Mini-model train holiday display is big fun at InfoAge         

Display features Toys for Tots collection, free admission with donation

By Caitlyn Bahrenburg

WALL TOWNSHIP – Train enthusiasts of all ages are in for a treat this holiday season as the Garden State Central Model Railroad Club brings its annual Holiday Model Train Display to the lnfoAge campus once again.

The Holiday Model Train Display will transform the lnfoAge Science Center into a shrunken down winter wonderland, complete with trains in varying gauges and whimsical winter scenery.

“What we try and do is we try and show kids of all ages all different size model trains in a holiday setting,” said Bob Judge of the Garden State Central Model Railroad Club.

“A lot of them include trains running through snow-covered mountains and things like that,” he said.

The display will be open to the public three weekends throughout December on Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the lnfoAge Science Center, Mr. Judge said.

The trains are owned by members of the club itself and vary in size from Z gauge, the smallest to the largest size, G gauge, which are often put on display in gardens.

According to Mr. Judge, the club’s display is unique in that it is one of the only displays around with an interactive component.

“The one feature we have that other railroad shows don’t have is in the dining room at the science center we set up Lionel trains so the kids can actually run them,” Mr. Judge said.

“That’s always the classic picture, where the grandfather and the kid are sitting there both running a train set,” he added. In addition to the festive holiday displays, Santa plans to drop by for a visit and pictures.

“It’s a chance to be with the kids for an afternoon and the kids can enjoy it,” Mr. Judge said. “It gets everyone in the holiday spirit without a doubt. Trains  and Santa is Christmas as far as kids are concerned.”

In keeping with the seasonal spirit of giving, The Garden State Central Model Railroad Club will collect donations for Toys for Tots during the Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11 showings, a time-honored tradition at the Holiday Model train Display.

“We’re one of the major contributors to Toys for Tots,” Mr. Judge said. “We’ve been doing that for many years. We collect a truckload of toys. It’s a lot, you’d be surprised.”

Any adult who brings an unwrapped donation for Toys for Tots will be admitted into the Holiday Train Display free of charge, Mr. Judge said.