WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) -- Trains are seemingly synonymous with the holiday, with displays ranging from something small under someone's tree to something large, like one in Washington, Pennsylvania.
The display at the Washington Crown Center mall is put on by The Train Gang of Washington County and is operated by their dedicated group of volunteers. Joe Jack, The Train Gang's president, says this is a holiday labor of love each year.
"The display has been here about seven or eight years in the mall," Jack said. "We have existed in Washington County for perhaps a dozen years. And we are all a bunch of train lovers. Some of us worked on the railroad, some of us never did. We just enjoy doing an old-fashioned Christmas for the people who remember this sort of thing."
In all, the layout is over 600 square feet, with 15 operating tracks and trains, with gauges ranging from O to N. There are several different types of model trains chugging along, as well as many miniature village pieces, complete with an operating drive-in theatre, space shuttle launch pad, an Incline and ski slope called "6 1/2 Springs." Plus, this display has several interactive buttons to help give a little more movement to these already active scenes.
For Jack, and for all the volunteers it seems, this setup not only puts them in the Christmas spirit each year, but it makes them all feel like kids again.
"This is the layout I would have liked to have had in my house if mom and dad would have given me the whole dining room, living room, the basement and all the track and all the electric to run it for a season," Jack says. "So that's where I am. I just share it with everybody else. It's all Christmas to me."
And if you are wondering how much this holiday fun costs, it's absolutely free. But they are accepting donations for charity.
For more information, visit The Train Gang's Facebook page.
Hours of Operation:
Nov. 28 through Dec. 30
Wednesday through Saturday, 2 p.m.– 7 p.m.
Sundays, 12 p.m.– 5 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays
Closed: Dec. 24, 25
for more features.