See the trains a Garden Spot Village

By on November 24, 2015

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The holiday train room at Garden Spot Village is now open for the holiday season. The 2015 Christmas season will mark the 11th year the Model Railroad Club at Garden Spot Village has opened its model train room to the public for their Holiday Train Room Open House.

Since 2005, visiting the elaborate O- and HO-gauge displays has become a Christmas season tradition for many eastern Lancaster County families. For the past 10 years, the open house has attracted a grand total of 23,820 visitors.

“There has been a steady attendance increase since 2004, and the 2014 season set a new five Saturdays record of 3,144 visitors,” said Harry Black, one of about 20 Train Club members, all of whom share the title “vice president” and who donate their time, money and equipment to work on the trains for their own enjoyment and to entertain others.

Recognizing the crowded conditions for guests in years past, 943 square feet were added to the display room. In addition, big changes have been made to the HO layout, allowing the viewing area to be relieved of congestion. These changes also include new scenery, such as the “Reservoir Park.”

Some more modifications have been made for easier viewing and operation. The unique, 15-foot hand-crafted Lionel O gauge circus train has been relocated and displayed with better lighting, and the DeWitt Clinton layout has been lowered so younger visitors can get a better look. Improvements have been made to the camera train, which projects an engineer’s eye view on a 55-inch monitor, and much of the layout can be operated through WIFI cameras and smartphones. Additionally, use of the Lionel Legacy remote control system allows five trains to run at one time.

Favorite attractions will also be making a return. The very popular interactive operating saw mill will be back and ready for action, along with the return of Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas is raring and ready for another season filled with joyful conversations with young visitors and, on occasion, embarrassed adults! A hit with kids and visitors looking for a photo opportunity, a child-sized Thomas will also be back this season.

The train room is open to the public from 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturdays throughout December.

Admission is free; donations are accepted. For information and directions, call 355-6000.

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