Seashore Trolley Museum celebrated the opening of the Maine Central Model Railroad Building on Saturday, June 15. Contributed / Seashore Trolley Museum

The Seashore Trolley Museum will host a celebration and grand opening of the Maine Central Model Railroad Building on Saturday, June 15, at its Kennebunkport campus. A cookout is planned from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a ribbon-cutting led, by the Kennebunk-Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce, begins at 1 p.m.

The model railroad layout was built by Helen and Harold “Buz” Beal in Jonesport.

According to a news release, 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 featured several roundhouses, tunnels, rivers and the ocean. Best-selling author Stephen King even provided the designs of his Victorian home in Bangor.

Upon Buz’s death in 2012, Helen continued to curate the layout while looking for another model club or nonprofit to resume ownership. Because of the layout’s size, no one could accept the donation without taking the model apart and making the layout much smaller.

More than 3,000 feet of track passes through towns modeled on real Maine places, mines and mills, lobster boats and lighthouses, cities and villages. Contributed / Seashore Trolley Museum

Hansjoerg Wyss, a friend of the Beals’ and a rail enthusiast and philanthropist, approached Seashore Trolley Museum in 2020 to ask if they might consider providing a home for the layout, but like the other groups approached, the museum did not have the space to display such a large model. Wyss donated $3.4 million to Seashore Trolley Museum so it could construct a new building on their campus that would become the Maine Central Model Railroad’s new home.

The model was disassembled in Jonesport and relocated to climate-controlled storage units in Kennebunk in April 2022 while the new building was being constructed. The layout has now been unpacked and set up in its new Kennebunkport home, and Seashore Trolley Museum is celebrating the newest addition to its 350-acre campus with supporters and the community.

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A section of the 1,640-square-foot Maine Central Model Railroad, now located at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport. Contributed / Seashore Trolley Museum

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