The Gulf Coast Model Railroad at Shell Point Retirement Community is open for tours. Last year thousands of visitors toured the train room, and this year many new upgrades have been added.
Visitors from all over the Southwest Florida area are welcome to stop by and see this 40' X 40' model train display in the shape of the state of Florida. Some of its features include hundreds of recognizable geographic landmarks such as Tallahassee's old Capitol Building, Pensacola freight yards, the Gainesville Gator Bowl, Epcot and Disney World, Kennedy Space Center with an orbiting Space Shuttle, Miami's famous hotels, the Everglades and even Shell Point Retirement Community. The "Train Room," as it is called by the Shell Point residents, is located on The Island at Shell Point and offers a unique look at the historic and modern sites throughout the state.
Some of the recent renovations include rebuilding the city of St. Petersburg with lighted Pullman cars, streets, sidewalks and a White Castle restaurant with customers. Additionally there is a building on fire with rescue vehicles and emergency responders, a movie theater with a marquee light showing Ben Hur, the 1959 Academy Award winner, as well as a new Tropicana Plant in Bradenton.
Visitors can stop by to see the Gulf Coast Model Railroad for free on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Special group tours, larger than 10 people, can be scheduled by calling 454-2152. The Train Room is located on The Island at Shell Point, at 15000 Shell Point Blvd.