Northlandz--amazing model railroad experience

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by shamus, Jan 15, 2001.

  1. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Yeah, remember reading about it in MR. quit a fantastic model railroad. It was on Television here in the UK last December.
  2. Peirce

    Peirce Member

    I visited there about a year and a half ago. It is a fantastic effort, done with a sense of humor, some very much tongue-in-cheek. An amazing thing about Northlandz is that it was practically all done by one person.

    Also on the Northlandz grounds is a miniature train ride. The locomotive has hydraulic power and only looks like a steam engine.

    I have no interest in Northlandz either. It is worth the trip to see it, however.

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    My photo albums:
    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=76905&Auth=false

    Peirce
    Southbury, CT



    [This message has been edited by Peirce (edited 01-15-2001).]
  3. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Just to add some food for Thought, Northlandz was built by a very few people. And mostly by 1 person. I have visited it 5 times over the years, and the owner operator, Bruce, has given us some insight about the display. The 9 miles of flex track was donated by atlas. It cost about 9 Million Dollars to build the building, the Display and the train outside. "Something New" will be added about every 6 - 9 months, so if you do make it back every year, like us, there will be something new to see. I have No connections with Bruce, or Northlandz, save that I am a train nut like everyone else [​IMG] See Ya!!!!!

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    My wife says if I buy One more Train, she'll leave me...
    Gee I'll miss HER!!!! [​IMG] -- N Gauger

    [This message has been edited by N Gauger (edited 01-15-2001).]
  4. BobMcD

    BobMcD Member

    I had read about Northlandz in Model Railroading (Sept. '95, I believe), and had to drive through New Jersey over the weekend, so I stopped by. In short, it's amazing!

    Northlandz is the largest model railroad in the world, as far as I know. It's 52,000 square feet, but up to 30 feet high, so effectively the modeling is more like a 150,000 square foot single-level model might be. There's a 6-foot-wide passageway from which you can view the railroad at multiple heights. The viewing passageway is ONE MILE long! The railroad itself has over eight miles of HO track.

    The interesting thing is that the modeling varies from extremely well-done to somewhat crude, but the overall effect is still impressive. What they show is that if one is building a model railroad (rather than a railroad of models), the effect of getting a scene done and directing attention to some nice elements within it is not dependent on everything being of prize-winning quality. The 300-400 bridges on this layout vary from small and humble to the mightiest I've ever seen. An HO train traveling over a 20-foot-long bridge over a 15-foot-deep gorge is an attention-getter!

    I have no connection to Northlandz, but if you're anywhere near Flemington NJ (an hour from NYC or Philadelphia), it's worth $13.75 admission to see this railroad. They're open 7 days a week, and the website is www.northlandz.com.
  5. Drew

    Drew New Member

    I saw that layout featured on a show I was watching with one of my kids on PBS. He's got a bridge on there that's based on a prototype in Scotland. Just that one bridge is bigger than my whole layout!
  6. BobMcD

    BobMcD Member

    Drew, you're probably referring to the model of the Firth of Forth bridge. It's the correct HO scale length (which works out to 30 feet or so actual length and TWICE the scale height, I'd estimate 20 feet high. Since the prototype is a whopper, the model is unbelievable.

    The whole layout has several hundred bridges and trestles, and watching how much visitors like them, I returned home determined to build some spectacular bridges. I've got to create some wild scenery to require them, but it'll be fun!

    Bob
  7. Peirce

    Peirce Member

    Did you see his town built on a side of a cliff? Some of the scenes are very realistic, while others are pure fantasy.

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    My photo albums:

    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=76905&Auth=false

    Peirce
    Southbury, CT



    [This message has been edited by Peirce (edited 01-19-2001).]
  8. BobMcD

    BobMcD Member

    My favorite was the toothpick farm, which "grew" toothpicks, planted in the plaster scenery. There was a neighboring farm of smaller toothpicks, which supplied children. The toothpicks were harvested and used in construction projects all over the layout. Great fun!

    Bob

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