Model Trains For Beginners
Ireland's biggest model railway ( 846 3779 Malahide Castle adult child student family 7 4.40 6 20 S 10am-1pm & 2-5pm Mon-Sat, 2-6pm Sun Apr-Sep, 2-5pm Sat, Sun & holidays Oct-Mar) is 240 sq metres, and authentically displays much of Ireland's rail and public transport system, including the DART line and Irish Sea ferry services, in O-gauge (32mm track width). A separate room features model trains and other memorabilia. Unfortunately the operators suffer from the overseriousness of some grown men with complicated toys rather than let you simply look and admire, they herd you into the control room in groups for demonstrations.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (Map p532), known affectionately as the Toy Train, made its first journey along its precipice-topping, 2ft-wide tracks in September 1881 and is one of the few hill railways still operating in India. It's even listed as a World Heritage site. Besides its regular diesel service to from New Jalpaiguri and steam service to from Kurseong (p542), there are joy rides (Rs 240) during the high season that leave Darjeeling at 10am and 12.50pm for a two-hour steam-powered return trip to Ghoom. It's wise to book at least a day ahead at the train station (Hill Cart Rd).
Hagerstown has a really nice model train and railroad museum, The Train Room, with more than 5,000 items on display. The model collection is centered around Lionel trains, with items from that maker dating back to 1900. The main attraction is the two-level, four-track model railroad layout. They also have a large collection of rail memorabilia and they sell model railroad equipment. It's at 360 Burhans Boulevard, Hagerstown, s 301-7456681. Hours are 1-6 pm, except Wednesday, but they suggest a call to make sure. The Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum also focuses on train history. Its goal is to preserve and restore antique railway equipment, from engines to rolling stock, and to promote the use of railroads as a viable part of the transportation system. In addition to a wide range of equipment and memorabilia there is a model railroad, photographic displays and a research library. 300 South Burhans Boulevard, Hagerstown, s 301-739-1998 or 739-4665.
Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort (Scottsdale & 800 852-5205) If you happen to have a child who is crazy about trains, then this resort, adjacent to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park (which has trains to ride, model-railroad exhibits, and a merry-go-round), is the place to stay. The resort itself has big lawns and free meals for kids under 12. See p. 84.
Elmira Railway Museum, on Rte. 16A (s 902 357-7234), recalls the days when Elmira, on the eastern tip of the Island, was the eastern terminus of the Prince Edward Island Railway, with a big passenger station, freight house, coal barn stables and numerous outbuildings. Upon the railroad's completion in 1912, it was a vital economic link with the rest of the island colony and with the rest of Canada. Highway improvements in the 1950s and '60s led to the end of passenger service in 1969 and the end of freight service in 1972. Today, the station (which had one waiting room for men and another for women) and the stationmaster's office are restored and offer a glimpse into the heyday of the island railway system. A nice collection of railroad memorabilia includes photographs of most of the former stations on the railroad's routes. A new building is under construction to house a model railroad display. The museum grounds are the eastern terminus for PEI's Confederation Trail, the province's...
Railroad buffs will enjoy two museums on Cape Breton, one at Orangedale and the other at Louisbourg. The Orangedale Railway Station Museum, Bras d'Or Scenic Highway, Orangedale, n 902 756-3384, is a 19th-century station that operated until 1990. It houses artifacts, a model railroad and original furnishings. It is south of Rte. 5 (Exit 4) at Iron Mines on the Bras d'Or Scenic Drive. There are several rail cars on the grounds. It's open mid-June to mid-October, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm Sunday, 1 pm to 6 pm. Admission is free.
Pratt St, at Poppleton St. (s 410-752-2490, wwwborail.org). The roundhouse and museum are at the site of America's first passenger railway station, Mount Clare Station. The B&O (Baltimore and Ohio) dates from 1829, and is the nation's oldest railroad. Some of America's oldest steam and diesel locomotives, passenger cars and freight wagons are here and excursion trains run on weekends. These depart at 11 30,12 30, 2 30 and 3 30 ( 2). Along with the cars and engines, the museum has displays about the railroad and a collection of model trains. Open daily 10-5 admission is 6.50 for adults, 5.50 seniors, 4 for ages three-12.
Every trainspotter's dream is realised at the Museum of Railway Transport (Map pp236-7 3151476 www.railroad.ru cmrt in Russian Sadovaya ul 50 adult studentR100 50 S 11am-5pmWed-Sun, dosed last Thu of month (M) Sennaya Ploshchad Sadovaya), a fascinating collection of scale locomotives and model railway bridges, often made by the same engineers that built the real ones. The oldest such collection in the world (the museum was established in 1809, 28 years before Russia had its first working train ), it includes models of Krasnoyarsk's Yenisey Bridge, the ship that once carried passengers and trains on the trans-Siberian route across Lake Baikal, and a sumptuous 1903 Trans-Siberian wagon complete with piano salon and bathtub. To see full-sized vintage trains visit the Museum of Railway Technology (p268).
Day excursions out of town are great fun, especially when there are beaches to run on and treasures to discover. North of the city is the Malahide Castle Demesne (see Dublin's Northern Suburbs under Side Trips from Dublin, later in this chapter). This great estate features not only the beautiful Malahide Castle but also the fascinating Fry Model Railway exhibit, a display of exquisite antique dollhouses
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway's steam toy train (p535) for Darjeeling (2nd 1st class Rs 25 144, four hours) leaves at 6am, weather permitting, while the diesel version (originating at New Jalpaiguri) departs around 1.17pm. A diesel train (originating in Darjeeling) to Siliguri (2nd 1st class Rs 30 166, four hours) departs at 11.55pm.
To a narrow-gauge track and continues on to Shimla (2,060m 6,500 ft.). Traveling at an average speed of 25 to 30kmph (15-48 mph), the toy train journey will consume nearly a full day of your itinerary. Its 96km (60 miles) travels through some 100 tunnels, numerous bridges, and sharp curves, taking in picturesque views of green forests and meadows, capsicum fields, and red-roofed chalets. The train back to Kalka departs Shimla at 10 35am, arriving in time for you to make the onward connection to Delhi, where you'll arrive before midnight. Check out the Kalka-Shimla Railway website (www.ksr100.com), set up in 2003 to commemorate the centenary of this railway line. Note During the high season, it's difficult to secure tickets without at least several days' advance booking.
A handful of delightful toy trains still ply the metre-gauge lines from the plains to the hills, offering fabulous views and a hint of colonial charm. Here are the top five scenic rail journeys. Darjeeling Toy Train (p535) Shimla Toy Train (p290) Matheran Toy Train (p820)
A polite voice at New Jalpaiguri railway station frequently announces that . . . the train is running 30 minutes late, the inconvenience caused is deeply regretted. . . . It's a small price to pay for what must be one of the slowest, most spectacular train journeys in the world. Since July 4, 1881, Darjeeling's aptly named toy trains including the world's oldest functioning steam locomotive have puffed and wheezed their ways between the hill station and the plains. In December 1999, the railway became India's 22nd World Heritage Site, only the second railway in the world to be so recognized on the list. The trip between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling covers a mere 87km (54 miles) but takes almost an entire day to transport passengers up 2,055m (6,850 ft.). En route, with rhododendron slopes, rolling hills, and Kanchenjunga in almost constant view, you pass through villages with names like Margaret's Hope, and puff right past the front doors of homes that range from shacks to quaint...
India's most famous luxury train, Palace on Wheels, currently operates in Rajasthan, and has 14 opulently furnished en-suite saloons, a bar, and two restaurants (& U.S. Canada toll-free 1-888-INDIA-99 www.palaceonwheels. net 770 double per night). Over 7 days, the train travels from Delhi to Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambhore), Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur, and Agra and finishes its trip back in Delhi. Getting to the hill stations of Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Darjeeling (West Bengal), and Ooty (Tamil Nadu) can be a scenic novelty if you don't mind spending long hours traveling in the atmospheric toy trains that chug their ways along narrow-gauge tracks to high altitudes by way of an endless series of hairpin loops fabulous views are guaranteed. And then, of course, there is the Konkan Railway, which runs along the Malabar coast and has truly wonderful scenery almost every click-clack of the way.
Parking on Main Street can be a challenge at the height of summer, so pretend you're a turn-of-the-20th-century traveler and start out at the Chatham Railroad Museum * on 153 Depot St. (closed mid-Sept to mid-June), 1 block north of Main Street at the western end of town. You can't miss it It's a gaudy 1887 Victorian station in the Railroad Gothic style, painted yellow with fanciful russet ornamentation. The building itself is full of railroading memorabilia, and the big exhibits antique passenger cars are out back.
The best way here from Kyiv is on a marshrutka from Lisova metro station (20uah, 1 hours, every 15 minute s until midevening), which will drop you off anywhere in Chernihiv centre. The departure point to return to Kyiv is in front of the Hotel Slovyansky on pr Pobedy. There are a few trains to Kyiv, including a daily elektrychka (electric train) that takes about three hours.
Zeleznice Slovenskej Republiky (Slovak State Railways) is less developed than the railways in the Czech Republic. However, there is less need for trains, and the mountainous terrain throughout much of the republic makes rail travel difficult. That said, you'll find some of central Europe's most scenic rail lines in Slovakia, including a stunning ride on an electric train into the High Tatras.
Washington Park, 740 E. 56th Place. 773-947-0600. www. dusablemuseum.org. CTA Metra electric train to 57th Street and Lake Park Avenue, then a short cab ride. Admission 3 adults, 2 seniors and students, 1 children 6-12, free for children under 6 free admission Sun. Open Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun noon to 5 p.m. Closed Jan 1, Thanksgiving, and Dec 25. 1155 E. 58th St. at University Avenue. 773-702-9514.www-oi.uchicago.edu. CTA Bus no. 6 or Metra electric train to 57th Street and Lake Park Avenue. Admission Free suggested donation 5adults, 2 children. Open Tues-Sat 10 a.m.-6p.m., Wed 10 a.m.-8 30p.m., Sun noon to 4p.m.
Visiting Uetliberg If the day is sunny, you can take an electric train to this parklike, 840m (2,755-ft.) hill. Once here, you can wander about, enjoying the natural surroundings and scenic vistas at every turn. It's best to take a picnic. Biking & Swimming on the Lake In July and August, one of the most peaceful experiences is to bike from Seebach station through the forest to Katzenruti, where you'll find several places ideal for a picnic. After lunch you can cycle to the Katzensee with its sandy beach, returning later via Affoltern. The tourist office in Zurich will help you plot this course, which takes about 114 hours to go the full 13km (8 miles).
For a faster trip, take the Metra Electric train on the South Chicago line, which goes from downtown to Hyde Park in about 15 minutes. Trains run every hour (more frequently during rush hr.) Monday through Saturday from 5 15am to 12 50am, and every 30 to 90 minutes on Sunday and holidays from 5am to 12 55am. Downtown stations are at Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue, Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue, and Roosevelt Road and Michigan Avenue (near the Museum Campus in Grant Park). Printed schedules are available at the stations. The fare is approximately 2 each way.
This is not, as you might think, a reference to amber jewelry. Rather, the accolade belongs to a diminutive electric train in the Halberstadt store window near the end of Str0get. It runs during business hours around a 41-foot track, drawing the attention of admiring onlookers. The bodies of the 2 -inch engine and 14-inch wagons are made of 18-carat yellow gold the engine is set with 190 diamonds and the wagons, which carry cargos of rubies, emeralds, diamonds and sapphires respectively, are set with eight diamonds each. This train has been featured on nearly every major news show throughout the world, and, if you fancy one yourself, has been on offer (for 100,000) in the Nieman Marcus catalogue since 1992.
If you've got kids who idolize Thomas the Tank Engine, then you better schedule your Tucson visit for the second or fourth Sunday of the month. On those days (with a few exceptions), the Gadsden-Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum, 3975 N. Miller Ave. (& 520 888-2222), sends out little engines that think they can. The trains chug around a variety of layouts built in different model railroad gauges. The museum is open from 12 30 to 4 30pm on the 2 days each month that it is open. Admission is free. In July and August, the museum is closed.
Bizarre items fill the rooms Belgian cut-glass furniture and stuffed tigers. There's a ladies-only swimming pool with diving boards, a boat and a wine cabinet. The cavernous dining room displays the piece de resistance, a model railway with silver train that carried after-dinner brandy and cigars around the table.
Fry Model Railway 217 Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Museum 117-18 Garda Museum 75 Irish-Jewish Museum 76 James Joyce Centre 108 James Joyce Museum 218,12 National Museum - Archaeology & History 80-1 National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History 105-6,8 National Print Museum 98 National Transport Museum 216 Natural History Museum 81-2 Old Jameson Distillery 106 Pearse Museum 100 Victorian Museum
Kurseong, 32km south of Darjeeling, is the little sister of the Queen of the Hills further up the track. It is a great stopover for those looking for a quiet alternative to the jostling crowds of Darjeeling. Kurseong - its name derived from the Lepcha word kurson-rip, a reference to the small white orchid prolific in this area - is also home to several churches and is surrounded by renowned tea estates. It is the southern terminus for the steam-powered toy trains of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.
32 miles W of Flagstaff 58 miles S of the Grand Canyon 220 miles E of Las Vegas, NV Although it's almost 60 miles south of the Grand Canyon, Williams is the closest real town to the national park. Consequently, it has dozens of motels catering to those unable to get a room in or just outside the park. Founded in 1880 as a railroading and logging town, Williams also has a bit of Western history to boast about. Old brick commercial buildings dating from the late 19th century line the main street, while modest Victorian homes sit on the tree-shaded streets that spread south from the railroad tracks. Williams was the last town on historic Route 66 to be bypassed by I-40, and the town plays up its Route 66 heritage.
That Kingman today is more way station than destination is not surprising considering its history. In 1857, Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Beale passed through this region leading a special corps of camel-mounted soldiers on a road-surveying expedition. Some 60 years later, the road Beale surveyed would become the National Old Trails Highway, the precursor to Route 66. Gold and silver were discovered in the nearby hills in the 1870s, and in the early 1880s, the railroad laid its tracks through what would become the town of Kingman. Kingman flourished briefly around the start of the 20th century as a railroad town, and today, buildings constructed during this railroading heyday (including the historic Brunswick Hotel) give downtown a bit of historic character.
The speedy Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) electric train ( 01-7033504 www.dart.ie) is really for commuters, with only five stops you may need to know three in the city center (Connolly, Tara Street, and Pearse), the Lansdowne Road station in Ballsbridge, and the Dun Laoghaire station at the ferry docks. DART tickets cost 1.25 to 3.35 ( 1.45- 3.85). A one-day pass is 6.50 ( 7.50) for DART only and 7.70 ( 8.85) if you want to ride the buses as well. A three-day pass is 13.40 ( 15), or 15 ( 17) including bus travel. If you arrive in Ireland by ferry, you can take DART into town (trains run from 6 30 a.m. to midnight). If your ferry arrives at dawn, take bus 46A it runs from the ferry docks to Parnell Square West from 6 25 a.m. to 10 30 p.m.
Ovce Resorts - the collective name we use for Old (Stary), New (Novy), Upper (Horny) and Lower (Dolny) Smokovec. The villages run together but have separate electric train stops. It will take years for the trees around the resorts to grow back after storm damage, but in the meantime, some hotel rooms have much clearer views of the peaks above. Is that a silver lining
The Museum of Science and Industry Kids The massive Museum of Science and Industry is the granddaddy of interactive museums, with some 2,000 exhibits. You should plan on spending at least a couple of hours here, and a comprehensive visit can take all day, especially if you catch an Omnimax movie while you're here. Although it's quite a distance from the rest of Chicago's tourist attractions, it's easy enough to get here without a car your best options are the no. 6 Jeffrey Express bus or the Metra Electric train from downtown (the no. 10 bus runs from downtown to the museum's front entrance during the summer). Kids who love planes, trains, and automobiles shouldn't miss All Aboard the Silver Streak, a refurbished Burlington Pioneer Zephyr train with on-board interactive exhibits the massive model train exhibit that makes up The Great Train Story or Take Flight, an aviation exhibit featuring a full-size 727 airplane that revs up its engines and replays the voice recordings from a San...
Tatra electric train service (Tatranska elekricka zeleznica, TEZ) links most of the towns and villages in the Tatras at least hourly. One line runs from Poprad via Stary Smokovec (30 minutes) to Strbske Pleso (one hour), with frequent stops in between. Another line connects Stary Smokovec to Tatranska Lomnica (15 minutes). A third route is from Tatranska Lomnica through Studeny Potok (15 minutes) looping round to Poprad (25 minutes). A 20Sk ticket covers a six to 14km ride. It's easier to buy a one- three- seven-day pass for 100 200 360Sk. If there's not a ticket window at your stop, buy one from the conductor. Validate it on board.
It was clearly designed by a person who had spent his childhood crashing toy trains. Every few hundred yards I would find my lane vanishing beneath me and other lanes merging with it from the right or left, or sometimes both. This wasn't a road system, it was mobile hysteria.
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