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Rising Sun community makes return of train display possible

RISING SUN, Ind. (Jeff Hirsh) -- It might not be the popular present it once was but some children could find an electric train set underneath the tree Christmas morning. One local community had its holiday trains taken away. But now thanks to a Local 12 news report and some very generous people, Jeff Hirsh reports, that display is bigger and better than ever.

This is what the train room at the Ohio County Historical Society looked like not long ago, no trains. The annual holiday train show was in danger of not happening.

But look at this place now. The room is packed with electric trains of all shapes and sizes, running through miniature towns and hills. The historical society has had a holiday train show the past ten years and people here loved it, "it's been a tradition with the families to come and see our train display."

But museum members who owned the trains for the previous displays left taking their trains with them. Things looked grim.

But Local 12 News did a story about the problem and then it started raining trains. Gifts of trains, loans of trains and a financial grant from the People's
Federal Savings Community Fund. 

The show must go on and it is: "I'm a big kid. I always have been. My mother-in-law and wife bought me some trains about 15 years ago, the first train I've ever owned and I've always wanted to have a big display so this is our big toy shop to play in."

Most of the volunteers here are old enough to remember unwrapping an electric train Christmas morning.  The train show is aimed at them and at a younger demographic too. "It's just amazing to see the kids come in and their eyes are real big and just take joy in everything we've set out for them."
12-year-old Blaine Beach is the youngest volunteer here, kind of by accident: "actually my mom was getting her hair done down the road and I said you'll be awhile so i walked down here." And the rest, as they say, is history.

And speaking of history, the hope is in future years to make a miniature town of Rising Sun to go with the trains and not just have generic buildings.

You know from bad things good things can arise. This place went from having no model train show to having one that's bigger than ever, 20 trains, twice what they had last year and guess what, they could even have more if they wanted to.

There's a train here for everybody. For the youngsters, a Polar Express, just like the one in the kid's story and the movie, well, smaller.

And for the knowledgeable rail fan, a miniature Norfolk and Western Number 611, one of the most famous steam engines ever built.

There's one other thing which at least some folks in Cincinnati might find worth the drive out here to see, there's a streetcar.

The train display at the Ohio County Historical Museum runs through January 26th. There's also a quilt show there at the same time, with 25 locally made quilts. Admission is free.




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