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  EnterTrainment Junction

Forth Junction Project
Alberta Central
Historical Model Rail Project

Model Railway Museums 

Forth Junction Project Vision Sharing Historical Perspective Ground Transportation
Heritage Preservation
Forth Junction
Heritage Society

The Alberta Central Heritage Model Rail Project:
A miniature replication of the history of rail transportation in Central Alberta, particularly within the City of Red Deer and the communities of Red Deer County.

Current world-class model railway museums

There are only a handful of world-class model railway museums or layouts in the world that are open to the general public. Of those, there are even fewer that are intended to be miniature representations of an actual historical location and fewer still that show the comparison of historic sites from one era to another.

Some of the larger model rail museums include:

- Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany -- promotes itself as the largest HO scale* model railway in the world that features representations of several different countries and has hundreds of moving parts run by computer in addition to the trains themselves. It is still expanding and the layout currently covers 19,000 sq. ft. of the 64,000 sq. ft. leased that includes a large workshop and computer control centre. In 2008, there were about 1 million visitors;

- EnterTrainment Junction in Ohio -- promotes itself as the world's only train-themed family entertainment centre. Opened in August 2008 it features a 25,000 sq. ft. O scale* layout. The complex covers 80,000 sq. ft. that includes a 5,000 sq. ft. museum, an 8,000 sq. ft. expo centre, a 5,000 sq. ft. kids centre, and a 9,000 sq. ft. multi-media presentation centre in addition to a retail component and workshop. In its first year, it attracted 100,000 visitors;

- Northlandz in New Jersey -- promotes itself as the largest model railway museum in the world at 52,000 sq. ft. that includes layouts in 3 scales -- HO, O and G*. Opened for several years and starting to show its age, it averages a quarter million visitors per year;

- San Diego Model Railway Museum in California -- It is probably the largest historical model railway museum of its kind at 27,000 sq. ft. with 5 operating layouts in various model scales (N, HO, O*). It is also the only accredited model railroad museum in the U.S. Since its inception in 1982, it has attracted more than 3 million visitors. It currently attracts over 150,000 visitors per year;

- Museum of Science and Industry Great Train Story Exhibit in Chicago -- The original exhibit was created in 1941 and, at 2,340 sq. ft., was the largest model railroad in the world at the time. The newest exhibit opened in 2002 and is a 3,500 sq. ft. HO layout representing modern railroading from Seattle to Chicago. The overall museum attracts 2 million visitors per year.

- Miniature World in Victoria, BC -- Probably the best-known public model display in Canada and nestled among other miniature displays, it has 2 model railway layouts, one in HO scale* and one in Z scale, combined occupying about 4,000 sq. ft.

There are a few other similar facilities in the 5,000-10,000 sq. ft. range, many of which are club layouts with little opportunity for public access as well as several high-quality private layouts under 3,500 sq. ft. with little or no public access.

One of the largest club layouts in Canada is located in Montreal. The HO layout occupies 6,000 sq. ft. in a 9,000 sq. ft. warehouse leased from Canadian National but is only open to the public once or twice a year. After operating in the building as the Canada Central for 38 years at very little cost, the club has been given 18 months to vacate in order for CN to repurpose the property.

Generally speaking, for railway museums open to the general public, floor space needs to be 2 to 3 times actual layout space in order to accommodate both viewing and operations.

* Z scale (1:220 - max. car height 1.5"); N scale (1:160 - max. car height 2");
   HO scale (1:87 - max. car height 3.5"); O Scale (1:48 - max. car height 6.5");
   G scale or Garden scale (1:22.5 - max. car height 15"). 


1892 - The beginning of a regional centre    1913 - The headiness of rapid expansion    1939 - The glory days of passenger service
1955 - A year of transition and change     1986 - Modernization and rail relocation     Future - High speed rail and regional transit
Innisfail Historical Model Rail Exhibit         Historic Model Railway Concept         World-Class Model Rail Museums

Forth Junction Transpo Park      Western Canada Transpo Centre      Historical Miniature Rail Museum      Railway Station Heritage Resort
Trails, Rails, Transit Heritage Centre      An Opportunity for Boldness       A Time to Think Big and Bold

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