Great Train Set at Liberty Science Center meticulously recreates 1952 New Jersey
It's called the Great Train Set - a new exhibit that opened Friday with a members-only preview at Liberty Science Center.
But if you grew up in New Jersey - like the man who built this amazing world in miniature - the word "great" may actually be an understatement.
Consider the numbers: 5,000 miniature trees, all species you'd see in New Jersey. 500 tiny people. 3,000 square feet. More than 10 years of construction.
John H. Scully's train set is a labor of love, a recreation of a place and moment in time - North Jersey on July 29, 1952 - that has few rivals in the world of model trains. From Hoboken through Sussex County and into the coal mines of Pennsylvania, the display recreates the Lackawanna Railroad, then in its final decade.
The details are mind-boggling. Miniscule rings of bologna hang in a street-corner butcher shop. A Popeye movie - one that was in release that day in 1952 - plays on a model drive-in movie screen. The Hoboken train terminal looks exactly as it still does today, every architectural detail recreated. And swinging a baseball bat in a Metuchen front yard is a 2-inch model of 8-year-old John Scully himself.
On today's Brian's Positively New Jersey, we get a sneak peek at the Great Train Set and speak with Scully and his wife Regina about the personal story behind it and why they wanted it to be in New Jersey.
Note: The exhibit The Great Train Set exhibit opened Friday for Liberty Science Center members only. It opens to the general public on Aug. 6 and is included in a general admission ticket to the museum.