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A Visit to LTI's Showroom Layout at the Railroad Museum of Long Island

The Long Island Train Collecting Aficionados (LITCA) was once again invited to a special visit to the Railroad Museum of Long Island in Riverhead, NY. (

Those that attend during normal operation days can enjoy a ride on a 16" gauge outdoor train from the 1964 World's Fair. They can also enjoy a LGB type outdoor garden layout.

Here is a picture of one of RMLI's great displays:

For our special visit, in addition to chatting with a fine group of guys, and shopping in their museum store, the highlight for us is their indoor 60 x 14 foot, multi-level, 3 rail O gauge layout. This is the layout from Lionel Trains, Inc's old showroom that was located in Mt. Clements, Michigan.

LITCA member Barry P, who is also a volunteer at the RMLI, provided us with the following "inside" information about this historical layout:

1. The layout was going to be discarded by Lionel (!!!), but several original RMLI members had some inside intel and started negotiating with Lionel to cart it back to Long Island.

2. RMLI took possession of the layout in 2009. It was stored in a trailer until the building it is now housed in was built/reconstructed. It opened to the public in 2012 as the revamped layout that exists today.

3. Originally, the layout was cut into 7 pieces, but 8 additional cuts (15 in total, weighing 150 pounds each) had to be made to fit it in the trailer for transport to Long Island.

4.Originally there were 43 operating accessories, which has grown to the current 84 working accessories.

5. The original trackage was good old Lionel O gauge tubular track. It was rusty and the switches were not working properly. Lionel was contacted and showed no interest in helping solve the operating issues. Some research revealed the 1949 Lionel showroom actually had Gargraves track. A call to Gargraves yielded a generous offer of supplying enough track to replace the tubular track, at cost!

If you look closely there is a billboard on the layout thanking Gargraves for their generous offer. One advantage with using the flexible Gargraves trackage is that it allowed for realistic concentric curves to be installed.

6. Other interesting facts: there are 14 PostWar Lionel ZW and KW transformers powering the tracks, lighting and accessories. There is approximately 3,500 feet of wiring under the layout, in the attic above, with connections to the control tower. All running lines are O gauge with one additional S gauge line running near the top of the mountains. That S gauge and also the Standard Gauge loop

I hope you enjoy the following pictures of this fabulous layout:

The folks in the pictures are of many of the LITCA members who attended this event.

After the visit the attending LITCA members posed after having a nice lunch at a steakhouse. That's me in the front with the light gray sweatshirt:

THANK YOU RMLI for a great time!

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