History tends to repeat itself, which means there’s a good chance you’ll get run over by another war elephant. Admire what history has taught us thus far with today’s Groupon to the Twin City Model Railroad Museum in St. Paul. Choose between the following options:
For $8, you get admission for two people to the Night Trains exhibit on Saturday, February 18 (a $16 value). Children under 5 are free.
For $49, you get a one-year Conductor Level family membership (a $100 value).
Since its inception as a modelers club in 1934, the nonprofit Twin City Model Railroad Museum has sought to re-create Minnesota railroad history on a pint-size scale. A Conductor Level visiting membership nets two adults and their children younger than 18 unlimited access to the hobbyist haven, where O-scale iron horses gallop across the Twin Cities landscape. Housed in a former Northern Pacific Railway repair shop constructed in 1885, the exhibit depicts railway life from the 1930s–1950s as diminutive steam and diesel trains crisscross the Mississippi River, swing through a rural Minnesota town, and receive caboose massages at the freight yard.
The museum’s Toy Train Division—located in the historical Chimney’s Building north of the main exhibit—grants visitors more hands-on access as they explore a model maintenance shop, an extensive library of model railroad books and magazines, and a Thomas the Tank Engine exhibit, which children may operate under adult supervision. To aid modelers in creating their own layouts or designing a world where their hamsters can rule as kings, the family membership also bestows cardholders with discounts at participating hobby shops. During the seasonal Night Trains exhibit, the museum’s lilliputian landscape and locomotives don winter finery. Lights dim as a Christmas train brightens up the snow-blanketed landscape with hundreds of lights, delivering holiday cheer and the coal that powers Santa's Easy-Bake Oven.
Twin City Model Railroad Museum
Twin City Model Railroad Museum totes visitors through time with meticulously detailed model panoramas of Twin Cities railroads from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. The museum itself dates back to 1934, when a group of modelers formed the St. Paul Craftsman Club. Today, thanks to countless volunteer hours, as well as scientific advances that have produced microscopic train conductors, the museum has grown into a world-class facility that chugs along with stunning displays and special exhibits. Inside, visitors marvel as the Empire Builder zips above St. Anthony Falls on the Stony Arch Bridge and as freight trains haul cargo to and from industries. Train enthusiasts can also take tours of the O-Scale exhibit, beginning in a reproduction of the St. Anthony Falls milling district and ending in the Minnesota Transfer Railways switching yard.