Granby Model Train display evokes memories of Christmases past
Fluffy white powder falls silently and piles up outside our doors. All across the county multi-colored strings of lights and traditional decorations remind locals and visitors alike that Christmas is just around the corner.
As the holiday season approaches people often fall back on traditions, passed down within families, mooring our current experiences to past memories. From singing carols to trudging off into the forest and cutting down a Christmas tree; the traditions of each family serve as a backdrop to the festivities.
For Dave Naples, president of the Grand County Model Railroad Club, “Christmas isn’t Christmas without model trains.”
Naples and the 47 other members of the Grand County Model Railroad Club have an enduring passion for the small detailed locomotives that were once a staple of classic Americana.
Naples and the Grand County Model Railroad Club create and maintain the annual Christmas Trains display. The large set-up contains 21 locomotives and approximately 80 pieces of rolling stock such as boxcars. Eleven transformers are required to operate the tiny machinery.
The set-up this year is primarily constructed from model trains and accessories from the 1930s and 1940s. It contains approximately $5,000 dollars worth of model railroad equipment.
Naples and the other caretakers of the display operate six continuous trains and one monorail. A carnival circus scene, a snowy village, trolley cars and other accessories fill in the surrounding areas alongside the trains, providing countryside scenery.
It took half a dozen volunteers countless hours over the course of 72 days to create the project. Volunteers working to build the display included Naples along with Jim Yust, J.R. Eaivre, Sage Grey, and high school students Elliot Shaw and Jake Kacik.
Naples has a part time business building model train displays commercially. He estimated the current Christmas Trains display would cost between $12,000 and $15,000 if it were built on a commercial contract.
The Grand County Model Railroad Club has made the Christmas Trains display for the past six years. The first three years the project was on display in Granby Town Hall. This year the Christmas Trains are circling inside the Module located on West Diamond Avenue near the Soccer Dome in Granby right beside Indian Peaks Charter School.
Naples explained public support for the project has been tremendous over the years with an average annual attendance between 900 and 1,200 visitors.
Folks can view the classic Christmas production until Jan. 5. The display is open most days from mid-afternoon to early evening but does include occasional morning hours of operation. For exact times check out their website at, http://www.moffatroadrailroadmuseum.org/modelrrxmas.html.
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