‘World’s largest model railroad museum’ opens in Gulfport
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The doors opened to a large crowd Friday morning for the grand opening of the Traintastic Interactive Model Railroad Museum in Gulfport.
“Sometimes, you know, things like model railroading or any other hobby, you get pretty passionate about, wouldn’t you say,” Traintastic President Glenn Mueller asked during a speech.
Mueller’s own passion for miniature trains and the drive behind his entire team led to this 40,000-square-foot expansion and what they’re now calling the largest model railroad museum in the world.
“It’s an economic development project, really, with an educational focus and a fun focus,” said Adele Lyons, CEO of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.
The new facility features over 20 layouts, interactive exhibits, STEM demonstrations, classrooms and party rooms, a playground, real train rides outside and more.
“I’ve been coming to the train place since I was four years old, and that’s what got me into trains and Legos,” Reilly Leffler from Hattiesburg said.
Leffler traveled to Gulfport to be among the first visitors through the door.
“It’s very amazing,” he said as he pointed behind him. “That train right there, I actually built as a set before.”
State funding and two generous community members helped finance the project that ultimately cost $7-$10 million.
“When I was a kid, to get a train set under the Christmas tree was just wonderful. And, so, I think this is going to spark a lot of renewed interest in model trains,” Congressman Mike Ezell said.
Traintastic is now open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets are $15 dollars for adults, $12 for children and discounted rates for military and seniors.
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