In September of 2004, the Toy Train Operating Society held a model train open house at the home of a member in Southwest Washington. The layout was spectacular - about 30 ft. by 40 ft. with a mix of O-gauge (Lionel-sized) and standard gauge (40% larger than Lionel) with prewar Lionel 'OO' gauge (about 10% larger than HO) trains running on the upper 'mountain' level.
The walls of the large train room were lined floor-to-ceiling with old and rare trains. There were quite a few standard gauge 'State Sets' (from the 1920s and '30s) as well as reproductions - even the gold-plated Millennium State Set. There were model trains I had never seen in person before and some I had never even heard of.
I would guess that the value of trains, accessories and train-related merchandise in the room was over $1 million. It made my own train layout efforts appear lame.
There were about ten different loops on the layout. All were running
extraordinary trains of one kind or another. Most of the structures and
vehicles dotting the layout were prewar collectibles. On the layout was
a 1903 loco - the only known 101 year-old Lionel train that still runs.
Even the track is the original. It was obtained from the daughter of the
original owner along with the 1903 bill of sale from the Emporium in San
Running through the layout on about 70-80 lineal feet of overhead 'track' was a 1930s-era Leland-Detroit monorail. It was lithographed sheet metal and was very art deco-ish. There was even a vintage operating carnival with Ferris wheel and carousel. In addition to a Lionel O-gauge Milwaukee Road Hiawatha passenger train set on display, there was a huge standard gauge Hiawatha set - awesome!