Tag Archives: model railroading

Christmas model train displays around D.C.

Christmastime means toy trains and every year, I try to take my son to some of the following model railroad displays around greater Washington, D.C.

U.S. BOTANIC GARDEN
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One of the most elaborate annual model railroad displays anywhere can be found at the United States Botanic Garden:

“It wouldn’t be the winter holiday season without the fantasy train display in the East Gallery, which chugs along more than 800 feet of track through imaginative structures created with plant materials. Explore the “World’s Fair” and see many familiar creations that resulted from a long history of public exhibitions.”


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Metro: Federal Center SW

UNION STATION
Norwegian Embassy train display
It sounds as though the Norwegian Embassy train is back:

“However, after much work and renovation ou rHoliday Train will once again be on view in the Main Hall. The train features 3 G-Scale LGB Steam Locomotives running on 200 feet of track. The train is to scale at 1:22 the size of an actual train. A mountain landscape with 40 new structures, 25 trucks and vintage cars, 100 trees along with people, dogs and cats make for a realistic setting. This year’s festive setting will be open from 10am-7pm daily for our guests to enjoy. Happy Holidays”

Of course a trip to Union Station is usually worth it in its own right, even more so around the holidays.


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Metro: Union Station

OLD VIENNA TRAIN STATION
Northern Virginia Model Railroaders at old Vienna W&OD train station
The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders have a large layout at the old Vienna W&OD train station that gets displayed throughout the year on a limited basis:
“Open House visitors include people of all ages who enjoy watching railroad activities that realistically depict an actual railroad that existed in North Carolina in the 1950′s. That railroad was called the Western North Carolina (WNC) and every hill, town, building, locomotive, rail car, and industry on our layout is modeled after those places and things as they looked in that era. Well, almost everything; we must admit that to satisfy popular demand, an occasional sighting can be made of Thomas the Tank Engine and a few of his friends chugging around among the bigger steam and diesel locomotives.”

The Vienna train station is only open on December 2 (6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and December 15 (1 p.m. to 5 p.m.)


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OTHER TRAIN DISPLAYS
There are even more model train displays, often part of a larger holiday celebration, such as the National Zoo’s Zoo Lights and the National Trolley Museum. A thorough list of model railroading in the greater D.C. area and beyond can be found at Grandpa’s Holiday Train Garden Page for 2013 by the The Washington, Virginia & Maryland Garden Railway Society. On the weekend of December 7-8, they will host Fairfax Station Railroad Museum 24th Annual Model Train Display, an “all scales” display at Fairfax Station Railroad Museum.


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Model train displays in Washington D.C. this holiday season

If you have a young child and even if you don’t, there are a couple of model railroad displays in Washington, D.C. worth checking out this Christmas season.

Union Station traditionally has a display which was changed last year: D.C.’s Union Station changes holiday model train displays.

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After that, head on down to the U.S. Botanic Garden which has an outstanding model railroad.

The famous Garden Railway in the East Gallery will feature model trains running through an imaginative Enchanted Forest, with fanciful fairy dwellings along the rail line, all created with plant materials.

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Be sure to save the Botanic Garden for last, it is the best layout I’ve ever seen. Here is what I wrote about it last year: Looking back at the US Botanic Garden holiday model trains

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WMATA finally sells all black station t-shirts, but a model Metro train still isn’t available

Long ago, I noted that the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority needed to sell solid black Metro station t-shirts for all stations. I learned today through DCist (linked through Greater Greater Washington) that all black Metro station t-shirts are available. That’s great, though $24.95 is a little steep. I might still have to get a Pentagon City station t-shirt, even though I moved out over 5 years ago. I still use that station the most after all and I still love the old neighborhood.

While these t-shirts (and the Metro shower curtain) are is a step in the right direction, WMATA needs to go a little further. Like many other people, we now put a model railroad around our Christmas tree. I can’t be the only one who would love having a model Metro train (H0) to circle my Christmas tree every year. While this isn’t Metro’s first priority, I’d still love it see it happen and I think a lot of Washingtonians agree with me. Here is the contact information to ask Metro to license a model train!

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