Tower A at Union Terminal

Tower A at is the Cincinnati Museum Center’s best-kept secret.

This control tower overlooks the Queensgate Yard, where you can see trains coming and going through one of the busiest yards in the country! There are sweeping, panoramic views of the train yard from Tower A — and kids can see real intermodal containers, cranes, box cars, shunters and passenger trains in action! In other words, Tower A is for serious, train-loving kids.

Inside of Tower A, you’ll find lots of displays and artifacts, including real-working train bells and headlights, railroad signals and signs straight from old train yards.

Tower A is also home to the Cincinnati Railroad Club, which boasts a comprehensive library with books on anything and everything about trains.

You can also buy new or used books about trains at Tower A. Or, a conductor’s hat for your little train engineer!

Speaking of kids — there are two fully loaded train tables in Tower A. Despite the fact that we have a train table at home (thank you Craigslist!), my kids played and played and played at these train tables.

The volunteers at Tower A will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the Control Tower’s history, Amtrak lines, the cargo trains that run through Cincinnati (including a Tropicana OJ train!), as well as pretty much anything related to trains that you can think of (this is especially awesome if you have a 4.5 year old who asks ONE MILLION questions a day!).

So… where is this magical place?

If you walk through the Main Entrance of the Museum Center, past the Welcome Desk and toward the OmniMax, you’ll veer right into a small hallway with an elevator. Take the elevator up to the top floor. Then, you’ll turn right and go up two (rather steep) flights of steps. For a minute, you’ll wonder if you went the wrong way — but then you’ll enter into the Control Room, where trains abound and the views are for miles — and you’ll know you’re in the right place.

Tower A is free and open to the public on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 4 pm. During the holiday season, Tower A is open 11 am to 6 pm daily.

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