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Top 10 places to see real trains and model trains

The most fun places for you to watch real trains and model trains in action are right here! For 10 more, see Trains4Kids magazine
By Andy Cummings, Carl Swanson, and Matt Van Hattem
Published: November 5, 2011
The view from Tower A. Wow!
Photo by Steve Schmollinger

Tower A, inside the Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati, Ohio
Why it’s cool: You will get a bird’s-eye view of trains and railroad yards from the top of Cincinnati Union Terminal. Tower A is open on Thursday evenings and weekend afternoons. To reach Tower A, take the elevator in the station hallway to the right of the Omnimax theater. (It can be hard to find, so ask a station worker how to get there.) There is also a children’s museum inside the train station.
Look how small the train looks. That is a tall bridge.
Photo by Matt Van Hattem
Walkway Over the Hudson
Poughkeepsie, New York
Why it’s cool: You will love the view from this old railroad bridge over the Hudson River. You can walk, rollerblade, or bike on the bridge. From the bridge, you can look 212 feet down and watch lots of trains roll beneath you. The bridge is 1.3 miles long. There are restrooms and picnic areas on each side.
You can see CSX trains go by the platform.
Photo by Mark Williams
The Folkston Funnel train-watching platform
Folkston, Georgia
Why it’s cool: Trains, trains, and more trains! Two busy CSX lines come together just north of town, so the action is nonstop. The town built an open-air platform where you can sit and watch the parade. From Folkston, you are just a few minutes from the Florida border, so if you’re on a family vacation to Disney World, you might be able to talk Mom and Dad into a visit!

Fullerton Transportation Center
Fullerton, California
Why it’s cool: From the platform at the Fullerton train station, you will see Metrolink commuter trains, Amtrak passenger trains, and BNSF Railway freight trains. Though this is an active train station, train-watchers love to go there and watch the nonstop action.
You can see the CN Tower from GO Transit's trains.
Photo by Ron Bouwhuis
Canadian National Tower
Toronto, Ontario
Why it’s cool: From 113 stories up, you can get a truly awesome view of trains entering and leaving Toronto Union Station. You will see GO Transit and VIA Rail Canada passenger trains. You don’t have to tell your parents you want to go to see the railroads. Just tell them you want to visit the world’s tallest tower and act surprised when you look down and see all the trains!
Trainland U.S.A.
Colfax, Iowa
Why it’s cool: See 20 big O gauge toy trains running at the same time with plenty of buttons to push that make different parts of the railroad come alive. Don’t miss the old toy trains in the museum room. Open daily Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Photo by Steve Crise
Gadsden-Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum
Tucson, Ariz.
Why it’s cool: A variety of different layouts in several scales are stars of show at the Gadsden-Pacific Division Toy Train Operating Museum in Tucson. Ariz. The exhibits are open to the public on the second and fourth Sunday of each month (closed July and August).

Photo by Northlandz
Flemington, N.J.
Why it’s cool: Northlandz boasts more than eight miles of HO scale track, 400 bridges and trestles, 30-foot-tall mountains, and nearly a mile of visitor walkways. Be sure and see the 94-room dollhouse and doll collection. Closed Tuesdays.
Photo by Nik Wachter
Twin City Model Railroad Museum
St. Paul, Minn.
Why it’s cool: A collection of great model railroads inside an actual railroad repair building that dates back to 1885. The museum recently added an amazingly detailed O gauge model layout. Closed Mondays.
Smoky Mountain Trains
Bryson City, N.C
Why it’s cool: The only thing better than a toy train is a lot of toy trains – and Smoky Mountain Trains has more than 7,000 Lionel engines, rail cars, and accessories on display and at work on a jumbo-sized model railroad. Hours vary.