Today and for the next few days, I'm going back to a place I visited in March, but I never had a chance to show you pictures. I was there on the same trip as the Philadelphia Flower Show, and this stop got lost in the shuffle. That's saying something, because this place is overwhelming on its own merits. This is the largest model train layout in the world. It has 8 miles of track, and even a self-guided tour takes 2 to 3 hours. It's in Flemington, New Jersey and the name is Northlandz. This is HO scale, and it's all indoors.
You walk from room to room and look down or out on valleys, fields, mountains, etc. There are about 130 train loops. I asked how many were running the day we were there and there were about 90 making the rounds that day. Some parts of the layout are more finished than others, but no matter, it's all very impressive.
I'll start with some general pictures taken with the goal of blocking out things that remind you it's a model. Every layout needs a city or village. Of course Northlandz has room for many.
A big layout gives you room for industrial complexes that look more real than what an ordinary amount of space can provide.
For most people, if they decided to collect all these carnival/circus structures, that would be the extent of what they could do. Here, it's just tucked into one little corner. Kind of like the real world.
On the other hand, a lot of the spaces at Northlandz include impossible cliffs and steep-sided valleys. But that adds to the fun, and the challenge of getting the trains up and down.
The vast scale means that there is room to detail a small island in the middle of a huge river with its own population and buildings.
Tomorrow, I'll show some closeups. A lot of my pictures are crummy. Not entirely sure why- well, most had to be taken through plexiglas, but I have some good ones.
In other news: I wrote in the morning. Then I did a bunch of errands in the afternoon and continued to work on formatting the book. Sent one more sample to the printer for approval. If it comes back as acceptable, then I have to get seriously busy with editing and formatting.
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