What’s Small is Big in Greeley: Colorado Model Railroad Museum

Colorado Group Tour Planner, Rail Travel

After eight years since opening its doors, founder Dave Trussell’s Colorado Model Railroad Museum continues to boast the most impressive model railroad of its kind in the world.

Soon after opening in 2009, the Colorado Model Railroad Museum’s 5,500-square-foot layout was deemed “the finest operating model railroad I’ve ever seen” by Jim Hediger, senior editor of Model Railroad magazine.

By the numbers, the HO layout is indeed impressive. There are more than 2,500 freight cars and 300 engines. The mainline is 20.5 scale miles long and takes more than an hour to run its length. The handmade features include 28,000 trees. The Greeley museum was more than five years and 30,000 volunteer hours in the making.

Rugged mountains form the background with rivers running through the layout. Together they present a scenic masterpiece. One of the most interesting features is visitors can actually walk into the layout. Now, that’s a photo opportunity.

Creativity flows from every inch of the operation. Maybe it’s the trains themselves that appeal to visitors. Some are intrigued by the technology required to run such an operation, while others find the three-dimensional scenery a unique art form. A human hand has touched everything in the museum.

Gearheart - Colorado Model Railroad Museum

The Colorado Model Railroad Museum’s mission to promote the history of model railroading can readily be readily seen in two projects. General manager Michelle Kempema and her team are preserving the story of the world’s largest model train store, Denver’s Caboose Hobbies, which closed in 2016. They are also busy creating the new exhibit
Women in Railroading.

Although the model trains are the main draw, the museum shares more than 1,000 railroad-related artifacts. There’s even a Colorado and Southern wooden caboose you can enter. Do save time for a visit to the gift shop.

History, education and creativity are certainly important contributions being made by the Colorado Model Railroad Museum. However, the experience that most visitors remember is the enjoyment of their visit. From the general manager to the tour guides who lead your group, they couldn’t be happier.

For information on Greeley attractions and group-friendly hotels and restaurants, check out the museum’s website, cmrm.com. When touring Northern Colorado, add a Greeley day to your itinerary for some extra fun.

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