North Shore Train Hotel Named One of Nation's Quirkiest Lodgings

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2012 Updated Aug 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's Newscenter) --- About thirty miles north of Thomas the Train engine station, a train hotel is drawing people from around the world and is also winning awards in the process.

The Northern Rail Train Car Suites in Two Harbors has been named one of the top ten quirkiest lodgings in America.

"Sleep in a box car?" hahaha....," Richard Tebinka said.

It's an experience Richard Tebinka and his family never imagined they would have....But now thanks to one woman's dream they are experiencing the trip of a lifetime.

"It was the brain child of a gal named Linda Ellens back in 2000. She stayed in a converted caboose and said, I have to build something with train cars," said Cyndi Ryder, Manager of Northern Rail Traincar Suites.

Guests staying at the Bed and Breakfast have the opportunity to stay in one of 17 train cars, outfitted in diverse decors.

"There's Victorian rooms, We have a couple of lighthouse rooms, we have safari, we have a golf room," Ryder said.

Outside, graffiti markings remain untouched........inside, scorch marks remain on the ceilings after hobos of the past made fires.

"It's kind of fun to lay in bed and look up and look at the ceilings that are the raw, original boxcar ceilings. It gives you more of a feel of being on a train," said front desk clerk Victoria Sabatino.

The Quirkiest accommodations award isn't the only glory this unique B&B has earned....
The Northern Rail Train Car suits has also been named one of the 1-hundred and-one most amazing hotels in the world....It's also been voted as 1 of ten most unusual hotels according to CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg.

"We don't have a pool, we don't have some of those other things, but we are in a box car," Sabatino said.

Thousands of people from as far as South Africa and New Zealand have traveled to the Northland to experience this one-of-a-kind hotel.

"Most people who stay here absolutely love it and they are coming back. When I first started working here four years ago, we didn't have very many repeat guests, but now I have a list as long as my arm of people who keep coming back," said Ryder.

"Certainly if anyone was coming through this area and needed a place to stay I'd highly recommend it," said hotel guest Richard Tebinka.

The train hotel sits on one hundred sixty acres of land and by next summer the hotel hopes to have a groomed walking trail.