Location: 19 Schiber Ct, Maryville IL 62062
If you have a little train lover you need to bring them here! But there are a few things you should know before going. First of all they have strange hours:
|Wednesday (Oct-Jan Only)||2:00 - 5:30 PM|
|Thursday||2:00 - 10:00 PM|
|Friday||2:00 - 5:30 PM|
|Saturday||Noon - 5:30 PM|
|First Sunday of the Month||1:00 - 5:00 PM|
|Open every Sunday in December 1:00 - 5:00 PM|
Second thing- they advertise that kids can operate the trains on the first Sunday of every month. My son is 6 and we've been wanting to get over here for the past year or so. So we went yesterday and they never said anything on the website about kids needing to be a certain height to be able to operate the trains. Needless to say my son was crushed because he wasn't tall enough. They have a mark on the wall and the child needs to be that tall to be able to see over the table and operate the controls. My son is 47" so I think they need to be 48" or 50".
The third thing- it costs to get in. They never mention that on the website either! I think they should be more upfront on their page and let people know about these things. Luckily I had cash on me. It was $2 a person to watch the trains, but as this is a hobby shop I didn't expect to have to pay anything. If you are tall enough and want to operate them it costs $3 more to carry around the remote control.
Even though he couldn't operate the trains he loved it. The train room is HUGE. They have 2 rules that they tell you about before they let you in: NO running and NO touching. For this reason I don't have toddlers listed because they love to run and touch so this would probably be stressful and not fun for them. They also have an R/C model car race track but I didn't look at that.
Don't forget to check out the other train activities in town!!!!
Utilizing a space of 60' by 81' (4,860 square feet) and thousands of dedicated hours of creative involvement by Ken and many volunteers, the benchwork for one of the largest privately owned HO layouts began to take shape.
I love all the small details to these train layouts.
That's a storm cloud that lights up and makes thunder periodically.
This boy is holding the tablet that controls one of the trains. Pretty cool!
If you are into specifics, here's the info on the room: the layout includes three major railroads (ATSF, UP & SP) that all interchange with each other, two short lines, and five major industries. The ATSF includes a 255' double track main line and a 19 track yard with an average storage track length of 23'. Each main line loop has 9 blocks with each block having its own throttle. Four operators control both loops while radio controlled throttles are used for the East end yard, West end yard, North local, South local, oil refinery, and both short lines (2' x 55').
The UP and SP loops are usually combined into a 550' single track loop and use digital command control.
The UP operation includes a nine track yard with an average storage track length of 14'. The UP also includes a steel mill, ore mine, and coal mine.
The SP operation includes a 15 track yard with an average storage track length of 19'. The SP also serves a large back-in station, an ore dock, and a paper mill.
All three major railroads have an intermodal yard, fruit growers express warehouse, numerous grain elevators, and an interchange track/yard with both of the other railroads. Since the UP and SP are single track main lines with passing sidings, dispatchers are necessary and give instructions via radio to engineers with radio controlled DCC throttles. The engineers are responsible for the operation of their train and positioning of the 415 manual turnouts while the dispatcher is only responsible for proposed train movement and has no switches or buttons on his panel in the balcony until future track signals are installed.
Other features include 110' of hand painted backdrop, both screen wire and Styrofoam scenery, many commercially available buildings doubled or tripled in size, and unique bench work held up by 107 kitchen cabinets. Since the layout is so large, many unusual methods were employed to make trees, create a seamless backdrop, and eliminate shadows.
Also on site is a 6' x 7' O gauge demonstration layout with K-Line, MTH, and Lionel command control.
Here is the R/C car track out back.