Thursday Doors – Twin Cities Train Layout

White Castle

When we were visiting the Twin City Model Train Museum, I took some pictures of interesting doors I found within the layout. They didn’t all turn out well. I’d like to blame the lighting, or the nearby motion, but the fact of the matter is, I was paying more attention to the trains than I was to my camera.

The captions tell the story, except for the fact that my favorite door is the White Castle. I think it’s a safe bet that you could find one of these within easy walking distance to most train or bus stations, in the days before McDonald’s.

Thursday doors is the brainchild of Norm Frampton, whose doors are on display every Thursday along with the opportunity to join him in sharing pictures, artwork and stories or doors. Click on up to Norm’s place and look for the blue frog. That little guy will get you into the gallery where you can add your doors and admire the doors of others.

Enjoy these model doors. To see the full captions, click on any image to start a slide show. Thanks for visiting.

91 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Twin Cities Train Layout

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  1. Growing up, we actually had to take a drive to hit a White Castle and it was a great treat to do it too!! But, I have to admit, the best food was always available at a local diner – especially if you saw semi trucks parked outside. Those drivers always knew the best places to eat! I love model trains, have had them on and off during my life and still remember seeing Roadside America as a kid in PA. I could keep talking, you’ve hit n a bunch of old time favorites here, but I’ll let you go…..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The next time you are in the Twin Cities, try Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown (unless you already have).

        The restaurant even has its own Wikipedia entry:

        Al’s Breakfast is reportedly the narrowest restaurant in the city of Minneapolis, at a width of ten feet (3.0 m). Al’s Breakfast (Dinkytown Branch) is crammed into a former alleyway between two much larger buildings and is located in the city’s Dinkytown neighborhood near the University of Minnesota. The restaurant’s 14 stools have seated generations of local students, along with notable figures such as writer James Lileks and humorist Garrison Keillor, all of whom consider the tiny diner to be a significant icon of the state.

        BTW: love the nonstaligia of the train museum. “Red Owl” stores, gosh that brings back memories.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this is amazing. Having just returned from Beacon, NY, I’m particularly intrigued by how folks honor the past. Thank you for sharing this. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Indoor low lighting conditions are not easy to work with so overall you did pretty darn good. I’m especially fond of the fine details in the brick buildings: the look of worn/chipped bricks and repaired mortar is not accidental – someone there has a great imagination.
    Fun post Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband loves train displays and White Castle! Both are fond childhood memories. Thanks for bringing the museum to our attention. We will make this a destination for a future trip. Tune into our Sunday post. I think it might make you smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yowzer, what a fun post Dan. This village has it all. The detail is amazing. The painter on the Norton House, the Rat Hole, a shopping cart, windows – some closed, some open, some with curtains a bit askew, pickup trucks, the old diner. Somebody knew what they were doing when they put this together. I can’t begin to imagine how much time was involved to assemble this. Really enjoyed this.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger – I’m glad you liked it. The creativity and attention to detail just boggles my mind. The amazing thing is that there are literally hundreds of buildings in so many scenes.


  6. Ha, I’m not sure this is a “Thursday Doors” post, Dan, but wow, like you said, the time and detail that goes into this production is amazing! I like to see talented people getting to showcase their work like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Um, there are doors and it is Thursday, Wendy, so… These little scenes are so well composed that someone had to have a vision. I actually think the ones that are historically accurate might have been easier. They had scenes like a hobo camp under a trestle and shacks built alongside the tracks. The broken-down cars, pets, laundry, it’s crazy :-)

      Thanks for taking a look and taking the time to comment.


  7. Dan, what a treat this morning, a train station, a city round a train station, and a ton of doors. Old time favorites there. Don’t remember a White Castle in my day, but I had a favorite Durkin’s Diner. And I took a train ride into NYC several times! Good memories! Thanks! 📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. It was so much fun walking around there. I’ve seen several historic model train layouts, but this was one of the best. The details and the planning of these scenes is amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This tweaks a few memories for me too. We didn’t have any White Castles, but I noticed the Red Owl had a mechanical horse. Even the little town I grew up in had a mechanical horse, although I was never allowed to ride it. Somehow I think my childhood might have been deprived by that omission on its own 😉 It also has a VW Bug parked outside. I learned how to drive in one of those 🙂

    … and the red building with the corner market … is there anywhere that DIDN’T have a commercial 2-storey building like that?!

    Fun post, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this, Joanne. I was allowed to ride the mechanical horse outside of the A&P. You might have a case, it was fun.

      VW Bug – ex-wife’s was the only one I ever drove.

      You’re right about the red building 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ooh! Yes! A day of river watching, window shopping, and meeting interesting people who dress like it’s 1945. I will join you for breakfast at the diner, then grab a float at the pharmacy, then have lunch at the White Castle, and eat dinner at the depot cafe. Right good plan, just I’m too big and real to do any of that.
    Great doors, Dan! :)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I visited my cousin when I was 21 in KY and she took me to White Castle. We had nothing like it here in CA.
    I loved them! I remember being stunned at how many my cousin ordered and she advised me to order 5, and was stunned again when the order arrived and they were so small.
    I went back one more time before heading home.

    I wonder if I’d still like them? We don’t have White Castle here in Silicon Valley, but I think you can get them frozen at some stores. Frozen then reheated doesn’t even sound good. I’m sure they wouldn’t be as good as they were when I was 21.

    I loved the Koch’s Diner Car, the firehouse, and the Norton House.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. I’m going to pick on you a little bit. You might not have White Castle, but you have In’n Out…I’d give anything to have that chain expand out here. We did always start with 5 (I think because they were 20¢ at the time. But we always left with a bag full.

      Those buildings are so realistic looking, aren’t they.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😂 The closest In & Out to me is 6 miles. A lot of people think I’m nuts, but I prefer Five Guys burgers to In & Out. En mon avis Five Guys burgers have more flavor, and are a juicer.
        You have Five Guys out there right?

        I love those miniature set ups. The attention to detail is amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

            1. They have a burger called the “Triple Triple” – yep, nine patties. My wife and I were there one day when a young man ate one.

              A little less messy than Five Guys, and the place is a bit more on the quiet side.

              Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! This was far more than just memories, Dan. I never thought I would enjoy the miniature city as much as I enjoyed the trains, but I did! Every store and place seems to have its own story and history. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Gotta love it, Dan…great door pics…you did really well. I remember seeing White Castle when we’d go into Chicago, but don’t remember any in Iowa or at least near us in Cedar Rapids. Side note: In & Out is the only burger place I eat at….got so use to them during our years in California…the good news is…they are here in Arizona also. Our two daughters and their husbands that are in Seattle immediately get their In & Out fix whenever they fly down here or to their sister in Los Angeles…literally the first thing they do on their way from the airport….


    1. If there was an In & Out near me, Kirt, it would be my go-to burger place. I get one every time I’m in CA, but that isn’t very often. We have Five Guys, but it’s not the same. I’m glad you liked the train layouts. I was a little kid again.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, White Castle has the itty-bitty 2” burgers. I love In and Out. The closest one (I think) is in Vegas, and that’s a very long way away. I don’t know if there’s a White Castle anywhere around here.

      I enjoyed watching the trains run through those scenes. A perfect escape!


  13. Wow, wonderful model train buildings! Dan, I liked the Red Owl sign, the Pharmacy (hair styling product ads on the window) and Koch’s Diner! Fun to see the huge variety and mainly older versions of signs, too. I may not get caught up but I am thoroughly enjoying your special posts.
    Thanks for showing the poor finger and it does appear to be healing, Dan. Blessings sent to you, the Editor (and Faith) and the pets! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My Dad loved White Castle and the bags of 12 burgers for a really ow price. There are White Castles really close to Delaware, one is ten minutes another fifteen minutes away. I like Steak and Shake best when it comes to thin burgers with a wide variety available!
    I have a friend Bill, who loves the fish sandwiches at White Castle!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Dad loved those and the bag was His! He brought another bag for the rest of us. Mom always ate salads and would insist we eat one she made big bowls in fridge of iceberg lettuce and shredded carrots so we would not just eat burgers or if pizza night. Lol 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I loved the entire Lego set in the picture. It looks like something that I would love to play with. I had these figurines and other accessories that would help me create stories during my childhood days.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to play with Lego and other games that allow me to create new shapes. I also had one engineering game that had these plastic screws, bolts, nuts, rods, wheels, pulleys and what not. So, I had to use my imagination (or look at the manual provided) to create a crane, plane, elevator, and all those kind of things. Sometimes I would create a blend of two things based on my whacky childish imagination. I must tell you it was so much fun than any smartphone game today. I miss those days.

        Liked by 1 person

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