model train set on track

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About The National Toy Train Museum

We answer tons of great technical questions from our visitors here at the National Toy Train Museum and the National Toy Train Library. In fact, we love to help toy train enthusiasts with research requests.

For those questions that are a little easier—and that we hear quite frequently—we created this quick-reference Q&A page. Browse our FAQs or get in touch with our friendly team to learn more!

FAQs About Visiting Us

How do I get to the Museum?

We are located at 300 Paradise Lane, in Paradise Township, PA, in the middle of Lancaster County’s beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch countryside. This convenient location is just outside the town of Strasburg, between US Route 30 and PA Route 741.

Your favorite mapping app or GPS will help you navigate driving to us. For best results, search for our location as 300 Paradise Lane, Ronks, PA 17572

(Even though we are legally in Paradise Township, PA, our mailing address is PO Box 248, Strasburg, PA 17579.)

Because we know that some like more personalized turn-by-turn directions, we’re providing the following local and regional driving directions to help you find us!

Locally, there are several ways to get here. From US Route 30, watch for Ronks Road, and turn south onto that. At the first fork, bear right. When it forks again, take the left fork onto Paradise Lane, and it’s less than a mile ahead on your left.

From PA Route 741, coming westbound, you will see a sign to turn left on to Paradise Lane. We are just up that road on the right, past the railroad tracks and the Red Caboose Motel.

If coming eastbound on US 30, you can take PA 896 south to Strasburg, turning east (left) at the bypass, which connects to PA Route 741. Follow 741 east about a mile. Go past the Strasburg Rail Road and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania to the traffic signal at Paradise Lane. Turn left there.

From farther away in the region, you can reach the Museum from several major US and state highways.

From points south via Interstate 95: travelers should exit at I-476 and follow it north to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76). Get on the Turnpike headed westbound and follow the instructions below.

From points north via Interstate 95: travelers should exit onto US Route 1 south about 5 miles after entering Pennsylvania from New Jersey. Be sure NOT to take Business Route 1. Follow the signs directing you to the Pennsylvania Turnpike westbound (I-76).

From the Pennsylvania Turnpike: travelers may use several exits, but the easiest for people not familiar with the area is Exit 286—the Reading exit. Upon exiting, take US 222 south to US Route 30 East. Then, turn onto PA Route 896 south to Strasburg, and turn onto PA Route 741 east. Refer to local directions above.

Note that travelers coming from points east and going westbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike may also exit the Turnpike at Downingtown (Exit 312). From the exit, travel south on PA Route 100 about one mile, then right south on PA 113 for about five miles before taking the marked ramp to US Route 30 west.

Parking at the Museum is easy. Ample on-site parking is available for cars and buses. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (717) 687-8976.

What are your hours?

Our schedule varies seasonally, though the museum is typically open weekdays between 10 am and 5 pm. Are we open today? Check the schedule—and get information about admission fees and policies—on our Visit page.

How long does it take to go through the Museum?

You can walk through the exhibits in about an hour, but if you want to run the trains, watch our videos, and ask questions of our friendly staff and volunteer docents, we invite you to spend much longer. Also, please plan to visit our Gift Shop and the National Toy Train Library while you’re here.

Can I take photographs?

Absolutely. However, you’ll want to be aware that many of our trains and displays are behind glass, so be prepared to shoot around potential glare.

Do you have food available?

No, we do not. We also ask our visitors not to eat or drink inside the Museum. However, many restaurants are available in the Strasburg area for you to enjoy before or after your visit. (See the general tourist information in the next FAQ answer.)

What else is there to do nearby?

Our hometown of Strasburg, PA, is known as “Train City” because it is also the home to the historic Strasburg Rail Road, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Choo-Choo Barn. You can spend an entire day here enjoying trains of all kinds! And, if you choose to stay overnight at the Red Caboose Motel—with accommodations in real caboose cars—you can continue your train-themed trip around the clock!

Find more general tourist information for our location in the heart of PA Dutch Country at the following links:

Do you have a Gift Shop?

Yes! You can buy various games, books, gifts, and toy train items in our on-site shop.

What is your accessibility like at the Museum?

The Museum is fully accessible and makes every attempt for all visitors to feel welcome. Our exhibits and Library are housed on one floor with no steps. Individuals who may require assistance should call the Museum ahead of time to discuss arrangements at (717) 687-8976.

FAQs About Our Exhibits

What’s so special about the Museum?

The Museum is designed like an old-time Victorian-era train station on the exterior, yet our interior spaces and galleries feature the latest in toy train exhibits and modern LED lighting. But that’s not nearly all.

Our collection is truly massive—one of the largest of toy trains in the world—with models on display from the 1800s through the present day. No matter your favorite manufacturer, we can guarantee they are well-represented throughout our collection and current exhibits. Find toy trains, layout accessories, and more by Lionel, American Flyer, MTH, Weaver, LGB, Bachmann, Marklin, LEGO, and many lesser-known makers.

Last (but certainly not least), the Museum has been the worldwide headquarters of the Train Collectors Association (TCA) since 1977. This extraordinary organization has tens of thousands of members today.

What’s your oldest train?

[Note: there is a photo of this Stevens train on the current FAQ page…can we retain that?]

The oldest train in our collection is currently the Stevens Alcohol Burning Locomotive, which dates back to around 1840. We have many valuable trains in our professional care that date to the 1800s, though we also exhibit many vintage trains and layout items from the 1900s through the present day. Visit our Exhibits page to learn more.

Do the trains run?

Yes and no. We run a number of our trains. However, some are quite old or rare and don’t run. Virtually any toy train in our collection could be repaired to run, but in some cases, that would damage their historical integrity. 

Can I run the trains?

You sure can. Many of our trainsets are arranged to be interactive. And all you have to do is push a button, and they will run a predetermined circuit within a specially designed layout. No special skills are required!

FAQs About the National Toy Train Library

Is the Library open to all visitors?

Yes—and you’ll definitely want to stop in! Our professionally maintained library houses a unique collection of information on the history and characteristics of toy trains in the United States and elsewhere. Please be aware that we are a research library and do not lend materials. This means we safeguard a cultural and commercial heritage of toy trains and the significant industry that produced them—though we are always happy to share our resources and knowledge with our visitors!

Library hours are different from the Museum’s hours, so we encourage serious toy train researchers to call ahead before stopping in. For the best service experience, we invite you to make an appointment with the librarian. Call (717) 687-8623 ext. 108

Kids are also welcome in the Library when accompanied by a responsible adult. The Library has over 300 children’s books in our collection, some dating back to the 1940s. We welcome kids and their parents to stop in and browse through these books or sit down and read a story together from the kids’ bookshelf.

Can I search any Library records online?

You can! Our online catalog—which is regularly updated with new records—provides a glimpse into a significant part of our library holdings. Search it now.

Where can I find out more about collecting toy trains?

The Train Collectors Association is an excellent resource with members around the world who can advise new collectors. Learn more about the benefits of joining now. Additionally, you can check out our “How to Get Started” page here on the website.

Have More Questions? Just Let Us Know!
If you have even more questions about our facility, exhibits, collection, or anything else that we haven’t covered on this FAQ page, simply get in touch with our friendly staff! Contact the Museum