Introduction to Northlandz Miniature Wonderland

Introduction to Northlandz Miniature Wonderland

Welcome to Northlandz

Northlandz! We’re so glad you’re here. Come along as we venture over landscapes radiant with color. We’ll explore great canyons, and stroll through scenes of Americana in a way never before possible. Our “Northlandz Express” is at the station and we have reserved a seat in the Vista dome for you. Speaking of trains, there are well over a thousand pieces of rolling stock on this system. Our train will be one of a hundred in operation during this tour. We also have a very fine doll museum and a most charming exhibit called the “La Peep” doll house, a ninety-four-room delight with its own “Doggy Band.”

In addition, there’s the Northlandz Art Gallery with its unique collection of fine prints and paintings. There truly is something for every taste. The magnificent pipe organ in our concert hall sings through a choir of two thousand pipes and has forty ranks. You’ll hear it played throughout your visit. By the way, that marvelous crystal chandelier was hand-crafted from five thousand pieces and took over two months to create.

Come along and be amazed!

0ur first stop is Delbert’s Cove, one of the Great American Railway’s larger yards. This will provide an excellent opportunity to preview what’s to come. For example, the next look at the gorge on the left will be from a scale height of over twenty-two hundred feet. As a point of interest, when England’s George Stephenson built the first public railroad in 1825, he based the distance between tracks on wagon axles of the time. That measure, four feet, eight and one-half inches, is still the standard for the U.S. railroad industry today. All aboard! There will be dozens of towns to see along the way, each with its own story to tell. Look for details. You’ll see hundreds of delightful vignettes of life at every turn. In Delbert’s Cove, Bruce Williams has used some illusion for scenic enhancement, the engineering of which was sometimes just as difficult as creating the site.

It’s the World’s Largest Northlandz’ control tower has 125 separate controls and is completely automated. The entire system may be easily managed by one person.Dunmore is our tribute to that very’ unity portion of the American landscape knot; as the suburbs. You will find all the require elements: a strip mall, a car wash and the essential pizzeria. Today about seventy-five percent of all U.S. rail passengers ride on commuter trains. In fact with over 168.900 miles of track coast to coast. America’s rail system is the world’s largest. Next stop, next stop Scranton. We’ve heard about a much smaller city in Pennsylvania with the same name. Oh look! There’s the Mayor touring the city in his big red bus likes being next to the people. The stunning beauty of Grander Canyon will be the introduction for the next leg of our journey. This is the home of the world’s only Moribidium mine. As you know, Moribidium is used in the manufacture of shoelace tips. Dunmore is named after a town near Scranton, Pennsylvania, when Brace William live until the age of four.

Keeping the Schedules As with any railroad operation. Northlandz requires attention on a daily basis. We thought that it would be of interest to show you work in progress as shown on the right. Maintenance access is over areas especially stressed for steps or through hidden doors.

Nowhere in America are railroads a more GN natural feature of the landscape than in Pennsylvania. They are Integral with the very fabric of the land. Considering all the huge mining and manufacturing capabilities of this state. Only the railroads could meet the need. It was and still is railroading at its best. Historically speaking. The names linked with the railways of the Keystone State are epic in the industry. Philadelphia-based Baldwin Locomotive Works was the largest and most successful builder of large steam-powered locomotives in the nation and in its heyday rolled out nearly seven hundred units a year. Almost forty percent of the U.S. market. Equally famous names graced the tenders of these giants. Names such as Reading Railroad. Lehigh Valley and the renowned Pennsylvania line. All of which are permanently etched on the dusty pages of history. Today a new technology painted in new colors hauls the long freight trains through the valleys and tunnels. It is indeed a different era. Our eighteen-bay roundhouse at Kevin Korners is the system’s largest. These structures are almost as old as railroading itself. To anyone who has ever aspired to be an engineer, a trip to the nearest roundhouse was a very special occasion. Many years later, it still is. Another very special occasion is our visit to Grandma’s pit. It was twenty-seven years ago today that the Flatrock Quarry people talked Grandma’s neighbors into selling out. But our Grandma vowed that she was staying put. A resolve often supported by “Buttercup.” her seventy-pound pit bull. The quarry company then proceeded to dig around her property and built Grandma an access bridge, which only goes to show that one had best never ever argue with anyone’s Grandma . . . ever.

In creating Northlandz, Bruce Williams developed landscape from the perspective of working a three-dimensional painting, using his color and material on the same palette. From concept to completion took nearly five years.

Bridges are remarkable structures. Perhaps no other achievement honors the ingenuity of man more than these fascinating creations. Ultimately, any serious conversation among the railroading family will include a discussion of favorite spans, especially the larger ones. This view encompasses many aspects of the bridge-building art. The main span has been left in the latter stages of construction in order to dramatize the ongoing process of bringing new ideas to Northlandz.

The Firth of Forth Bridge near Edinburgh, Scotland, was the inspiration for our huge double cantilever span across Loch Robert Bruce. So named for the legendary patriot who inspired the Scottish nation to seek its independence in 1314, the Loch from this view displays the grand scale of the trestles to best advantage. In keeping with the spirit of Northlandz, this stop on our tour is dedicated to the creative efforts of man as he seeks to build a world that will encourage those who yearn to explore beyond the next horizon. Guarding the estuary of the Firth of Forth is the Isle of Inness, the island fortress of Sir Cedric McLean, Earl of Tweed, a very gentle man of noble descent. Now, gossip has it that in 1879, after holding par, the Earl double bogeyed the eighteenth hole of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at Saint Andrews. He was then heard to make crude remarks about the ancestry of all who were within earshot. After the demand for his blazer, the poor man departed in shame to his island fortress seen below, where he remained until his death. It is said, however, that during a full moon, Sir Cedric can be observed muttering softly to an empty golf bag while walking the water’s edge. Aye ’tis true enough.

As with most all of his bridges in the system, Bruce Williams scratch-built this example from balsa wood. In this picture is Dean Field who produced our book for us.

Bridge Specifications Our “Firth of Forth” bridge is 38 feet long and measures 7 ½ feet high. The structure weighs about 12 ounces and can carry a 50-pound load on the tracks.

When our friends talk about Northlandz. Atlas Canyon is the view that most will tell you about first. It’s a favorite of ours as well. What you are seeing here represents several thousand hours of artistic expression that has been painstakingly carried out with but one thought in mind: to share the joy of making something beautiful. That industrial complex directly in front of us is the Hojpoj plant, eighteen buildings that are supposedly dedicated to the making of thimbles. The board of directors is made up of members from the CIA, PTA, NBA and a vice-president of a pasta plant in Peoria. It’s very hush-hush.

Far a top one of the highest peaks across the valley is the Monastery of the Quiet Brothers. Almost everyone is familiar with the works of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. What is not generally known is his splendid work on the ceiling in the nave of the Brothers’ chapel. We hope someday to include it in our tour.

Atlas Canyon is named for the Atlas Model Railroad Company of Hillside, New Jersey, which supplied track and other components to Northlandz. According to Bruce Williams, this area turned out better than planned.

In Building a Mountain, The rock cliffs range from one to eleven inches thick and are carved out by hand. It’s been estimated that over 250.000 trees were placed throughout the landscape of Northlandz.

The southwestern territories of the United States are rich in folklore. Thoughts of the ‘Old West’ conjure up images of cattle drives and epic stories by lonesome cowboys about the likes of Kit Carson and Geronimo. Dwellings like those to the far right were built by the Hopi Indians several hundred years before Columbus ever sailed. Eight hundred rooms or more were not uncommon. Old Fort Pitiglimo is typical of times when the Cavalry meant horse soldiers and buckskin clothes. Often forts were also used as trading posts. At center stage is our 1900s “Frontier” town. The railroad would be the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. Founded in 1878, it was one of the first in the territory. Don’t forget to wave at the folks to the parking lot, they’re Easterners.

Like most structures at Northlandz, the buildings here were built from scratch. In this scene, William added landscape and a triple-spiral, triple-track trestle.

You may wonder how Arizona got next to Switzerland. One must be mindful that both time and distance are measured very differently at Northlandz. Switzerland is famous for precision timepieces, a splendid railway system, incredible chocolate, and its storybook landscapes. This village is named St. Gallen after a lovely area of the Swiss countryside. The pastoral foothills to the left are patterned after the area between the Jura Mountains to the west and the fabled Swiss Alps. The stately villa in the distance is the home of Herr Hans Von Heidelberg, the world famous yodeler. Regrettably. Herr Hans is nursing a severely sprained tonsil. We do wish him well. You must also be made aware that this scenic portrait harbors a deep secret. However, you will have to discover this yourself. To reveal what is hidden reflects on what seems to be.

This valley was specifically designed by Bruce Williams to provide a stunning contrast and tease the eye. Have fun.

End of the line … Eisleyville, the last stop is Eisleyville. We are glad that you came. It was fun. Of course, our journey through these pages has shown us but a few of the highlights at Northlandz. We have folks who have visited us on many occasions tell us that they still have not seen everything that’s here. Candidly, we do admit to a policy of adding to the various landscapes, so, what was observed here in past days may have indeed grown by tomorrow. Please come back and we will do it all again: travel through towering canyons, cross long trestles that touch the sky and explore the magic of Northlandz.

“If you can develop and maintain enthusiasm, you can do anything.” My interest in railroading goes way back to childhood and trains around the Christmas tree, so when my wife and I built our house in 1973, we decided to dedicate the entire basement to trains and model railroading. As work on this new model railroad system progressed, friends and visitors encouraged us to make it available to the public. However, admission to the general public would require us to install an exit door, and since this would call for excavation, it was decided to add a new wing as well. Upon completion, a variance was obtained for public tours to take place two weekends a year. Proceeds from the sale of tickets were given to local charities. Inspired further by the comments of those who came, we added a still larger addition in 1977, a fourth in 1981, and a fifth to house a newly acquired theater organ in 1984. By now we had built the world’s largest model railroad. It proved to be just the beginning. In 1990 we took the opportunity to purchase land on Route 202, just north of Flemington, New Jersey, and built “Northlandz.” Finished in December of 1996, this building has a model railroad that is almost fifteen times larger than our previous system. I truly hope that you enjoy “Northlandz” as much as I enjoyed creating it for you. I have designed two new additions, both of which will be very different and even grander in scale than our present building. Keep an eye on us.

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