WEIRD NEWS
07/30/2015 10:43 am ET

All Aboard! Highly Flammable Matchstick Train Rolls Into Ripley's

One artist with one million matchsticks, 35 gallons of glue and 3,000 hours to spare made this behemoth.

It's a simple, down-home recipe.

Take one million matchsticks, 35 gallons of glue, and a patient artist named Pat Acton, who had 3,000 hours on his hands.

Mix it all together and, voila, you have the latest attraction at Ripley's Times Square -- a 22-foot-long, 9-foot-high, 750-pound choo-choo made almost entirely out of something you'd keep in your pocket to light a candle.

Indeed, this train, dubbed "Plane Loco," is bound for glory. But no smoking please, for obvious reasons. It's highly flammable. 

"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.

This behemoth takes its place alongside a 15-foot gorilla made entirely of car tires, a stunning portrait of Frank Sinatra rendered in butterfly wings, the world's largest collection of authentic shrunken heads and other bizarre Ripley's goodies.  

  • Matchstick Model Train!
    The world's largest matchstick model train has rolled into Ripley'€™s Believe It or Not! Times Square Odditorium.
    Ripleys.com
    The world's largest matchstick model train has rolled into Ripley'€™s Believe It or Not! Times Square Odditorium.
  • Matchstick Model Train!
    More than a million matchsticks went into the creation of "Plane Loco." The matchstick train is so big and so strong that vis
    Ripleys.com
    More than a million matchsticks went into the creation of "Plane Loco." The matchstick train is so big and so strong that visitors can climb aboard into the engineer's cabin and sit in the cab. The throttle, brake and forward levers all move -- just like a real train.
  • Matchstick Model Train!
    The steampunk-inspired locomotive features classic turn-of-the century details of both a plane and a train.
    Ripleys.com
    The steampunk-inspired locomotive features classic turn-of-the century details of both a plane and a train.
  • Matchstick Model Train!
    The exhibit is unbelievable in many ways, according to Edward Meyer, Ripley'€™s VP of Exhibits and Archives. €œThis train is
    Ripleys.com
    The exhibit is unbelievable in many ways, according to Edward Meyer, Ripley'€™s VP of Exhibits and Archives. €œThis 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, he said.
  • Matchstick Model Train!
    The matchstick locomotive, "Plane Loco," was created by Pat Acton, a matchstick artist based in Gladbrook, Iowa. He spent 3,0
    Ripleys.com
    The matchstick locomotive, "Plane Loco," was created by Pat Acton, a matchstick artist based in Gladbrook, Iowa. He spent 3,000 hours over a 14-month period building the train, his largest creation yet.
  • Matchstick Model Train!
    The train weighs more than 750 pounds, and contains 35 gallons of wood glue.
    Ripleys.com
    The train weighs more than 750 pounds, and contains 35 gallons of wood glue.
  • Matchstick Model Train!
    Before the train could be installed at the Times Square Odditorium, Acton had it trucked from Iowa in 70 separate pieces. The
    Ripleys.com
    Before the train could be installed at the Times Square Odditorium, Acton had it trucked from Iowa in 70 separate pieces. The artist personally supervised the installation.
  • Matchstick Model Train!
    The train, which measures 22 feet long, 13 feet wide and 9 feet high, is now on display to the public.
    Ripleys.com
    The train, which measures 22 feet long, 13 feet wide and 9 feet high, is now on display to the public.

In true steampunk style, this train has wings, and can theoretically fly, though it came to Manhattan from Acton's Iowa studio by truck in 70 separate pieces. 

When kids visit, they can climb aboard into the engineer's cabin, pull the throttle, and work the breaks. 

The train covers a good portion of Ripley's main floor, nearly dwarfing the life-sized statue of Robert Wadlow, who, at 8-foot-11, was the world's tallest man.

Don't let the big train overshadow the rest of the "Odditorium," as it is called. After wandering around, HuffPost Vine artist Chaz Smith managed to have some fun in "The Black Hole."

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