Harvest Hosts is a unique RV membership program with a large network of available hosts. So far, 2377+ locations have opened their hearts and their homes and/or businesses to members of the Harvest Hosts RVing community. Through this program, members receive overnight accommodations with no camping fees in peaceful and serene places across North America. In return, members are asked to make a purchase to patronize the small business that hosts them. Of these Hosts, Train Mountain Railroad is particularly unique. Here you can learn all about the museum’s history, its origins within the Harvest Hosts community, and what future visitors can expect to experience.
Train Mountain Railroad was founded in 1987 by Quentin Breen in the town of Chiloquin, Oregon. On adjacent property his friend Ed St. John owned a similar model railroad park, called the Over The Hill Model Railroad, connected to Breen’s track. The two enjoyed using each other’s tracks in a large, unified enterprise. The forested land in the country setting seemed like paradise, and these two men planned to enjoy their early retirement from lucrative professions by playing with their model trains. Many years and many changes later, Train Mountain Institute developed these properties into a railroad education program that operates a museum, a library, and a store. These organizations work together to make this World Class Facility succeed.
Train Mountain Institute also strives to educate the public with a museum displaying regionally significant rail equipment, in addition to accurately replicating Railroad operations and safety procedures, all while responsibly maintaining a diverse High Desert forest.
The Business Today
Today, Train Mountain Railroad continues to operate the world’s largest miniature railroad on 2,205 acres of pine forest, spanning two miles by four miles near Chiloquin in South Central Oregon. It contains the length of over thirty-six miles of 7.5-gauge track.
The museum offers a self-guided walking tour of both full size and miniature railroad equipment during their seasonal business hours. This allows visitors to see and experience the museum’s thirty-seven cabooses, sixty stock cars, many items on display for educational purposes, and so much more. In addition, they offer educational rail tours when the weather is appropriate. On these tours, volunteer Museum Docents allow visitors to ride the trains and see and learn about the property. The Rail Tours run between forty and ninety minutes in length. In addition to self-guided and docent-guided tours, the museum has a picnic area, a play area for children, and a gift shop and visitor center. It is also located about thirty minutes from Crater Lake, so this is an excellent stop when going to or from the national park.
Joining as a Harvest Hosts Location
Train Mountain Railroad became a Harvest Hosts location about a year ago. Since then, they have enjoyed many guests. The property is serene and quiet, and they even have 20 and 30-amp electrical hookups and water available. Currently, there are four pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size available.
Train Mountain Railroad is a unique example of the types of unique experiences that Harvest Hosts members can find. Be sure to make a stop next time you find yourself in south-central Oregon!
Have you ever visited the Train Mountain Railroad? How was your time there? Is there another host you would like to recommend? Please tell us all about it below!
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