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Holiday Train Show paying homage to NYC landmarks set to return on Nov. 19

Holiday Train Show set to return to New York City on Nov. 19
Holiday Train Show set to return to New York City on Nov. 19 02:28

NEW YORK -- The Holiday Train Show, an annual tradition, is in motion to return to the Bronx next week.

On Thursday, CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis got a behind-the-scenes look at the work to get the popular attraction up and running.

It's a different type of Santa's workshop, with crews busy bringing a holiday tradition to life.

The Holiday Train Show brings together New York City's famous landmarks.

Laura Busse Dolan is making sure the show is on track to open for its 31st year. She is the president of the Kentucky-based company behind the dazzling display "Applied Imagination," which was started by her father.

"I grew up amongst this work and to now carry my father's work through my hands is the greatest honor," Dolan said.

It takes a village to turn the Big Apple into a little winter wonderland. Twenty five people will set up the show at the New York Botanical Garden, which begins in a week and a half.

"In total, that's about 250 working days for one person, which kind of puts it inside perspective of how we can pull this off in 10 days," Dolan said.

But the work is done perfecting the buildings, which are made from dried natural plant material, year round.

"Pinecone scales for roof shingles, grape vine tendrils sometimes for ornate railings. It just helps people look at the natural world in a different way," Dolan said.

Web Extra: Workin' on the railroad at the New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show 01:42

Trains will zip through the more than 200 structures, some of which are as old as the show. Others, like the replica of the George Washington Bridge, are new.

"I just recently drove over the real thing and I think we did pretty good,' Dolan said, adding when asked how long it took to build the replica GWB, "This is somewhere around 1,000 hours."

However, Dolan says every hour is worth it, especially when she hears how the show is rooted in families.

"Multiple generations of families visiting, so grandparents come with the parents that they used to bring as children and they bring the grandchildren. It's just really fun to see a tradition like this being cemented for so many New Yorkers," said Joanna Groarke, vice president of exhibitions and programming for the Botanical Garden.

It's a unique way to get in the holiday spirit and soak in the sights of the city -- all in one place.

The configuration of everything is much different this year and it will all be unveiled when the show opens on Nov. 19.

The Holiday Train Show runs until Jan. 16. You can also check out NYBG Glow, the outdoor color-and-light experience. 

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