EnterTRAINment Junction (West Chester)

About halfway between downtown Cincinnati and downtown Dayton sits 25,000 square feet of model train amusement park:  EnterTRAINment Junction.  The building as a whole is 80,000 square feet overall.  There are 90 G-scale trains with around 1,200 train cars running on 2 miles of tracks on this trip through every era of railroading from the 1860s to the present.

In the mezzanine of EnterTRAINment Junction is a working model of Cincinnati's Coney Island Amusement Park.  And no, it's not dark in the mezzanine.  About every 15 minutes the sun sets at EnterTRAINment Junction [lights change from white/yellow to blue] and so this was taken during the night cycle.
In the mezzanine of EnterTRAINment Junction is a working model of Cincinnati’s Coney Island Amusement Park. And no, it’s not always dark in the mezzanine.  Around every 15 minutes the sun sets at EnterTRAINment Junction [lights change from white to blue] and so this was taken during the night cycle.

In addition to the trains is A-Maze-N Funhouse, the area’s only mirror maze, a discombobulating spinning vortex tunnel, a tilt room, a confusing curtain maze, a claustrophobia hallway, an illusory endless corridor.  The combination of the Funhouse and the trains has billed EnterTRAINment Junction as the world’s only railroad-themed family fun center.

Railroad's Early Era.
Railroad’s Early Era.

What makes this a fun trip is that model trains are something that most everyone has experience with in one form or another which makes this a fun trip for all ages and even if your interest in model trains isn’t that strong, it’s still a trip through time from the 1860s on.

The Modern Era of railroading as seen from the mezzanine.
The Modern Era of railroading as seen from the mezzanine.

For the much-younger crowd is Imagination Junction.  It’s a 5,000 square foot play are for the kids that want to climb, slide, bounce, crawl through tunnels and more. Kids can shovel coal, run trains, and for the even  younger crowed, there is a toddler play area.  Imagination Junction also has an entire play area devoted to Thomas the Tank Engine train, with video screens and Thomas trains.

This is a control panel from a real train yard:  the CSX Queensgate Yard which runs a distance of about 3.5 miles.  The lower panel are the switches the operator would use to change track switches and signal lights.  The top panel shows the current position of the track switches and signal lights.
This is a control panel that came from a real train yard: the CSX Queensgate Yard. The lower panel are the switches the operator would use to change track switches and signal lights. The top panel shows the current position of the track switches and signal lights.

EnterTRAINment Junction opened August 1, 2008 as a project envisioned by Cincinnati businessman Don Oeters as an entertainment center for all ages that would would entertain, educate, and promote railroading as a hobby.  The A-Maze-N Funhouse is part of this project to give the feel of going to an amusement park.  It has a broad appeal as visitors from all 50 states and 37 countries have visited here and it averages 130,000 visitors annually.  It also helps that it has a party room for hosting children’s birthday parties.  And as is the case with hobbies, there are always things to change/update/fix.  The sunrise/sunset cycle didn’t exist on my first trip to EnterTRAINment Junction in 2010 and now there is the effect of the sun setting during your visit.

In addition to the model trains is the history of railroads in the American Railroading Museum.  And model trains do run everywhere as that is a train above the Museum.
In addition to the model trains is the history of railroads in the American Railroading Museum. And model trains do run everywhere as that is another train above the Museum.

EnterTRAINment Junction
7379 Squire Court
West Chester, OH  45069

Hours:  10 AM – 6 PM – Monday thru Saturday; Noon – 6 PM on Sundays.  Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas as well as Wednesdays in January (for maintenance).

Admission:  $13.95 for Adults, $11.95 for Seniors (65+), $9.95 for Children ages 3-12; Free for Children 2 and younger and that Admission includes Train Journey – The World’s Largest Indoor Model Train display; Imagination Junction – Children’s Interactive Play Area; American Railroading Museum – How Railroads Changed Our Lives, and Expo Center – Volunteers’ Workshop, Historical Library & Neil Young’s Lionel Traveling Train Display.

A-Maze-N Funhouse Admission:  $9.95 and includes Crazy Caper, Mirror Maze, Clown College – Featuring a Tilt Room & an Ames Room, Outer Limits – Featuring Claustrophobic Hall, Vortex Tunnel & a Black Light Room, and Curtain Chaos

Kid’s Express and Train Ride:  $3.00 for unlimited rides.  An outdoor train ride for children up to 59″ and is open Memorial Day – Labor Day, weather permitting.

 Parking:  Free
Distances from Ohio cities:
  • 25 miles North of downtown Cincinnati
  • 35 miles South of downtown Dayton
  • 98 miles Southwest of Columbus
  • 200 miles South of Toledo
  • 253 miles Southwest of Cleveland
  • 240 miles Southwest of Akron

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