Trainland U.S.A. is a toy train museum located north of the small town of Colfax, Iowa, approximately 30 minutes away from Des Moines by car. It was created by collector Red Atwood, who had a new home built in the 1970s in order to realize his dream of building one of the world's largest model railroads.
In recent years, this home has been transformed into Trainland U.S.A., a toy train museum that features Lionel trains which portrays how railroads developed throughout the United States. It is a wonderful attraction for visitors of all ages, especially those who are fond of trains.
Things to Do
- Check out the extensive model railroad with over 20 operating trains and many detailed features, including hand-painted scenery such as Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, San Francisco trolley cars, and moving figures such as ice skaters.
- Learn all about the frontier, steam, and diesel railroad eras in the United States as you view trains from each time period. You can also see a Kentucky coal mine in the process of loading and unloading coal!
- Explore the large collection of old toy trains and railroad memorabilia. Some of the toy trains are nearly 100 years old!
Trainland U.S.A. Insider Tips
- Take a tour of the museum with Red, the owner and creator of Trainland U.S.A., or one of the friendly volunteers, to learn all about this intriguing attraction and how it came into existence.
- Trainland U.S.A. provides tours for groups of 15 or more people from April through October, with special admission rates for schools and other organizations.
- If you're planning to spend a long time at the museum, bring along snacks or a packed lunch to eat when you're finished looking around since there aren't many restaurants nearby.