Excitement back on track with model train showings at Georgetown library

GEORGETOWN – Excitement and enjoyment is on track during the holiday season at the Georgetown Public Library.

Fast becoming a holiday tradition, the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club will have four “O’ gauge layouts on display for five Saturday showings in late November, December and early January.

Children favorites Thomas the Train and The Polar Express are among the model trains to be featured during the five Saturday show dates: Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9 and 16 and Jan. 6.

Dinato Oxlaj of Selbyville and Josephine Glessner watch “James” (one of Thomas the Train’s friends) turn the corner at a Delaware Seaside Railroad Club’s model train show.

These displays, located on the library’s second floor, are free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those are the library’s regular Saturday open hours.

“We run steam engines. We run diesel engines … with smoke and sound,” said Delaware Seaside Railroad Club publicity spokesman Bill Ziegler. “It’s very active to watch and participate.”

The club’s layouts include one large layout, measuring 26 feet by 12 feet. It has three different tracks and different trains running at all time.

“In addition to tracks and trains we have 16 dioramas, or scenes. They help to strive and show the theme of the layout. Every three or four years we change the theme,” said Mr. Ziegler. “The theme this year and next year is called Rails Across America. There are 16 scenes and they show different states or cities in the United States. We have states from Maine to Alaska.”

Examples of scenes include Chincoteague, with things have horse related stuff on the beach), San Francisco with the trolley, Niagara Falls and New York City with King Kong on top of Empire State Building with bi-plane going around him.

The Commander in Chief and First Lady are also featured.  “We have The White House. The Trumps are in residence at the White House. We’ve got little figurines,” said Mr. Ziegler.

Displays feature push-button amenities that encourages interaction.

Dioramas such as this one resembling Niagara Falls augment the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club’s layouts.

The large layout features about two dozen push buttons. One activates a rotating screen that simulates cascading water at Niagara Falls and another opens the door to Niagara Falls’ famous honeymoon cottage. “When the door opens, the bride and groom are inside,” said Mr. Ziegler.

Smaller layouts

The Polar Express train layout also features scenes from the movie that kids would recognize from the movie. “And we have a little quiz,” Mr. Ziegler added.

The Thomas the Train layout includes Thomas as one of the engines. This layout has little hand remote controls that the kids can use to reverse the trains, and activate the bell and whistle. There are two trains on that layout that go in opposite directions.

The Brio layout, designed for children ages 2 to 4, features are wooden trains on a table just two feet high.

These shows offer something for kids ages 2 to 80 and beyond.

“That’s why I do this. I love to see the kids from the other side of the table, and the smile on their faces and how they interact the buttons and the controls,” said Mr. Ziegler. “We love to educate the kids about railroading and model railroading.”

Delaware Seaside Railroad Club will have four “O” gauge layouts on display at the Georgetown Public Library for five special Saturday dates.

This is the seventh holiday train display showing by the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club. The non-profit club is in its 14th year. The club has 65 members and a clubhouse at Clayton Crossing in Dagsboro. The clubhouse is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with different gauge layouts.

During its holiday season display, the club will also host several special days exclusively for elementary students as well as special needs groups and CHEER centers.

The Georgetown Public Library is located at 123 West Pine Street, Georgetown, DE. The library phone number is 856-7958.

For more information on the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club or to contact the club, visit its website at: www.delawareseasiderailroadclub.com.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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