7 Mar 2016

Martini Junction: A Miniature Railway Hidden in The Forest

In the small but densely wooded Needham town forest, outside Boston, lies a secret attraction — a miniature model railway consisting of 120 foot of tracks that wind through the trees and over delicate trestles and small tunnels. A tiny blue electric locomotive pulls a load of cargo logs over the tracks, while a group of assorted passengers including miniature plastic superheroes, pigs, and dinosaurs wait by the station house.

The model railway, known as the Martini Junction, was created in the early 2000s by Jim Metcalf, a retired design engineer. Jim and his wife, Evelyn, discovered the small wooded retreat near a brook on one of their hikes over a decade ago. Jim thought that it would a nice place to relax and have a martini. So he built a bench and a table so he and his wife could picnic at the spot. He even created a tiny dam in the brook that led to a small waterfall so that they could enjoy the sounds of the trickling water.
The inspiration for a model railway came from a toy railroad kit his daughter had bought. Jim decided a miniature railroad would be a nice addition.

“My idea was to have the line start at the bench, loop around the waterfall and make another loop after passing back through the bench complex. The railway is raised between one foot and four feet for most of its length except for a small part of the bench loop which comes to grade,” said Jim Metcalf. “The bench over the track was converted to a tunnel with doors so that the locomotive and tender could be stored and locked.”

Over the years, Martini Junction grew in popularity and many visitors began leaving random toys, Legos and other objects by the railroad. Unfortunately, the train is in action only when Metcalf is around.










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