Visited with my son many years ago. Now visited with my 6 year old grand daughter. She remained excited throughout the entire exhibit. So did all the people who were there. Anyone who complains that the exhibit is old or dusty is missing the point and probably would pick out minor details on the Mona Lisa. This is still the most amazing train exhibit in the world. The short train ride was a refreshing plus.
Totally loved the Lil themes going and the quirky jokes. Don't regret going. Good value and a fun morning.
Long ago, I was told that most great things were created by a "monomaniac on a mission." Northlandz and its creator "Bruce" certainly qualify. First the criticisms: it is obvious that the facility is not in "Disney" condition. I imagine there just isn't enough revenue to staff or maintain it to the highest standard. That, however, must be viewed as part of the idiosyncratic charm of the place. This is not to say that the facility is not comfortable, accessible or, in any way, distracting from the displays. Additionally, there are those in the model railroad community, who have critiqued the operation from the viewpoint of "perfection," or from their vision of model railroad operations. They miss the point of this creation. Northlandz is so grand in scale and conception that it makes any comparison to a "working" layout, no matter how beautifully finished or accurate in its operations, simply absurd. You do not need to be a railroad or miniature enthusiast to appreciate a visit to Northlandz. The vast scale - it takes two hours to merely view the entire display- the incredible depth of the displays replete with artfully accomplished illusions of vast canyons, high mountains, and distant horizons, are unlike any you have seen or will see in any other "model" display. Taken as a whole, this isn't a "model railroad," it's an artistic creation of a high order- unique in conception and execution. I make it a "must see."
Let me counter some of the other reviews! There may be a little dust and some minor repairs needed, but this is a unbelievable achievement and a must see for any model train lover and kids of all ages. The intricacy and complexity are enhanced by craftsmanship that clearly displays a love for trains. All that and dolls too! And the owner plays a mean organ housed there as well. Wonderful!
A long weekend in the car and the best way to finish was this perfect side trip. The imagination, creativity, hard work and many many hours that went into this display is unfathomable to me. I was blown away by the scenery, bridges, tunnels, buildings, valleys, mountains, towns, villages and trains. It went on seemingly forever but was new around each corner. And there were a lot of corners. The toy displays around the edges took my interest for a few minutes but then back to the trains. Yes it is a bit run down but that didn't diminish my joy. The train ride outside was short but fun. Make this a place to stop.
I've been there a few times...and each time I see something different. It is truly amazing...the bridges...trains....villages....I especially like the toothpick forest....the organ...the dolls...and much more....A great place to take kids that love trains as well as big kids too! Oh...the lady that lives on the edge of a mountain too!
We've been here several times... the trains are incredible, the attention to detail is amazing, and if you like trains, this is the place for you. There are so many things to see on the walk, and so many little details to notice. We go every couple of years just to see what's changed and revisit things we like.
Great place to see trains running on a huge track.. BUT it takes a couple hours to see the 3 story exhibit.
Northlandz is a HUGE display of running model electric trains. It's different than Choo Barn, RR Museum in Medina, NY, Roadside America (also EXCELLENT!), as those are in one big room, and this is different sets, connected, but seemingly separated. Some of the layout is very clever, the historic captions are interesting, and the other captions are funny. There's a ramp, which winds around Northlandz, enabling the visitor to view the layouts from different levels and vantage points. There are a lot of details, and a couple of places where you have the opportunity to find given items. There are also dolls, doll houses, and artwork on display, throughout the exhibit. A train ride is available, an a nominal cost, on the grounds. It's very slow, but a pretty ride, and worth it. I gave this rating a very good, for the simple reason that although it is excellent, a lot of the display seems a bit repetitive, and after a while, becomes a tad menotonous, particularly for those who have a somewhat limited attention span. The colors are also, overall, predominantly grey and brown,with some green and blue--a little bit drab and depressing/industrial-like, but Industry and quarries run throughout the exhibit. This was our 3rd time there, and in fact, we brought a friend of my son, who loves trains. Although I thought that last time would be my last visit, there's so much to look at, and so many details, that it really doesn't get tired.
Northlandz could use a goodly dose of TLC, but it is still a worthwhile stop for model railroad enthusiasts. Be advised that the way the exhibit is laid out requires a great deal of walking with minimal opportunities for break.