Northlandz is a 16 acre world class attraction developed by Bruce and his wife Jean. Included in this complex is a doll museum, La Peep Doll House, a 2,000 pipe theater pipe organ (which Bruce plays) and art galleries throughout. The building is reflective of the couples lifelong commitment to art, expression, and creativity.
The dream of the Great American Railway at Northlandz began over 35 years ago as the Williams' first home was being built in 1972. As builders would leave for the day Mr. Williams would escape to the basement and begin erecting scenes for his new basement passion. Mountain passes were erected complete with bridges and buildings.
Workers returning the next day, removed the new addition so they could continue their work. Bruce kept building the nightly exhibits. Thus was the beginning to a labor of love that has resulted in the world' largest model railroad.
Feb. 2017: After many years living just miles from this place, I was on my own one day, so I stopped to check it out. This is a Tue in Feb, there were 4 cars parked outside. Not sure how long this has been here, but it won a business award in 1996, plus it's in the Guinness Book of Records. There is ONE bathroom at the entrance, it could use a hosing down. I state ONE as this is a VERY LONG WALK to get to the end. There are train setups and small display setups. One: This is not cheap to get in. Two: the building was made for this display, so there was one big mortgage to pay. Three: There is a very short outdoor train ride for a few bucks more, rain or shine. Four: there is a weekend "real" train ride in Flemington, just a few miles away at the outlet mall (ladies, and a Brew Pub after 4pm at the outlet mall - Guys), your choice. I noticed there were a few light out, some in the "displays" which puts them in the dark. There were more then several florescent lights out/blinking. The blinking lights will make your digital camera display look weird, but the picture will come out OK. You go through a corral that is pretty slim at certain points. So wheel chairs could be a challenge at some points. Some of the displays show their 1990's age. Some displays have dead bugs in them the time I went through. A number of the train displays have no moving trains when I was there. Yes, the place is immense, bring your hiking shoes, really. Not kidding here. This could take more then an hour an a half depending on how long you stop and see the sights. Yes, some of the displays are massive, some bridges are 40+ feet long, hand made of thin wood sticks. The displays are creative, you even have a tomb stone cemetery to check out. Certain points have a step-up and grips for the younger. Almost all the trains are the small ones, there is one display of the much larger models. The displays are of various "train" items or painting of outdoors, again many had lights out. After walking and walking and walking, you get to the 25% finished sign. After many more displays, and some are deep, you get to the half way point. That is the glass on the second floor at the front of the building. Where you are greeted to a soda machine.. and no bathroom, no seats ! The music room has the only seats. If you are a train nut, as two 35 year old guys in front of me were, they were having a great time. Thank goodness digital "film" is free as I'm sure the kids will take 100 photos. JUST a caution, as I said some of the displays are deep. Losing a phone/camera, hat or toy down there may be more then a hassle. The displays may have nothing to do with trains and have price tags. There is one painting of Rod Stewart and some girl, at least that's who I though it was. Again it had a price tag ? ? Getting to the end, finally, there is a "gift shop" of course. Train items and other stuff. There is a "food" area but only hot dog, pretzel, or drink. I did not check out the prices. Only one person was there for the whole place, but it was Feb. You can buy tickets to their train ride after the tour. You can find the "wall" of other places to at the exit.
That was a great experience! It was amazing. I felt like walking in the wonderland. We had a fantastic time there. Highly recommended, for adults and kids.
What a place. Labyrinthine walk through a large building with scenes built to house miniature railroads and villages. The builder has quite a sense of humor. Enjoyed our visit, even the train ride outside.
Amazing. The detail and sheer scale of this model train set is not to be believed. Whole family had a great time. Must see!
Fun time to spend some time after riding the local steam train. It is a lot bigger inside than it looks.