Daily Archives: July 13, 2020

Big Trains, Little Trains, and, uh, More Trains…


Another in our Where We Were 11 Years Ago Today series.

July 13, 2009

Big Trains, Little Trains, and, uh, More Trains…

We’re presently at Roamer’s Retreat Campground between Gap, PA and Kinzers, PA, about 55 miles west of Philadelphia.

Roamers Retreat

We’re here until Wednesday to check out Independence Hall and other Revolutionary sites in Philadelphia,  but as a bonus, we’re in some beautiful Amish / Pennsylvania Dutch countryside, with rolling farms of corn and neat homes dotting the landscape.

And I mean, you’re really got to admire a state where the town of Blue Ball, PA  is right down the road from the town of Intercourse, PA, with the town of Paradise, PA close by.

Last night, after we got in and set up, we headed out in our toad looking for a place to eat supper and came across Miller’s SmorgasbordSmorgasbord is the word for buffet around here.

And it was worth the stop. Really good food.

Jan woke up this morning feeling a little under the weather, so we decided to put off our Philadelphia roadtrip until tomorrow.

So, after puttering around for a while, I headed out to track down the National Toy Train Museum that I had come across a brochure for.

In getting there, I came across two other train places, The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Red Caboose Motel.

Red Caboose Motel

When I saw the sign for the Red Caboose Motel, I was thinking maybe, you know, there was a red caboose out front, or even, the motel office is in a caboose.

But no, every room is a caboose.  They”re just not all red.

And the motel restaurant is in a old railroad dining car.

Red Caboose Mote l1

Red Caboose Mote l2

Red Caboose Motel 3

They’re painted up in the color schemes of pretty much every railroad, including some that no longer exist.


Right next door to the Red Caboose Motel is the National Toy Train Museum.

Toy Train Museum

When I was about 12 I had a large (16 ft x 6 ft) HO gauge train layout.  But then I discovered girls and the model trains kind of faded away.  Of course, it didn’t help that we moved to South America and I sold it all.

Anyway, I always enjoy seeing different layouts and model trains, so this was a real treat.

They had layouts in all the standard gauges, S, O, HO, G, etc., and some very nice layouts that were in operation.

Toy Train Museum 1

Toy Train Museum 2

Toy Train Museum 3

Toy Train Museum 4

Toy Train Museum 5

They had model trains going back to the 1860’s all the way up to the present day.  It’s really amazing how long toy trains have been around.  I guess about as long as real trains.

After leaving the Toy Train Museum, I headed down to the Big Train Museum, or, The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, as they call it.

Railroad Museum of PA

But more about this, tomorrow.

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