Night Trains 2011-2012 Season

Night Trains returns to the Twin City Model Railroad Museum

Night Trains Poster 2011-2012A holiday tradition continues with the arrival of the annual Night Trains event at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum.

On Saturday nights, the lights are turned down and the giant size O scale layout comes alive in a magical way. Buildings and street lights glow warmly, setting the scene for specially lighted models of vintage passenger trains.

The town of Mattlin is buried in a blizzard, and throughout the layout are miniature Christmas lights and decorations. The spectacular Christmas Train with its engine and cars covered in hundreds of lights wishing everyone the happiest of holiday is something not to be missed.

Night Trains is a special attraction at the Museum each holiday season beginning on the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 26, 2011) and running every Saturday evening from 6:00 to 9:00 pm through the last Saturday in February (February 25, 2012), except on Christmas Eve.

This special run takes place at historic Bandana Square, originally a Northern Pacific Railway repair shop, and home to the Twin City Model Railroad Museum’s O-scale model railroad since 1984.

Added in 2009 is the Museum’s Toy Train Division in the historic Chimneys Building just north of Bandana Square. On display there are many model railroad layouts in a variety of scales. Many are new since last year’s Night Trains season and allow kids (and adults!) hands-on experience operating select trains and many great operating accessories.


$8.00 for Individuals

$25.00 Family

$30.00 Extended Family rate

Children under 5 Free



  1. Grayce Hartman says:

    Do ou have the trains running on Friday, Dec 23rd? And of course, it is all decorated for Christmas, right? I would like to bring my family there that evening but need to know your hours. Why wouldn’t you have the lights down for Christmas train every night before christmas?

    • Dear Grayce,

      I am sorry but the only nights of the week that the Museum is open is Saturday nights and then only from the end of November (beginning the first Saturday after Thanksgiving) to the end of February. Those holiday Saturday evenings are our Night Trains spectaculars. The Bandana site is open Fridays during the day (see our Location and Hours of Operation page – for times) but we reserve running the Christmas trains for Night Trains. The Toy Train Division in the Chimneys building is only open on weekends due to restrictions from our landlord and limitations on our ability to staff it.

      We are an all-volunteer organization We have no paid employees at all. As we have a relatively small number of volunteer members, most of whom are fully employed outside the Museum, we are limited in the hours we can be open to the public.

      We would be very happy to see your family on one of the Saturday nights this holiday season. I am very sorry we cannot accommodate a Friday evening engagement.

  2. James Mincher says:

    You should have a Senior admission (55 or 62) also as $8 is a bit steep for someone on a fixed incomes! These are the people that remember the good old railroad days! I remember when St Paul Union Depot was as busy as Mpls/St Paul Intn’l Airport! Dozens of passenger trains in & out every day!

    • James – there is a Groupon running right now for the 2/18/12 night train. It is $8 and this is for 2 adult entries. I hope this helps! 🙂 We purchased it and are very excited to bring our son who LOVES trains!

  3. Hi,
    I’m sorry just a little confused about the groupon, does it include the Toy Trains exhibit as well or is it just the Night Trains area?

    Thank you.

  4. Mel, thank you for mentioning the Groupon promotion that is currently running.

    Julie, the Toy Train exhibit is open during Night Trains and your admission to Night Trains will also admit you to the Toy Trains exhibit.

    Thank you for your interest in the museum and Night Trains!

  5. Barbara Larson says:

    I wrote to you last week regarding my Groupon purchase of tickets to the Night Train Exhibit regarding a reservation. I still have not heard from you.

    Barb Larson

    • Hi Barbara. I’m sorry you didn’t get a reply to your message.

      However, based on your comment above I can tell you that we don’t take reservations; you can just show up for Night Trains any Saturday night from 6 – 9 pm through the end of February.

      As for the Groupon tickets, the promotion that just ran is for the February 18th Night Trains event as stipulated in the Groupon promotion. Be sure to bring the printed tickets you received from Groupon.


  6. Just wondering about the hours of the Toy Train Division on Feb. 18th. The normal hours are posted as 10am – 5pm. Will those hours be the same on the 18th or will that part be open during the time of the Night Trains from 6-9pm? We are bringing our 5 yr old twin grandsons who LOVE trains, as does their Papa. This is our first visit and I want to make sure we don’t miss anything.

    Thank you for your help.


    • Hi Susan, glad to hear you are planning to join us on February 18th.

      The museum will be open from 10am – 5pm per the normal schedule and will then reopen from 6pm – 9pm for Night Trains. Each event has separate admission fees, so if you’ve purchased tickets through Groupon, those tickets are for the Night Trains event only.

      I’m sure both you and your grandsons will enjoy the museum.

  7. Who is included in the “Extended Family” rate? Can we bring both grandpas?

  8. Will you have another Groupon offer that can be used either this weekend or next? Also, can you explain what constitutes family admission and extended family admisison for the Sat. eve. event? We are 2 grandparents, a son and daughter-in-law, plus a three year old and a 6 month old. Which admission would we purchase? Is advance purchase required, and are either event sold out? In advance, thanks for your help!

    • There are no future Groupon offers planned at this time.

      Family admission for Night Trains constitutes Father, mother, and children as the immediate family for price of $25, for the extended family it would be adding the grandparents for a price of $30. Children under age 5 would be free, like always. So in the example given the extended family rate of $30 would be the most applicable.

      Reservations are not needed, but we suggest they come early for Night Trains on the 18th because we are expecting a huge attendance. If they don’t have Groupon tickets for this Saturday night, then it would be best to wait and come on the final Night Trains session on Feb. 25th, when we will feature the Milwaukee Road.

  9. I purchased a couple discount tickets on the internet for Sat Feb 18th and can’t remember the website I bought them. Can you tell me where you advertised this event? Thanks,Randy

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