Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association

"Home of the "Northern Trackers"

Cabin Cabin

Getting Back on Track


The NMRHA moved to a new location in 2018, but just days after the move, the building housing the club had a fire. Nearly all of its exhibits and inventory were lost.

Not to be dissuaded, this dedicated group immediately started fundraising, and with the help of grants and generous community members a new building went up, and the group got to work with ambitious plans for continuing to preserve the rich history of Northern Minnesota Railroads.


The new building is complete and as the club works on rebuilding the exhibits, the museum is open to the public.

Open Hours:
Saturday: 10 am - 2 pm
Group tours available by appointment 218.692.1900

In November of 2006, the club found a vacant 3500 square foot building that was perfect for the railroad club. The building is located just south of Crosslake on the Paul Bunyan byway with great road visibility.



The Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association and its members are dedicated to discovering, preserving and presenting the heritage of the railroad industry in northern Minnesota.

The club was started in 2006. An introductory meeting was held on March 18, 2006 of all people interested in forming a Brainerd Lakes Area Model Railroad Club. Of the 8 people that attended that meeting, several are still active members today. Through the years NMRHA has received many gernous donations of O, S, N and HO gauge locomotives, rolling stock and buildings. Also, many books and videos have been added to the already extensive library. There are also many years of back issues of Model Railroad magazines.

Key Activities in Support of the Mission

Depiction of historic and contemporary railroad heritage of the settlement and economic development of north central Minnesota from the early 1900's to the present by providing the following:

  • 1/2 scale replica of the William Crooks loco and cars
  • Operating model railroad layouts
  • Museum (artifacts, photography, etc.)
  • Interpretative displays and exhibits

Educational Services:

  • Logging, mining and other areas served by railroads
  • Information on the operation of actual railroads in the area
  • Operation of model railroads
  • Instruction in model railroading skills


NMRHA is a 501 C3 non-profit organization and we do not charge admission fees. Instead we hope that visitors will help feed our donation boxes and maybe even join the club. Many people join just to get a tax deductible donation from the IRS. We also solicit businesses and local organizations for funding. We are also working on applying for several grants. We try to hold several fund raisers throughout the year. We appreciate your tax deductible donation, as the funds allow us to continue to build and improve our many model train layouts.


"Great place for kids and adults alike! Friendly and educational. Please donate to this non-profit, they are a dying breed!"


"Interesting selection of set ups and engines on display in the three main rooms.Lots of people there with information and help."


"Great for family entertainment great for kids. Knowledgeable staff explains all displays. Some are interactive. Something for any train buff."