Railroad History & Model Trains

The Homeville Museum displays railroad history artifacts and model trains within layouts that depict a wide variety of city, town, and country scenes.

This is a nearly full-scale (96%) replica of the front end of a Lackawanna 2-8-2 “Mikado” Locomotive #2107 – a model first built in 1923. It provides visitors with a great way to visualize a real train while exploring railroad memorabilia. It’s also a fun-filled photo opportunity for kids of all ages who can enjoy ringing the bell on the left side of the engine. Our Phoebe Snow exhibit spins the early 1900s tale of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad’s advertising campaign about cleaner emissions from the anthracite coal they used compared to the black ash and soot that often covered the clothes of passengers who rode trains powered by bituminous coal. Here’s popular jingle used in this campaign:  “Says Phoebe Snow/ about to go/ upon a trip to Buffalo/ My gown stays white/ from morn till night/ upon the Road of Anthracite.” This exhibit also showcases the Lacawanna Railroad’s Pheobe Snow service to Endicott the Lehigh Valley Railroad’s Ithaca-Rochester-Buffalo line, pot-belly stoves made in Utica to heat railroad stations, and many more items used in early 20th century railroad travel.

Below is a picture of the Homer Train Station’s bench (circa early 1900s) and signs used in the area. Cortland Junction (Jct.) was located where the Syracuse branch of the DL&W Railroad (Delaware, Lacawanna, & Western RR) crossed the Elmira, Cortland, & Northern branch of the Lehigh Valley Railroad between Commando Avenue and Pendleton Street in the city of Cortland.Bench_Sign

Model Trains

O-Gauge Layouts


Children of all ages can enjoy interactive model train displays by pushing buttons along the base of the display to start trains, turn on lights, ring bells, and activate other operations within the train layout.

There’s a lot to see as trains speed by this army camp and Lionelville.

HO-Gauge Layouts

Volunteers make everything happen at Homeville. Mike Stoll painstakingly creates Mount Peach, which borders Thomasville in our HO layout.

A rail line separates New Town from a neighboring farm. A busy rail yard and an army base provide a lot to see as HO-gauge trains whiz by.


In the mid-1930’s, Walt Disney and Lionel teamed up to make Donald Duck and Pluto on their own wind-up handcar. Along with the circa 1935 Mickey and Minnie Mouse handcar (the first issue), they were credited with saving Lionel from bankruptcy.


Learn about the Erie Lackawanna Railroad and other railroads through our model train displays.


This pre-WWII Lionel tinplate set represents the City of Denver, a streamlined passenger train operated by the Union Pacific Railroad from 1936-1953. This was the fastest long-distance train in the United States in 1936, covering 1,048 miles from Chicago to Denver in 16 hours.

Come visit the Homeville Museum to see many more railroad history and model train displays.