Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday train display opens in Paradise

Originally Published Nov 25, 2012 15:10

Garden Spot Village Train Club's model train display

Dave Pierce checks the layout of the model train display at the Paradise Township municipal building. (Lynn Commero/Correspondent)

The Pequea Valley Model Railroaders kicked off their annual "Trains in Paradise" holiday toy train display Saturday at the Paradise Township municipal building.

This is the third year that the club has partnered with township officials to transform the meeting room into a Christmas wonderland, complete with at least 11 trains running on three layouts.

"We change as much as we can each year," said Jim Lyle, a member of the railroaders club. "We double the size of one display each year."

Alexander Ball, 4, of Daytona, Md., watches the trains.

The display features the club's "greatly expanded" O layout this year as well as Thomas by Bachmann and a small train play area for children. There are also train items for sale.

A new layout this year is "Ray's Town," a small village dedicated to the memory of Ray Myers, a member of the club who died unexpectedly in March 2011.

The display features ceramic buildings and figurines depicting the Norman Rockwell era. A small lighted Christmas tree is the centerpiece of the layout.

"That was his style," said Dave Pierce, a member of the club.

One of the displays is a 1950s train layout using Lionel and Marx trains. The trains are both vintage and reproductions.

The Pequea Valley Model Railroaders include, from left, Paul Herr of Gap, Glenn Ritter of Honey Brook, Dave Pierce of Landenburg, and Butch Gregg, Jim Lyle and Rich Glass, all of Paradise. (Lynn Commero/Correspondent)
Paul Herr, 77, of Gap, who helps assemble the displays, was there for the opening with his daughter Barbara Ball of Daytona, Md., and four of his grandchildren. Sherry Zhou, an exchange student from China who is staying with the balls, was also along. She took photos with her cell phone of the train layouts.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Zhou, who is a freshman at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. "This is fantastic."

Four-year-old Alexander Ball was having fun pressing the buttons to make the trains go around the track.

Trains in Paradise will be open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. through Jan. 13 at the township building, 2 Township Drive, Paradise. Adults are asked to give a $2 donation and children 12 and under are admitted for free.

The display will be open free of charge after the township's annual tree lighting ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2. There will also be a special weekday opening of the display from 1 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26.

The Paradise Lions Club will be selling refreshments, and items from the township's tricentennial celebration will be on display for sale.

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