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New outdoor garden scale model railroad on display at NMRHA

Web posted May 16, 2017
Summer is neartly here and the Garden Scale outdoor train is running at the Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association (NMRHA). That is, if it’s not raining or too windy.

A large outdoor layout, shown in part in the photo, has been built with trestles, a carnival, a small town, waterfall, mining pit, and many awesome G scale model trains. This layout is a work in progress, with new features being added on a regular basis.

The indoor interpretive exhibits highlight an explanation of model railroad scales and gauges; framed historic “Cross Crossings Cautiously” posters that promote safety around trains and tracks; and Operation Lifesaver posters and information that teach children and adults how to keep safe around trains and tracks. These exhibits were just put on the walls, and they offer a fresh look around the large HO Scale layout.

There are also several glassed in cases of various scales of model train engines, cars, cabooses, and other types of train cars and their associated gauge tracks, with informative labels, so that visitors can learn more about the varied types of “toy” trains.

The new exhibits were created by museum members and the “Cross Crossings Cautiously” posters are on loan from the Lake Superior Train Museum. BNSF donated Operation Lifesaver items for giveaways, and the Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum helped locate references and the information presented on the scale and gauge exhibits.

Children can run a model train located in the store area, ring the bell in the O scale room, have fun with a scavenger hunt to find various model train items on the layouts, and climb on the 1/10 scale Wm. Crooks train located outdoors next to the Garden scale layout. The museum also gives stickers, color books and colors and other Operation Lifesaver trinkets to young visitors. The store offers books, engineer hats, whistles and other railroading paraphernalia for sale.

The O scale model train layout features a replica of the St. Paul Union Depot, a circus,  logging, a small town, a haunted house, coal mining, and beautiful engines, passenger cars, and other model train cars running on the track. Due to its size, O scale model trains are very popular and are easy for most model railroaders to work with.

The NMRHA is located at 35170 County Road 3, just south of Crosslake. The museum is open for visitors on Saturdays 10am- 2pm year-round. Summer hours start June 14 when the museum will also be open to the public on Wednesdays from 3-6pm through the middle of August. Admission is free; but donations are welcome and are used to keep the trains running. The NMRHA is made up of over 80 volunteer railroad enthusiasts. Stop in and meet the members, learn about model railroading, and about the history of railroading in the lakes area.

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