Top 5 Train Museums in New Jersey

If your kiddos are obsessed with Thomas the Train or just love to watch trains, there’s no better place to let them run wild than at one of these NJ train museums. From the world’s largest model railroad to an excursion ride at the North Pole, these railway attractions will captivate your little conductors. Plus, they’re a great choice for a fun, educational outing with the family during the holidays when model train shows and rides take on an extra special glow.

In the town of Whippany, Morris County, lies a museum and an old-fashioned railway that both open their doors to the public for a nostalgic journey into railroading’s past. The Museum was opened alongside the historic Morris County Central Railroad (MCC) in 1965 to acquaint people with how life used to be lived by rail. Since then, the MCC has offered steam-powered “excursion trains” on select Sundays in May, June, July, September and October, giving thousands of people the opportunity to climb aboard vintage railroad cars from a time when locomotives were powered by coal and a crew of men and women who truly loved their job.

The Museum has an extensive collection of restored, vintage railway cars. This includes a large assortment of locomotives and passenger cars from railroads that once served New Jersey and the metro area. Many of these cars have been meticulously maintained by the Museum’s dedicated volunteers. They are carefully refurbished and ready to be boarded by visitors for a relaxing trip back in time. Besides the historic railway cars, the Museum has also preserved a section of the original and still functioning 1904 freight house as well as a number of historic artifacts.

One of the more popular exhibits is the world-famous Mega Model Train Gallery. Up to 100 trains at a time crisscross this massive world-within-a-world featuring bustling cities, small towns, countryside, a planetarium and even a sasquatch! A new mural by street artist Elan adds an extra touch of magic to this must-see display.

There’s something for everyone at this enchanting, non-profit railway attraction. Little engineers can test their skills at the kid-friendly engineering and design station, while adults will enjoy seeing a full size historic passenger car and locomotive. Other exciting exhibits include the “Aviation Innovations” which explains how close to home some of aviation’s greatest achievements took place. This exhibit features pictures of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, among others.

For a more interactive experience, visit the Black River & Western Railroad. This antique train museum is located right on Rt 202 in Flemington and offers the most authentic train ride around, complete with an old-fashioned, wooden caboose. The museum also hosts seasonal rides such as The North Pole Express on select dates in November and December, as well as Dino Days and Corn Maze Trains. It’s a great place to spend a day with your kids and make memories they’ll cherish for years to come.