would have found it appallingly hokey. From a very young age he has always looked for realism and has been my own sternest critic in that regard on our home pike.

POSITIVES
The following are in order of my receiving the impression, not in order of importance.
• The proprietor just couldn’t be a nicer or more helpful fellow. For his sake I sure hope that my visit was not indicative of his traffic, and that he is doing OK financially.
• Once again the sheer scale of the thing just has to impress. There are numerous scenes in which there is at least 25 feet from the bottom of the scene to the highest point. That’s over 2,000 scale feet!
• The close-to-scale model of the famous Firth of Forth rail bridge in Scotland is truly spectacular, I would have to say arguably worth the price of admission in itself. They also have done an excellent job of giving visitors a number of views of this magnificent model from various perspectives – above, below, eye level, etc.
• The general level of quality of the hundreds of buildings, many of them scratch-built and many more kit-bashed, is surprisingly high. All had at least basic weathering. A small percentage were finished to a very high standard indeed, and although I say “a small percentage”, in absolute terms this must have been at least 100, maybe even 200 structures. If the fellow were, heaven forbid, have to liquidate, I would definitely make a special trip for the auction! Also, I felt like there was at least one of just about every structure in the Walthers catalog, and one of the things I enjoyed was seeing a number of these models, some of which I have considered buying, in the 3-D flesh so to speak. Overall, the structures were the most interesting thing for me. Had I more time, I would have liked to take some notes, but I got some ideas for my own modeling even without such notes.
• Given the number of square feet, the terrain is pretty good. Many of the views are from some distance, and from a few feet and further the terrain impression is very favorable. When close up, it sometimes disappoints. An exception is many of the water scenes, see below.
• In many of the scenes, the scale figures were realistically arranged so that they had a purpose and fit into the scene.

NOT NEGATIVES, BUT SOME ISSUES
• Although it was September, as luck would have it I went on the hottest day of 2013 in central New Jersey. At least the top quarter, maybe even as much as the top third, of the display (by top, I mean in terms of proximity to the roof) was intolerably hot. The proprietor proactively warned me of this (see above – nice guy, helpful), but that didn’t change the situation. To be fair, I’m sure that while he may have taken a shortcut on the A/C, he still faces HUGE utility bills in the summer months. If I am able to return as I hope, it will be on a crisp but not cold day – I fear that on a really cold day, too much hot air will rise to the upper regions. The direct result was that, pressed for time anyway, I pretty much rushed through this part of the exhibit.
• Older people and / those with foot or leg problems should be advised that the tour is pretty long. I’d be interested to know how long, but it’s far from trivial. I don’t think this fact is appropriately presented. But my real point is, on the whole tour I saw only one place –approximately midway – where we old geezers can sit down and have a rest. Especially had I had more time, a few strategically placed chairs would be much appreciated. On the other hand, to be fair, the gradients are very well planned and shouldn’t cause problems for anybody who is physically able to walk.
• This fellow needs to make a profit, for which I grudge him not, and in fact wish him well. But a number of the display cases scattered throughout the tour path were full of what in my opinion is just bric-a-brac. For me, the experience would be improved by their removal.
• On a similar note, there also are a lot of dolls, and dolls-house stuff in these exhibit cases. I am assuming that they are there to provide something of interest to the poor little girls being dragged through this exhibit; if I’m right, I fully understand, but they do still blur the focus.
NEGATIVES
• First and foremost – the trains. Nearly all of the loops are really long by model rail standards. It begs for long trains. My own layout is by no means small, but 15 cars is about the most I can do without looking out of proportion. Northlandz has one long coal train which is awesome! But nearly all of the trains are dinky – as few as one car (and these frankly look stupid on such a huge exhibit) and never (other than the one coal train) more than five or six cars. This is an opportunity wasted. I don’t mind that, unlike the buildings, the cars are cheap and unweathered; if he had multiple trains of 25 or 30 cars, it would be awesome. He also lacks passenger trains and none of the passenger trains I saw had a realistic number of cars.
• One of the biggest negatives is the very first scene, at the start of the tour. The proprietor should understand that this scene does much to set expectations. In my case, that scene left me wondering very seriously if I had made a big mistake. A number of the structures in this first section needed repair – and trust me, I’m not talking about structures modeled to be in disrepair, I’m talking about missing parts, fallen-off parts, broken parts, fallen-over trees, fallen-over telephone poles, etc. There were “roads to nowhere” and places without roads. Placed between the viewer and that section of the running main was just a jumble of essentially randomly placed track that went nowhere and made no sense at all.
• This comment is a good segue to another issue. I understand that display layouts like this one can’t have working turnouts. However, better planning could have easily made it look more like a model railroad and less like a bunch of disconnected scenes with loop tracks running through them. Most of the commercial and industrial buildings have no track connection. As I said, I don’t expect a working siding, but I believe that non-working sidings could have easily been included. The turnouts could have been soldered to straight-line only on a workbench, and insulated rail joiners would ensure that the sidings cause no electrical problems.
• Curiously, I felt that on the whole, there were insufficient station buildings. This comment goes back to the overall feel that the whole thing is a jumble of building kits with errant train loops. It appeared to me that, rather like the industrial buildings, a number of the towns and villages did not have direct rail connection.
• While I am positive about the terrain as a whole, the water is poorly done. A number of the waterways did not have even roughly realistic banks. Waterfalls were very unrealistic. Coloring was also unrealistic. I don’t think it would have been difficult or costly to do a better job in this area. Another terrain issue is the ballasting of the track, or rather the lack thereof. Ballast is kind of “simulated” and this is probably good enough for visitors with no model railroad experience, but it is a deficiency in the eyes of myself and, I think, most other model railroaders. I guess this would have been just too costly even for a superficial effort.
• There is a large urban scene with a number of high rise buildings. The overall effect is powerful, but – (1) there is no train connection! At all! This is begging for an impressive Union Station. (2) There are NO people! Especially given the “population” of most of the exhibit, it looks like a neutron bomb must have gone off.
• The prior bullet is a segue to this one: there aren’t enough scale figures. Even though I’m sure that there a zillion of them on the exhibit, it needs more.
• Maybe this was because of the light foot traffic, but during my visit a number of the train loops were inactive.
• I’m not sure how long Northlandz has been open, but it is well overdue for some serious maintenance. A number of items visibly need repair. The water effects in particular look tired, have lost their gloss, have chips, etc.
• I read several articles about the construction phase. I’m a businessman myself, and I fully understand the need to get the exhibit open as soon as possible. But there are some things that could / should have been rectified later. Of the few places where there are simulated sidings, there are no bumpers at the end of the tracks. The telephone poles are unweathered and the insulators are not painted. Many of the “roads” are unrealistically modeled and could be improved. More figures and more trees are needed.
• There are G scale and O scale sections that are just an eyesore. They should be removed and the space used either for more HO or for rest areas.
Written September 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NickyPeach
LBI, NJ45 contributions
Our children love trains, as does my husband and myself. My father was also with us who is a model train enthusiast.
We drove an hour and 45 minutes and we were so disappointed. The whole set up was nice, with the mountains and houses, etc. There were hardly any trains to be seen. I was expecting to see lots of trains!!! Perhaps not even a handful were there and they were pulling only 2 or 3 cars. We were so disappointed. The old lady at the hot dog snack shop was so rude as were the other old employees. RUDE!!! There was dust, garbage, and cob webs throughout the place. The entrance fee was quite steep to see dirt, garbage, cobwebs, and no trains. You would think that with the pricey admissions they can get some help to clean the place up since the people working there were all old. My nine year old was greatly disappointed. They hopefully will clean the place up, I will not refer anyone here!!!!!
Written December 30, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Northlandz (Flemington) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go