World Of Trains Museum Can Not Be Built, Can't Find A
Founder and President Lilliput LLC
The return of the Miniature World of Trains™
First a little back story.
Since 2010 the Miniature World of Trains™
trying create a top notch world class group of highly
sophisticated model train displays that are both fun but
educational as well.
Examples would be Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg and the
Porsche Museum in Germany, Grand Maket Rossiya in
Russia, Little Canada in Canada and Entertrainment in
Ohio to name a few. However, the new Miniature World of Trains™
create a new group of new displays unlike anything seem
in North America.
Back in 2010, right after the non profit version of the
concept was created, a 30,000sf former Winn Dixie was
offered to the MWOT™
concept for free. The catch, it needed about a one
million dollar over haul! We had to pass on that deal.
At this same time we created the first Christmas Display
for the Children’s Museum of the Upstate with full
sponsorship for MTH-Railking, Lionel and Atlas O. We did
this in the space of two weeks for Thanksgiving.
In the forth quarter of 2010 the concept negotiated a
$1.5M sponsorship donation from the Siemens corporation
via 7 separate $200k donations from each division of the
company. The deal was almost complete in late 2010 when
one of our board members did not follow up as
I pleaded that he do. When he
finally did so, the Siemens contact went back to Germany
for Christmas. When he returned in 2011, Siemens was
reorganized into 5 divisions and our contact was in a
new position. We could not resurrect that deal.
Soon after I negotiated a lease of just $20,000
p/m for an old Sam’s Club on Laurens Rd. But they wanted to sell the
building for a mere $3M dollars. I was working on
the funding with BB&T bank and the State of South
Carolina. At the same time MWOT™
created a second Christmas Display for the City of
Fountain Inn which drew some 2,000 in its limited two
week run in early December 2010 and the redisplay
located at the N Pleasantburg office location through
During this time a development company purchased the
Sam's Club building for cash and promptly tore it down for future
Following the success for the Fountain Inn display MWOT™
was approached by a local grocery chain to take over one
of their closed properties. After 4 months of
negotiations we could not come to an agreement.
That same day the MWOT™
Beta test location came available and the deal for the
5,000sf to create the first MWOT™
HO test display and house the current Christmas Display
was agreed to that same day!
A 2.5 year lease was signed for the MWOT™
Test which would allow us to seek a new location. That
lease ended in the summer of 2015 when the board of
directors decided to end the non profit. Though the
parking issues in the area and new construction with a
construction crane to be placed right outside of
entrance, the BETA test still drew some 80,000 in total
of the two years. This was done without parking or any
But, up until last month we have not been able to find
a viable location, though we got close with a 60,000sf
former grocery store back in late 2019.
Then the Covid situation hit and in early 2022 the new
for profit Lillput LLC was formed to find a viable
Well after a year of searching and losing out on several
locations that a AAA fitness business was scooping up,
we finally have found a location that this fitness
company seems not to be seeking that will work for MWOT™!
Late last month CEO Kelly Orr submitted a Letter Of
Intent to lease 27,000sf of space just off I-85 in
Greenville, SC. I have hoped to have this great location open by the holidays in 2023!
But the owner seems to be dragging their feet.
As of this update $700,000 has been committed to getting
the venue for the project started by June 2023 if not
sooner! But that does not seem to be likely to happen as
of this update.
Already, I have the plans for the new larger O Scale Christmas
Model Train Display™
and the new larger Miniature World of Trains™
HO Display have been created for this location but we
have no commitment from the property owner.
The plan was to start building the Christmas Model Train
Display™ as soon
possible along with the set back barriers for the first
two displays. At the same time we wanted to begin the
addition of 16’ and 10’ high partition walls, update the
flooring and paint. At this point this will not
happen and there are no other locations for the project
in the Greenville, SC area.
The only other option is to build from scratch. However,
the cost to acquire the land and build PHASE I is $7M.
So, as of this update I do not think the project has
the investors to reach the $7M threshold.
Where does the blame sit for the funding issues the
project when it was a non profit and there was plenty of
locations to lease?
Originally, the first president of the non profit
version for the concept was Roland Stadelman. He advised
he could get the needed $1.5M from his clients in the
Tryon, SC area. Just after the submission of the 501c3
paperwork to the IRS, he abruptly resigned for the Board
of Directors and thus the potential funding went away.
At this point I took over the reins of the non profit as
Once the 501c3 was approved in early September 2010 we
began looking for locations and funding. This is when
board member Ed Eichelberger and I worked on the Siemens
deal. Because of his lack of follow up the $1.5M deal
After this, Roland Stadelmann rejoined the team again in
mid 2011 promising the funding from his contacts. Not
one dollar was donated from these contacts. Simply
stated he lied! He quit again!
So as of today with about half of the needed $1.5M
committed I can not find a location to house the
project. The build from scratch option is not going to
happen at this point either with no one with deep
pockets stepping up to fund the project.
So, after trying to get the viable project funded over
the last 13 years I am giving up and will not be
moving forward with any activity. I have wasted all this
time. So I am done! Frankly, I have other things to do.
I tried and have failed.
The LOI is still out there but I do not hold out any
hope that this will be accepted by the owner of the
property. If, by some miracle it is approved then I will
step back in but and will not be actively working on the
project as of this update.
So, I am putting all my efforts into my personal layout
the Denver, Front Range and Rocky Mountain Railroad
under the Miniature World of Trains™ website since I own
the site and the MWOT™ name so updates on the layout
will be under this name at this time.
This layout / display is located in a 30' x 40' /
2,400sf out building. The DFR&RMRR is located on the upper
floor and is on 3 levels. I started working on this back
in 2010 after dismantling my European N scale layout
that was in this space prior to the new HO layout.
The past 13 years I have been working, as time permits
between work and the Miniature World of Trains™, on the DFR&RMRR.
is time to work on this layout full time!
Founder and President Lilliput LLC