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Trainlandz in Flemington, NJ?

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Trainlandz in Flemington, NJ?
Posted by danobie on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 7:22 AM

Has anyopne visited Trainlandz lately? What kind of shape is it in?

Thanks for replying.

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Posted by alfadawg01 on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 7:45 AM
It's called "Northlandz".

Bill

"Never try to teach a pig to sing.  It wastes your time and annoys the pig"

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Posted by Midnight Railroader on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 8:55 AM
Considering how poorly it was done in the first place, time shouldn't be much of a factor!
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Posted by lvanhen on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 8:56 AM
I was there last year and it's still in the same shape it was the first week it opened - very good!!  A few new details have been added.  The owner is there most of the time and will answer any questions.  It's not a NMRA award winning layout from a "modeling" perspective, but the genius of designing it, plus most of it build by him in 2 years, is incredible!!  Well worth the visit - especially for kids from 3 to 93!!Smile [:)]
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Posted by alfadawg01 on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 12:51 PM

 lvanhen wrote:
It's not a NMRA award winning layout from a "modeling" perspective, but the genius of designing it, plus most of it build by him in 2 years, is incredible!! 

Precisely.  It's fantasy, it's bizarre, it's over the top and it's fun....and it's got lots o' trains scurrying around! 

Bill

"Never try to teach a pig to sing.  It wastes your time and annoys the pig"

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Posted by steemtrayn on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 12:55 PM
The track plan reminds me of the Olympic logo...just a bunch of overlapping loops.
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Posted by Autobus Prime on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 3:43 PM
 alfadawg01 wrote:

 lvanhen wrote:
It's not a NMRA award winning layout from a "modeling" perspective, but the genius of designing it, plus most of it build by him in 2 years, is incredible!! 

Precisely.  It's fantasy, it's bizarre, it's over the top and it's fun....and it's got lots o' trains scurrying around! 



ad:

Well said, and imagine what it must look like to a 3 year old. It would be like a dream come true.
That's what I thought of the Buhl Planetarium layout when I was little, even though it was the same kind of display layout.

We should try not to lose touch with what brought us in at the beginning. I think, sometimes, that the emphasis on reality-duplication in model railroading, in the last decade or so, has lost us ground in the world-creation department.

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 4:23 PM

Didn't somebody tell me that the Northlandz scenery was made of concrete?  If so, I doubt that it will show much wear and tear unless the Joisey cockroaches carry jackhammers...

Of COURSE it's a fantasy.  So are the many things on flanged wheels at Disney World.  Really serious model railroaders will search in vain for switching puzzles and single-track meets, but that's not what it's about.  People (INCLUDING serious model railroaders) who are willing to suspend their disbelief will enjoy the one mile stroll through dreamland and come out smiling.

Chuck (modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by Midnight Railroader on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 5:37 PM
 tomikawaTT wrote:

Didn't somebody tell me that the Northlandz scenery was made of concrete?  If so, I doubt that it will show much wear and tear unless the Joisey cockroaches carry jackhammers...

Of COURSE it's a fantasy.  So are the many things on flanged wheels at Disney World.  Really serious model railroaders will search in vain for switching puzzles and single-track meets, but that's not what it's about.  People (INCLUDING serious model railroaders) who are willing to suspend their disbelief will enjoy the one mile stroll through dreamland and come out smiling.

Chuck (modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

Have you actually SEEN it?

It isn't even a well-done fantasy; it is slapped-together, poorly done work which was obviously created by someone motivated by wanting to be able to claim he had a really big layout.

I'm happy to suspend my disbelief, if the subject is worth the effort. But this one doesn't even try.

And Walt Disney, a model railroader who believed in excellence, would roll over in his grave if he knew you'd used his name in the same post as this...display.

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Posted by trainfan1221 on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 6:41 PM
I've been to Northlandz and it is certainly an interesting place, not from a model train perspective so much but it works.  Usually when we go out that way we are on our way to one of the tourist lines out there so Northlandz, which takes some time to walk through, isn't generally a planned stop.  Another nice place to go, though I haven't been there in years, is Roadside America in Shartlesville, Pa.  This place is simpler but I always enjoyed it just as much.
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Posted by lvanhen on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 7:42 PM
 Midnight Railroader wrote:
 tomikawaTT wrote:

Didn't somebody tell me that the Northlandz scenery was made of concrete?  If so, I doubt that it will show much wear and tear unless the Joisey cockroaches carry jackhammers...

Of COURSE it's a fantasy.  So are the many things on flanged wheels at Disney World.  Really serious model railroaders will search in vain for switching puzzles and single-track meets, but that's not what it's about.  People (INCLUDING serious model railroaders) who are willing to suspend their disbelief will enjoy the one mile stroll through dreamland and come out smiling.

Chuck (modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

Have you actually SEEN it?

It isn't even a well-done fantasy; it is slapped-together, poorly done work which was obviously created by someone motivated by wanting to be able to claim he had a really big layout.

I'm happy to suspend my disbelief, if the subject is worth the effort. But this one doesn't even try.

And Walt Disney, a model railroader who believed in excellence, would roll over in his grave if he knew you'd used his name in the same post as this...display.

Have YOU actually seen it?  I was there the week after it opened & several more times with the grandsons.  As I stated earlier - it's not for the NMRA competitions for rivet counters, it's a fun place for "kids from 3 to 93"!!

There's a DC3 stuck into a mountain with one wing, and the passengers are dancing on the wing because they all survived!!  There's an outhouse factory!!  There's grannys place - a quarry wanted to buy her property & she wouldn't sell, so they mined around her place leaving her on a mountain hundreds of feet in the air with verticle sides - and she put her outhouse over the quarry!!

There's a city with 7' or 8' high skyscrapers, a winter scene, an old time western fort with cowboys & indians, a hotel on the side of a cliff hundreds of feet up, a model of the bridge on the Firth of Fourth made from balsa and 35' long, and more than would fill a page or two in this forum!!

No, it's not "fine scale modeling", it's more like HO scale Disneyland!!

The verticle height of the layout is 35 or 45 actual feet (don't remember which) and to answer another poster's question, the "ground cover" is sheets dipped in concrete - it's a commercial structure and there are fire codes to comply with, as well as the need to climb on the scenery for maintenance. 

The design is pure genius - you walk on a continuous ramp spiraling to the top and back down - you never cross the walk and you see every scene from 3 or 4 angles.  Some of the scenes are decorated differently on opposite sides so you don't know you have seen it once or twice before!!

There is a huge pipe organ that's played every hour or so, and a doll collection for the ladies from 3 to 93!!

There have been previous posts about Northlandz - use the search on the forum - you will find your opinion is in about a 2 or 3% minority.  If you can't enjoy Northlandz - you'll probably hate the hereafter - no matter which direction you go!!Angel [angel]Evil [}:)]

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Posted by elansp on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 8:38 PM

I agree.  Its a neat place to see with very impressive/creative ideas.  I've been there once with my 2 toddlers.  No need to go back anytime soon.

If you'd like to see an impressive layout in the NJ area, check out the Union Model Railroad club in union NJ.  very impressive N and HO layout with friendly members.

 

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Posted by loathar on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 8:47 PM
I thought I read some where that the layout contains enough lumber to build 14 average size homes.
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Posted by Midnight Railroader on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 9:12 PM
 lvanhen wrote:

Have YOU actually seen it?  I was there the week after it opened & several more times with the grandsons.  As I stated earlier - it's not for the NMRA competitions for rivet counters, it's a fun place for "kids from 3 to 93"!!

There's a DC3 stuck into a mountain with one wing, and the passengers are dancing on the wing because they all survived!!  There's an outhouse factory!!  There's grannys place - a quarry wanted to buy her property & she wouldn't sell, so they mined around her place leaving her on a mountain hundreds of feet in the air with verticle sides - and she put her outhouse over the quarry!!

There's a city with 7' or 8' high skyscrapers, a winter scene, an old time western fort with cowboys & indians, a hotel on the side of a cliff hundreds of feet up, a model of the bridge on the Firth of Fourth made from balsa and 35' long, and more than would fill a page or two in this forum!!

No, it's not "fine scale modeling", it's more like HO scale Disneyland!!

See, the issue is NOT that it isn't "fine scale" modeling.

The problem is, even as fantasy, it's not done well. It looks cheap and thrown together--something Disney never does.

Yes, it has lots of cute scenes. But isn't it possible to do quality work and have it be fun?

Or does 'fun' mean it's okay to do a half-you-know-what job in the creation?

And, by the way, the fact that you claim my opinion is in the minority doesn't sway me; it makes me wonder when it became acceptable to do substandard work--and charge people to see it--as long as it's fun.

Since some of you keep comparing it to Disney (which demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the Disney entertainment philosophy), I'll point out that their parks would be long out of business if they paid attention to quality as little as the guy who slapped together Northlandz.

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 2:08 AM

I will immediately concede that Northlandz proves the old adage that you can do something fast, or carefully, but not both.  Commercial/financial reality being what it is, Northlandz went for fast.

I will also concede that the sight of spiderweb bridges a thousand scale feet in the air makes the civil engineer in me cringe!  That's where the suspension of disbelief comes in.

I read, and sometimes write, science fiction.  Maybe that makes it easier to suspend my disbelief.  OTOH, a dyed-in-the-wool rivet counter, confronted with my layout, would undoubtedly have a frothing fit - before I assisted him back to the world outside the layout room door.

I leave the form the assistance would take as an exercise for your imagination...

Chuck (modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by PASMITH on Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:16 PM
It is truly dark. Peter smith, Memphis
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Posted by trainfan1221 on Friday, October 17, 2008 3:13 PM

I kinda like the organ and doll collection there.

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Posted by marknewton on Sunday, October 19, 2008 11:04 AM
lvanhen

There have been previous posts about Northlandz - use the search on the forum - you will find your opinion is in about a 2 or 3% minority

So? Doesn't make it any less valid.

If you can't enjoy Northlandz - you'll probably hate the hereafter

I was going to say you must have exceedingly low expectations if you equate the hereafter with a commercial model railroad display - but I suppose they're both just someone else's fantasy.

Mark.
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Posted by twhite on Sunday, October 19, 2008 11:34 AM

I've never been there, though I've seen quite a few pictures of it from time to time.  It kinda/sorta reminds me of the Fritz Lang classic movie METROPOLIS--and that's WEIRD!

Tom Tongue

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Posted by PASMITH on Monday, October 20, 2008 7:43 PM
Aha, Metropolis. That is one of my top 10 favorite movies. There is no way however, that Northlandz is close to my top 10 model railroads. As a matter of fact, it is hard for me to think of it as a model railroad The only movie that it reminds me of was the original Batman where the darkness of Gotham City was sort of similar to the darkness I felt at Northlandz. On the other hand, my grandkids thought it was great. Peter Smith

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