CAITLYN BAHRENBURG

Closing weekend of the show was a success despite weather

BY CAITLYN BAHRENBURG THE COAST STAR

WALL TOWNSHIP — The InfoAge Science Center was transformed into a holiday wonderland for the closing weekend of the Holiday Spectacular and Train Display.

Despite the wintery mix of snow and rain that kept many people inside all weekend, residents took a trip for the final days of the annual mod­el train display — an essential component of the holiday season for many in attendance.

“It’s like our Christmas tradition,” said Carrie Rothen­berg, who attended the train display with her two young children who were fully engaged with the interactive display, which featured everything from ridable plas­tic toy trains to remote controlled sets.

“It’s just so fun for the kids,” she said. “They get to be hands on with the trains.”

In the main display room, model trains circled scale-model snow-covered towns, complete with colorful buildings and streetscapes as tiny townspeople appeared to stroll about beneath decorated Christmas trees.

Handcrafted displays featured mini trains in a variety of gauges chugging through meticulously crafted landscapes and holiday scenes, mesmerizing onlookers with their colorful decorations and swiftly moving locomotives.

“I think it’s just cool how all the people are so tiny and how they are moving up and down the tracks,” said Alexa Ker, who visited the display with her grandparents, Joyce and William Wallace, of Wall, and her cousins, Brooke and Lacie Brown. All of the girls were eager to get back to the interactive room to play with the trains, according to their grandmother.

According to Mr. Wallace, who attended the display with his family for the first time, visiting the trains could be a new family tradition.

“We still have four grandchildren who haven’t come yet,” he said.

According to Garden State Central Model Railroad Club member George Speidel, who has volunteered for the dis­play for a decade, trains are a cherished part of Christmas.

“Trains and Christmas go together for everybody,” he said. “I used to have them running around the tree.”

Based on the turnout to the holiday train display this year, local train enthusiasts seem to agree.

“It’s been excellent,” said Bob Judge, of the Garden State Central Model Railroad Club, adding that the show drew in several first-time vis­itors.

In addition to the display, the Garden State Central Model Railroad Club hosted a collection for Toys for Tots during the opening two weeks of the show.

“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.”

To learn more about the Garden State Central Model Railroad Club, visit www.gar­denstatecentraLcom.

Posted February 4, 2017 by InfoAge