When Don and I were visiting friends in Pennsylvania, I spotted this model train museum which filled a 3 floor building. We stayed an extra day to check it out. It was well worth the trip to see it. Some of my photos are a bit blurry due to the lighting; see the official website below for high quality photos of this impressive layout. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by: http://www.northlandz.com.
There is a hand built roundhouse in this museum. Many of the popular brands from Lionel, American Flyer, and HO and smaller guages are on display. The main layout is mostly HO, but the distance effect is enhanced by the clever use of smaller TT or N guage trains in the background, to enhance the illusion. The scenery and buildings of this model railroad museum brought back many happy memories.
Utah Phillips singing "Daddy, Whats a Train?": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5YoLjYD8QE.
When I was a youngster, most of my family was somehow involved with the railroad, many being employed there. My grandfather was a station agent for the Erie railroad for over half a century. Last time I visited my home town, the office in the depot he worked in was still standing, and I peered into the windows, just to recall the times he took me to work with him. There was always something interesting arriving, and he let me ride with him on the delivery truck to take the package to its destination. Sometimes, racing pigeons would arrive; my grandfather fed them, and released them at the specified time. My uncle was an avid model railroader. His HO guage model railroad layout occupied most of the basement of his home. He built from scratch a replica of the Erie locomotive shops and roundhouse from right where I grew up. His interests were diverse. He scratch built a huge model articulated (hinged in the middle) steam locomotive from brass such as was used to haul freight over the Rocky Mountains. It would only run on the outer loop of his model railroad layout, because it could not manage sharp turns. He used to take me down to the railroad crossing where he photographed passing trains; he used the photographs to recreate locomotives and freight cars from obscure rail lines for his layout. My grandmother took me on a trip to New York city when I was a teenager; of course we rode the train!
My great grandfather was a tool and die maker for the shops that refurbished locomotives. I also went to Steamtown and stood in the very shop he worked in a long, long time ago. That location is now preserved at the Steamtown museum in Pennsylvania. This is well worth the trip. You can even take a short excursion on a working train.