We took our young grandsons to "see trains", and although they had fun making the visit worthwhile, we found the place needing a big update and especially an overall improvement in quality of presentation. Based on advertising and the web site we expected much more from this place for the price ($8 adults and $5 children), and found many things were not operating even at noon although they supposedly opened at 1000. By the way, they have a very good web site that contains much detail about their collection.
The kids enjoyed the train ride -- a 10 minute train ride on a real train - out a 1/3 mile track and back; nothing too exciting, but where else can kids ride a real train. They have an old passenger train (stationary) that you can walk through (car with sleeping compartments, bathroom dining room, and kitchen; car with seats that convert to beds including pull-down beds, ladies & mens lounges; and steam locomotive and tender). Although these are old and in need of cleaning and some repairs, it is a good display of railroading in that era, especially due to the personal/human items displayed as if these cars were occupied by passengers.
There is a building that houses some old cars and old fire trucks along with a very large HO scale railroad setup as well as other sizes of railroad setups. Unfortunately, several major additions are underway to the HO setup, and no trains were running until around 1:00. There is a larger "G" gauge minature train of Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy (possibly others) set up outside that wasn't running until after 1200, and even then consisted only of the engines. This train layout is very large and has potential, but has a very unfinished appearance. The cars, trucks, and fire engines of the museum collection are also packed into this building, but are too close together for a person to look at them very well (some even had display cases pushed in front of them, partially hiding the vehicle). The model railroad setups and vehicles have significant potential, but the volunteers seem to be more interested in adding more track/displays rather than improving the quality of the existing displays.
This museum is run by volunteers, and mostly it seems to be a site where a couple of model railroading groups can enjoy their hobby, and enthusiasts of full-size railroading can try to preserve some old rolling stock and support equipment. Most likely the volunteer staff are overwhelmed with the immediate work and not museum professionals, so there seems to be a
minimalist approach to museum-quality presentation and preservation. It appears the greatest need is for large donations of money and more volunteers (and possibly paid staff) to maintain it and make it what was intended. They especially need professional quality presentation and attention to items that have been neglected (grassburrs along the paths, dusty displays).
Maybe as time goes on it will become something special, but for now you should be aware of its limitations, and you might want to ask about status of exhibits before going to ensure all model railroads are operating on the day you plan to visit.
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