EnterTRAINment Junction is the fulfilled dream of owner Don Oeters, a successful Cincinnati businessman and train hobby enthusiast.
His vision was to create something unique, a one-of-a-kind family entertainment center that would entertain, educate and promote railroading and the hobby in a magical environment.
The attraction would be home to the World’s Biggest Model Train Layout which takes you on a virtual “train journey”, a indoor kid’s playground, a railroad museum, as well well as a gift shop, hobby shop, snack bar, private rooms for birthday parties and events, and eventually an old style fun house to give it the feel of a nostalgic Cincinnati amusement park.
Don had the concept drawings produced by Bruce Robinson, a local architect whose resume includes most of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums in the world. Bruce took Don’s concept and created what can only be called an “Indoor Theme Park”. Response to the drawings was strong and Don decided to move forward with this unusual Cincinnati Attraction. Major construction changes to the building began in early 2007. Led by Larry Koehl, the Greater Cincinnati Garden Railway club, Miami Valley Club and other volunteers planned the train display area and began to lay track, construct mountains and build miniatures in the Spring of 2007.
Knowing that, as true hobbyists, there would always be things to fix, change and upgrade Don and the team decided to open in mid-2008. As things progressed and after a few changes the opening date was set for August 1, 2008.
Don’s plan for the museum was simple, make it about the history of railroading, make it interactive and make it for all ages. On board came Dan and Ruth Britt of Hamilton. The couple had designed exhibits that have been seen all over the country including exhibits toured by the Smithsonian. Dan and Ruth were able to take mountains of information and create a world class museum that has been enjoyed by everyone from kid’s school groups to those who remember riding the rails during the hay day of passenger trains.
EnterTRAINment Junction is a family-fun dream come true, with tremendous appeal to children, parents, grandparents, hobbyists and railroad aficionados.
Don continues to push his vision with constant additions including new structures and train controls added to the train display, museum items added in the summer of 2009, a hobby shop added in October of 2009, expansion of the kids area in March of 2010, and a new kid’s train ride added outside the building in June of 2010.
In March of 2011 we had the Grand Opening of the A-Maze-N FunHouse: The Greatest FunHouse on Earth and in March of 2012 a new walk-thru was added to the FunHouse called Crazy Caper.
In June of 2013 phase 2 was completed up on the mezzanine level. The historic Cincinnati Coney Island, circa 1965, was built in G-Scale with rides running and music playing. Taking some creative license we kept the trolley cars which came down Kellogg Avenue and actually stopped running in 1924.
Ya gotta see it to believe it!”
Direct quote from their history page, can not say much more.
They have finished the Coney Island area; and seeing is believing. Many Cincinnatians that I ran into today stated it look like it did in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Not to be short changed; the entire property has everything for the whole family. The Amazing Train Journey takes you right through railroading history.
The Children’s play area and kids rides are worth it for the kids. A fully stocked hobby shop on premises. If dining on the site is not your cup of tea; several dining options are nearby. This includes a Skyline, Graeter’s and other restaurants.
There are various displays throughout the year around the holidays. Please check EnterTRAINment Junction’s website for details.
They also offer AAA discounts, availability for group outings, and host several railroad and historical events throughout the year.
Approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes away from Metro Columbus, it is surely worth the trip.
7379 Squire Ct
West Chester, OH 45069
(Off I-75, exit 22, Mason/Tylersville Road; north of I-275, south of Monroe, Franklin)
10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday; Closed Wednesdays January-March and certain holidays
Children 3-12: $9.95; under 3, free
My family has not been here since Father’s Day 2012. Oh my have they added a lot.
EnterTRAINment Junction was indeed an attraction into itself.
By Giles Kennedy, Contributing Columnist
(Article originally posted on The Ohio Railroader, June 2014)