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November 29, 2013

All aboard!

Pendleton train display returns for another Christmas season

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Firemen climb a ladder to put out a fire by squirting real water from a hose, as smoke comes out of the tiny home. Nearby, a helpless one-inch tall maiden nearly falls to the railroad tracks, until the last second when a Canadian Mountie steps in to rescue her.

A windmill turns, as the water goes into a pond, while not far away a pair of cars pull into Mel’s, a drive-in restaurant. Kids play on a playground while a pair of guys saw through a tree.

Such is the miniature world of the Pendleton Historical Society’s Model Train Display.

The annual display, returning for its 17th year, has grown a lot, said Marty Gilbert, the society’s president and whose family sets up the entire display with his son, Rob, and daughter-in-law Angie Gilbert.

”We enjoy putting it on,” Gilbert said. “We keep adding and it keeps getting bigger.”

The display consists of over 1,000 feet of tracks, 20 to 24 different trains and a host of different miniature displays that come to life as those trains roar past them.

Taking up an entire room in the historical society’s building on Campbell Boulevard, the display runs today from 5 until 9 p.m. and continues 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The trains run again over the next two weekends, from 5 until 9 p.m. Fridays, then 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children, while kids under 5 are free. The display is a fundraiser for the historical society.

The display is just the main attraction. There’s a smaller display of Thomas the Tank Engine trains, which Gilbert said are popular with young children. Many antique trains can be viewed in display cases, including the oldest train in Marty’s collection, which is from 1924.

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