11 Places to See Tiny Trains - Atlas Obscura Lists

11 Places to See Tiny Trains

A little something for the miniature railroad enthusiasts.

The first mass-market model train sets were produced in 1891 by German manufacturer Märklin (a company that is still in the miniature railroad business today). Though the popularity of model trains has ebbed and flowed, these tiny titans of engineering transcend age, demography, and time—never losing appeal amid their loyal fanbase. Some are grandiose displays, complete with bridges, tunnels, and landscapes that wow the senses, others are simpler but still maintain a rich history passed down over generations. 

Just off Wisconsin Highway 81 in Argyle, Wisconsin, what was once a decaying barn is now home to hundreds of toy trains. Amid the eclectic collection inside the Toy Train Barn is a massive train diorama. The barn was the brainchild of a former standard-size train engineer. To see one of the world’s largest collections of model trains, you’ll have to head to the Hara Model Railway Museum in Yokohama, Japan, which features almost 1,500 feet of track running through a massive central diorama.

From a $3 million model train display to a monthly market dedicated to model trains in the heart of Barcelona, here are 11 places to visit for a big look at a miniature world.