UNION COUNTY, NJ - Union County residents have a unique opportunity to cool down, slow down, and enjoy a relaxing break from the hectic back-to-school shopping season with a visit to the A. Paul Mallery Model Railroad Center. The fully air-conditioned facility is located conveniently off Route 22 in Union Township.
The Mallery Center features two bustling, finely detailed model railroad layouts including one of the largest HO scale displays in the region. It is open to the public every Saturday afternoon and features a snack bar, train-themed gift shop and toddler play area.
“With its emphasis on historic detail and authenticity, the Mallery Center combines entertainment and education,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “If you are running errands on Route 22, it’s easy and convenient to stop by and enjoy the sights and sounds. I had the pleasure of taking my now-grown son many times over the years and have enjoyed watching the display expand over time.”
Space for the Mallery Center is provided in Lenape Park by Union County under an arrangement with The Model Railroad Club, Inc. a local non-profit organization with roots in the 1940’s. Members of the organization funded and constructed the facility, which also houses work stations for building trains, scenery, buildings and other accessories.
“The art and craft of model railroading is thriving in Union County. We are delighted to provide visitors with a behind the scenes look at our work, and new members are always welcome,” said Tim McCollum, President of The Model Railroad Club.
Over the years, club members have spent countless hours wiring and building the displays with a meticulous attention to realism. The HO display is based on actual railroads in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area.
Visitors can also view ongoing expansion for the new 50’ x 80’ section of track adjacent to the existing 40’ x 40’ HO layout.
The Mallery Center is open to the public every Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. A modest admission fee is charged. Free parking is available on site, and the building is wheelchair accessible.
Directions: The Mallery Center is conveniently located in Lenape Park behind the Home Depot, 954 Route 22 East, by Springfield Road in Union Township. Enter the Home Depot parking lot from Route 22 or from Springfield Road, and go to the far end where the garden center is. Turn left and a small sign will direct you to a service road behind the Home Depot. The Mallery Center is at the end of the road.