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Next stop, the world’s largest model railroad! One man’s spectacular construction that took 16 years to build

Northlandz took 16 years to build and boasts 100 trains, 400 bridges, and 3,000 miniature buildings

It began as a distraction in a hobbyist’s basement, but the world’s biggest model railroad is now anything but. Here’s a look inside the world’s largest model railroad.
It boasts more than eight miles of track and features more than 100 trains, as well as almost 400 bridges and took some 16 years to complete.
Northlandz, in Flemington, New Jersey, is scaled down but its anything but small-scale. The spectacle contains more than 3,000 miniature buildings in cities and villages, 50,000 trees and 40-foot bridges spanning huge canyons.

It is the brainchild of owner and creator Bruce Williams Zaccagnino, who not only built the 52,000 sq ft building in which it is housed but also painstakingly designed and handcrafted almost all of the uncannily lifelike scenery.
‘There’s nothing like it,’ he said. ‘Visitors come out saying it’s one of the Wonders of the World.’
Or at least one of the wonders of the Northeast Corridor.

1LIfe’s work: It took creator Bruce Williams Zaccagnino 16 years to finally bring his dream of Northlandz–the world’s biggest model railroad–to life 2Urbane: City skylines, sure, but the New Jersey attraction has more to offer, as well

3Spans: Northlandz boasts some 400 bridges for its model trains to cross

4Swiss Alps? No, its Northlandz, the world’s largest model railroad in Flemington, New Jersey

5Steady stream: Visitors, 2,000 came on its busiest day yet, to Northlandz see many of the world’s biomes represented, including this alpine waterway 6Ingenuity meets ingenuity: A pit mine is seen in the 52,000 facility

7Famous clientele: Many visitors take in the sights of Northlandz each each. Sometimes they’re even famous: Pee Wee Herman, Neil Young, and Joe Piscapo have all stopped by

8BEHOLD! What began as a hobby in a man’s basement has become Northlandz–the world’s biggest model railway in Flemington, New Jersey

9Precarious! Buildings look over steep cliffs in Northlandz. There are over 3,000 such buildings in the giant model

10Ex-SPAN-sive: Forty-foot bridges span 30-foot canyons in Northlandz

11Altitude: The tallest peaks in Northlandz clock in around 30 feet

12Serpentine: 50,000 feet, or 8 miles of track, wind around Northlandz

13Bridge and tunnel: There are about 400 bridges and trestles throughout the giant model railway

14Perspective: Northlandz’ many spans are even more impressive when viewed from below

15Cross-section: This view shows the range of environs the Northlandz’ 100 trains crisscross for delighted spectators

16Intricate: Northlandz, like any self-respecting town, has a theme park complete with roller coaster and other rides

17People: There are lots of mini-people in Northlandz and they depend on the trains

18World inside a world: Northlandandz’ citizens take in the sights along with the bigger visitors to the New Jersey attraction

19Richard Scary eat your heart out: A busy train yard hints at Northlandz frenetic daily life

20Evolving: Zaccagnino began Northlandz some 35 years ago. It started in his basement and eventually moved to its own building where it continues to evolve


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