A train bound for New York City is an ordinary event – but not when it’s a train made from one million matchsticks and its destination is Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square Odditorium. Then you’re talking extraordinary!
The train measures 22 feet long, 13 feet wide and 9 feet high. It will become one of signature exhibits at Ripley’s Times Square after its installation on July 29.
Ripley’s commissioned the train from master matchstick artist Pat Acton. This is not just his largest creation, but it’s the biggest matchstick model in the world.
Acton spent 14 months building the locomotive in a steampunk style, complete with wings and interactive, working parts.
“Plane Loco” as it’s called, is so big and so strong that visitors will be able to climb aboard into the engineer’s cabin. Children will be able to sit in the cab and imagine they’re driving this one-of-a-kind wonder as they work the throttle, brake and forward levers – all of which move.
“This train is an incredible work on its own, but the fact that Pat built it one single matchstick at a time is what visitors will find truly mind-boggling,” said Edward Meyer, Ripley’s VP of Exhibits and Archives.
- 100,000,000+ matchsticks
- 750+ pounds
- 35 gallons of wood glue
- 3,000 hours to build
The train is actually being trucked from Acton’s studio in Iowa to New York City in 70 separate pieces, which will be reassembled inside Ripley’s Times Square Odditorium. The train is expected to be on display by July 29.