Union County, NJ – Union County residents and visitors are invited to celebrate the holiday season this year with a trip to one of the largest model train displays in New Jersey, complete with special sound, narration and lighting effects. It’s all taking place at the A. Paul Mallery Model Railroad Center, located in Union County’s Lenape Park.
“Model trains are closely associated with the holiday season, and over the years many Union County families have included the Model Railroad Center in their list of favorite annual traditions,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “The Freeholder Board is very proud to host this unique facility for the enjoyment of one and all.”
The Model Railroad Center is run by the non-profit organization The Model Railroad Club, Inc., under an arrangement with the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Railroad Center’s permanent displays are highlighted by a massive, intricately detailed HO layout and a double-decker N scale layout complete with a miniature circus.
Each November, Model Railroad Club members dress up the facility for the holidays and invite the public to view the layouts enhanced by sound and lighting effects.
“The Holiday Sound and Light Show has been a fun, educational part of The Model Railroad Club’s efforts to preserve the rich history of our rail system and its role in the development of our region,” said TMRCI President Tim McCollum.
Along with the Holiday Sound and Light show, holiday visitors can refresh themselves at the on-site snack bar and stock up on train themed presents at the gift shop. A toddler play area also provides young children with a chance to rest and stretch their legs.
The Model Railroad Club is dedicated to preserving the rich history of rail transportation in the New Jersey – Pennsylvania region. Club members have earned a reputation for their attention to finely rendered historical and geographical details.
The Sound and Light Show runs throughout public visiting hours. Visitors can stay as long as they wish and observe the show from the overhead gallery surrounding the 40 x 40-foot HO scale layout.
The visitor gallery also wraps around a new 80 x 60-foot HO section currently under construction, where the “bones” of the layout are visible.
“The new section provides visitors with a rare chance to see the painstaking planning and attention to detail that go into a world class model train display,” said Bergen.
The Model Railroad Club has been a fixture in Union County since it was founded in 1949. It is one of the largest railroad clubs in New Jersey. About 170 volunteer members dedicate hours of their time to maintaining and running the trains, creating scenery, and helping to educate the public about the historical role of railways in the region.
New members are always welcome. Current members are always on site during visiting hours to talk about Club activities and explain how to join, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on becoming a member.
The 2016 Holiday Sound and Light Show opens on Friday, November 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. It will continue to operate from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sundays until December 11.
Tickets to the Sound and Light Show are available at TMRCI’s ticket window and gift shop on Saturdays between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Advance tickets are available online on TMRCI’s website at tmrci.org/annual-show.html. Advance tickets are $7.00 for adults, $4.00 for children ages 3 to 15, and $5.00 for seniors age 60 and over. Children under age 2 are free. Prices are higher at the door on the days of the show.
All proceeds support the operation of The Model Railroad Club, Inc. Free parking is available on site and the building is wheelchair accessible.
Directions: The A. Paul Mallery Center is conveniently situated in a mixed-use area of Lenape Park, off Route 22 East in Union Township, behind the Home Depot. Enter the Home Depot parking lot from Route 22 East or from Springfield Road, and go to the far end where the garden center is located. Turn left and follow a small sign to a service road behind the Home Depot. The Mallery Center is at the end of the road.
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