Milton Model Train Museum

Open Saturdays, during the Milton Harvest Festival and Milton Model Train Museum Christmas Season Open House.

Whether we may realize it or not, trains are part of our every day existence. Now grant it, they are not as visible as they once were in the Susquehanna River Valley, with passenger stops in every town and railroad stations a hub of activity second only to post offices and the drug store food counter. But… we often get delayed at a railroad crossing for a passing train or are lulled to sleep as their whistle blows in the distance.

Model trains have been around as long as the railways have. Originally designed as promotional tools to showcase railways and the trains that navigated their tracks, they soon became popular as toys and playthings for young and old alike. By the 1950’s, model trains were at the height of their popularity as toys and for model train enthusiasts who never saw an end to the possibilities of enhancing and expanding their train layouts and designs.

The intricate detail of all the miniatures within displays are amazing – the electric street lights; the gas pumps at the old gas station and the pine trees lining the papier-mâché mountain tunnel, and even detailed recreations of housefires like the one pictured to the right.

Model trains still fascinate us and have created a wide-range of enthusiasts who collect and build magnificent large displays or who simply watch, in awe, as the train “choo-choos” along miniature tracks while reminding us of past memories and our love of trains. The Milton Model Train Museum located in the Moose Family Center in downtown Milton is a splendid example of a model train display.

Founded in July of 2007, the Milton Model Train Museum started with a very generous donation from the late Reverend Robert Walker’s personal collection and layout. Since then, the display has greatly expanded to its permanently installed size, resting on a 20 ft. by 60 ft. platform set within a 1950’s era replica of Milton.

This display is one of the largest O-Gauge model train layouts in Pennsylvania, with over 950 feet of track and 72 switches. There are 25 interactive “push buttons” that can be activated by viewers throughout the display to make the scenery “move”. With these push buttons you can animate the construction crew; a boy with a kite; a fire truck leaving the firehouse or men fishing along a stream.

It is this attention to detail that will amaze and fascinate you. Like a miniature movie theatre, this display allows you to walk around and view intricate details that will delight and fascinate. Up close and personal, you can see miniature displays of the Milton Post Office, the Chef Boyardee factory, signature homes, tunnels, the Esso gas station, the Milton Train Station, plus catch a game of baseball, football or golf, and view the circus located on what is now Milton State Park.

Beginning the last weekend in November through the end of December, The Milton Model Train Museum offers free admission and is open on Saturdays and Sundays. Snacks and beverages are for sale in the second floor banquet room as a fundraiser for the Jungle Teen Center.

The Holiday Season always excites our inner child and fills us with nostalgia – Aunt Alma’s Christmas cookie recipe; threadbare but beloved stockings hung by the chimney with care; snacks and a note for Santa on Christmas Eve; Bing Crosby’s White Christmas (first sung in 1954); TV’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (first aired in 1964) and “A Christmas Story” (first aired in 1983); or the 56 versions of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.” During December, be sure to visit the amazing and charming Milton Model Train Museum to view a piece of regional nostalgia and to allow yourself to be a wide-eyed kid again – and don’t forget to bring along all your little ones to help start the next generation of model train lovers!