Train show visitors come from wide area

December 27, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

HAGERSTOWN -- More than 300 people steamed into Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum on Saturday to see the annual Trains of Christmas show.

"It's just amazing the time they took to do this," said Patty Anderson of the four-level layout featuring 23 model trains operating amid a festive wintry setting.

"I come up every year with my family," said Anderson, of Martinsburg. "We love to just come and look at the trains."

The 19th season of the show, which continues through February, features five new trains, show co-chair William L. "Bill" Knode said.


"No two (shows) have ever been the same," Knode said while operating trains on the lower level of the layout, closest to dozens of young children who were in awe of the production.

"The track work takes a lot of time to get it exactly right so it will work," Knode said of the nearly 1,000 hours that volunteers spent working on the show this year. "The scenery is pretty easy."

About 50 snow-dusted and illuminated structures were placed along the O-scale track layout, and a line of evergreens was placed along the edge of the lowest level to discourage small hands from extending too closely to the display, Knode said. The display also includes a fast-moving trolley, an operating ski resort and a firehouse.

John Detrow of Williamsport said the Christmas show is a family favorite, especially for his 4-year-old twin boys.

"We couldn't wait for the Christmas trains to open back up," Detrow said.

For Knode, the assembly of trains collected by museum members for the show is a lot of fun and builds camaraderie among those who volunteer.

This year's roughly 30-minute production features about 300 freight cars and about 50 passenger cars, which mostly are part of private collections, Knode said.

"We've had people come as far as Philadelphia and York, Pa., just to see this show," Knode said.

If you go

What: The Trains of Christmas

When: Fridays through Sundays through March 1, 2009, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where: Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, 300 S. Burhans Blvd., Hagerstown

Admission: $4, adults; 50 cents, ages 4 to 12; free for ages 3 and younger.

Call 301-739-4665

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