One Tank Trip: Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum

One Tank Trips

GIBSONIA, Pennsylvania (WJW) – Just north of Pittsburgh is one of the finest model train museums you’ll ever find anywhere. You have to see it to believe it.

The tracks at the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum authentically recreate nearly 300 miles of countryside, from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland.

“Our display has three real miles of track running. We usually run 25 to 30 trains on it at one time,” said museum president Ray Mueser. “The display will take you through Lehman, Pittsburgh, Glenwood yard, McKeesport, Connellsville, Ohio pile, Rockwood, Myersdale, Alleghany Station. It comes down Homesteader’s curve and then down into Cumberland, Maryland.”

All the buildings as well as the houses are accurate. Each individual property is handmade from historical photos as well as photos taken today.

Mueser said for one visitor to the museum, it might have been a little too accurate.

“We have a church here in Cumberland and the wife said to her husband ‘Do you recognize that church?’  And the husband stood there with a dumb look on his face, and she said ‘You better recognize that church!  We were married in that church,”‘  Mueser said.

So, how long did this display take to build? The answer will amaze you.

“This right here is 33 years worth of work and it’s still not completed,” Mueser said.

For those both young and young at heart, the lower level of the museum is set up with trains you can actually run yourself.

“This is the kid’s area where they get to play with the trains. They get to push a button here and the train will start. It will make one lap around the layout, and it will come to a stop. We do have a snack bar. There is hot dogs and sandwiches, pop, candy, hot pretzels. It’s a fun place, especially for kids. Kids really like it and the grownups like it upstairs,” Mueser said.

Learn more about the museum here.

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