Join Us for the Grand Opening of the Model Railroad!


The Maine Central Model Railroad, created by Helen & Harold Beal, is now open for guests to enjoy during our regular admission hours. Volunteers are busy unpacking the layout and getting all 500 locomotives and train cars in operating condition, as well as patching up the moving scars throughout the layout’s landscape. Local artist Diane Lent is painting the scenic backdrop around the entire layout. Guests who visit the layout over the next few weeks will begin to see our staff install the new fascia around the layout with protective plexiglass and black fabric skirting. Our contractor Sheridan is still working on the second floor mezzanine, and we look forward to their successful completion of the project in the next month.

Please join us for a celebration and grand opening of the Maine Central Model Railroad on Saturday, June 15, 2024. A ribbon cutting led by the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce will begin at 1PM and we will be having a cookout from 11:30AM-12:30PM.

This beautifully crafted model railroad layout was built by Helen and Harold “Buz” Beal in Jonesport, Maine. For decades, the couple opened their home to guests from all over the world to view one of Maine’s largest layouts in HO-scale. From Quoddy Lighthouse to the mountains of Maine, to the paper mills and Dragon Cement, street blocks representing the communities the Maine Central Model Railroad operated through and several roundhouses, tunnels, rivers and the ocean, the layout has it all. Best-selling author Stephen King even provided the designs of his Victorian home in Bangor to the Beal’s, and they replicated it expertly.

Upon Buz’s passing in 2013, Helen continued to curate the layout while looking for another model club or nonprofit to resume ownership. Because of the layout’s impressive size, no one could accept the donation without taking the model apart and making the layout much smaller.

Hansjoerg Wyss, a friend of the Beal’s and a rail enthusiast and philanthropist, approached Seashore Trolley Museum in 2020 to ask if they might consider providing a home for the layout. Like the other groups approached, the museum did not have the space to display such a large model. The museum researched the layout for months to determine how the layout could be kept as intact as possible and relocated to Kennebunkport, and what type of facility would be needed to house such an artifact.

A custom-building design was developed by Museum volunteer and architect Herb Fremin. Fremin also helped the museum determine the most minimal way to adapt the model to meet Kennebunkport building codes and ADA compliance, in particular widening all the aisles to modern standards. The Wyss Foundation greenlit the project and their donation is the largest gift in Seashore Trolley Museum’s 85-year history.

The model was disassembled in Jonesport and relocated to climate controlled storage units in Kennebunk in April 2022 by Stephan Lamb Associates, a professional model railroad layout moving company. This company returned to set up the layout in its new home in November 2023, and added new sections needed to allow for wider aisles. Museum volunteers and a future Model Railroad Club for all ages housed at the museum will help refresh the layout and build the landscape and new buildings on the new sections, adding in trolley lines to even better connect the layout to the museum’s overall mission.

The most exciting benefit to the museum of all is that after serving the community and the world for 85 years, the museum will be open year-round for all to enjoy for the first time in history!

Seashore Trolley Museum would like to thank Helen Beal and the Beal Family, the Wyss Medical Foundation, Harry Fish, and the stakeholders who have helped behind the scenes to make this donation possible.

For questions, please email [email protected].