Crazy Miniature Railway

So I take a lot of enjoyment in trains. I love just looking at transit maps and thinking about how to use public transport to get from one point to another. I love taking train trips. Back in 2002, I took a few days and took the trans-continental train from Oakland to Chicago. Two days in a train and I had a blast. I just have a fun time travelling on these machines that slice through the landscape and provide a unique perspective on the world.
So, in May, as we were driving back to NJ from the last of four weddings in April and May we were attending (including our own, of course!), we passed something called Northlandz. This was in the middle of nowhere (or at least it felt like it) on the NJ side of the Delaware River. Carolyn looks at it and says “Matt we should turn around and go there. I think you might like this”. And boy did I ever.

A number of years ago, a man named Bruce Williams Zaccagnino started building a model railroad in his house. Well, he is apparently pretty enthusiastic because, over time he needed to build additions to his house to keep it all in. Every year, he would invite friends to come and check out the amazing world he’d created. It reached a point where he decided to give it its own home and Northlandz was born. It’s a mile long walk of various landscapes with model railroads over it. He’s built it in 3-D so you walk up ramps and find yourself looking down two stories into a ravine with a railroad bridge across it and a train running along a river on the bottom. There are one way mirrors that are set up to make the scenes look bigger and yet, you cannot see yourself. There’s a huge concert hall with a gigantic organ in it. He’d collected model trains of all different sizes and they criss-crossed all of the amazing worlds he’d created. All very impressive.

Let’s take a look, shall we?


Yes, that’s two gigantic bridges spanning large crevices’.


Here’s another bridge with Carolyn to provide some perspective. Notice that she’s on a ramp climbing higher and below her is even more model landscapes created by this guy.


It’s not all imaginary Grand Canyons. This man (and he’s made this all by himself and has people helping to do maintenance) has created a large variety of worlds. Everything from the great outdoors to large cities. This picture shows a bit of a juxtaposition of that.

Anyway, it took about 2 hours to get through it all and soak it in. I was completely blown away that such a thing could exist and that it’s basically a labour of love of one man. It’s been around for a few years now and I hope it stays for many more years. Really a nice way to bring out the child in anyone (or just reaffirm the childishness of some of us 🙂 )

3 Responses to “Crazy Miniature Railway”

  1. Leaky Says:

    OMG! That is exactly what I wanted mom and dad to buy me all those years. Fuckers never pulled through 🙂

  2. matt Says:

    You wanted a three story warehouse full of trains??? that would have been cool!! 🙂

  3. Leaky Says:

    All I wanted was a train set..I had such a deprived childhood ;