Dr. Jonathan Cartu Announces - America's largest O scale train model railroad is in small... - Jonathan Cartu Computer Repair Consultant Services
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Dr. Jonathan Cartu Announces – America’s largest O scale train model railroad is in small…

America's largest O scale train model railroad is in small...

Dr. Jonathan Cartu Announces – America’s largest O scale train model railroad is in small…


Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

COMMERCE TWP., MI – If only Sheldon Cooper had known about this place. This is said to be the country’s largest operating O scale train model railroad.

This place has more than three dozen model trains, many of which are running simultaneously.

Here’s a look inside this Michigan museum and when you can visit.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The name of the museum is Chi-Town Union Station and West Oakland Railroad museum.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The museum is located at 8275 Cooley Lake Rd. in Commerce Twp.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The facility is about 10,000 square feet.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

In total, there’s about 12,000 feet of track, which is more than two real miles.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The tracks are everywhere in the facility, including on bridges, in tunnels and below the visitor walkways.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Owner Paul Gribbell says he’s always working on the model railroad with new trains, landscaping, buildings and more.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

“I bought the building in 1999. It was empty and I’ve been working on it ever since. It used to be a Food Town grocery store.”

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Gribbell opened the museum in 2005. This is now the 15th season.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

“Since I had been a member of the model railroad club in Holly for a long time, I knew what it took to open this place to the public.”

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

“I knew some good things to do and some things not to do. One of the main things was to make the aisles big enough so people can get around in all areas.”

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

O scale trains are 1:48 size models. While there are larger model railroad museums, Gribbell says he believes this is the biggest O scale model one.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

“There’s some bigger ones in HO scale. There’s a bigger one I know of in Ohio that’s a G scale, but in terms of O scale, this is the biggest one anywhere.”

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The model railroad is designed to represent Chicago during the 1950s and 1960s.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Artist Jim Lucas spent nearly a year painting the mural of the Chicago skyline from around that time period.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

There’s an estimated 10,000 hand-painted windows in the mural which is about 65 feet long.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Gribbell says the trains and buildings come from anywhere and everywhere.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

“It’s like a scavenger hunt. You’ve gotta go find them. They just aren’t available.”

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Everyone who works at the museum is a volunteer.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The volunteers do anything from answering questions visitors may have, to chasing runaway cars, putting grounded cars back on the tracks and helping construct and repair the models.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

“I spent 20 years building it, now it’s about adding details. There’s always more details to add.”

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The museum just opened for the 2019-2020 season on November 8th.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Hours:

It’s open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Admission:

  • Adults: $5
  • Ages 5 to 12: $3
  • Under 5 – Free

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Kids of all ages visit this place each year, including four year old Ryder from West Bloomfield.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

We found this little Easter egg. The Batmobile. See if you can find it when you visit the museum.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The trains are all run under digital command control.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

That allows independent control of individual locomotives.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Each train receives its instructions from the network of computers which sends signals through the rails to the mini computers in each locomotive.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The rails carry both constant 16 volts DC to power the trains and a 12 volt AC current to carry the computer’s signals.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The system could allow 25 engineers to each use a handheld controller to drive 25 trains. Instead, the computer system acts like 25 engineers and is used to dispatch the trains.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The computer knows what train is supposed to run where and when.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The computer actually opens and closes the track switches in front of each train to get it to its destination.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

The computer also monitors the locations of all the trains to prevent crashes.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Here’s a few more pics of the museum. Enjoy.

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive

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