BY JOE OLENICK firstname.lastname@example.org
Niagara Gazette — PENDLETON — Firemen climb a ladder to put out a fire by squirting water from a hose, as smoke comes out of the tiny home. Nearby, a helpless 1-inch tall maiden nearly falls to the railroad tracks before a Canadian Mountie steps in to rescue her.
Such is the miniature world of the Pendleton Historical Society’s Model Train Display.
The annual display, returning for its 17th year, continues to grow, said Marty Gilbert, the society’s president. He would know, Gilbert sets up the entire display with his son, Rob, and daughter-in-law Angie.
“We enjoy putting it on,” Marty 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 continues 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. today 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.
Also, the Pendleton Historical Society will hold a cookie sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 7. Santa Claus will be stopping by each Saturday and Sunday from 1 until 3 p.m.
What Gilbert enjoys the most about the display is watching the kids enjoying it. There’s a variety of trains, including a limited edition Coors Light train, modeled after the train that appears in the commercials. Gilbert loves to tinker with the display, making sure it’s different each year.
And, if watching the trains and the animated displays wasn’t enough, try to find all of the cows, Gilbert challenges. Last year, it was hippos that were spread throughout the two-tier display.PENDLETON TRAIN DISPLAY • WHERE: 6570 Campbell Blvd., Pendleton Historical Society (next to the blue water tower) • WHEN: Continues 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. toay and Sunday, then continues the next two weekends at the same times • COST: Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children, kids under 5 are free Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.