Model Trains Still Running Saturdays in January With Engineer Dennis Smith Greeting Train Enthusiasts

Jan 19th, 2012Press Release from Lehigh County Historical Society

PRESS RELEASE                       CONTACT: Joseph Garrera, Executive Director

Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum

                                                                                                                        cell: 484-553-2592

                                                                                                             (610) 435-1074, Ext. 19

For Immediate Release                


January 6, 2012


Photographs Attached (captions at bottom of release)



Model Trains Still Running

Saturdays in January

With Engineer Dennis Smith Greeting Train Enthusiasts


Allentown, PA – Train lovers of every age will enjoy model train layouts as they chug around the tracks to the background sounds of steam locomotives and antique train bells.  The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum’s train layouts will be fully operational Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m. through the end of January.  The Museum’s railroad exhibit galleries of authentic artifacts, photographs, railroad activities, and crafts will be open during regular Museum hours of Tuesdays – Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sundays 12:00 noon – 4:00 p.m. The announcement was made today by Joseph Garrera, Executive Director of the Museum.


“Trains capture the imaginations of young and old,” said Garrera.  “We see this in the Polar Express, Thomas the Tank Engine, and the lure of modern passenger trains.  They’re great family fun.”


The 4,000 square foot exhibit re-creates the era when railroads were King.  Visitors will hear the sounds of train whistles and the hiss of steam locomotives while exploring a variety of engaging train activities.  They can test their knowledge of railroad signals or see authentic telegraph equipment formerly used by the LVRR in the early 1900s.  Children can try their hand at telegraph messages as they travel back in time to the era of steam locomotives.  The exhibit includes an authentic LVRR conductor uniform, antique Lionel trains, a wallboard on train hobos, and more than 250 train-related artifacts and relics.  Three large brass locomotive engine bells amaze visitors young and old with their power, presence, and dynamic sound.


On Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Thomas the Tank Engine and his pal Percy will be running non-stop along with other kid-friendly layouts.  Children can watch numerous model trains running on tracks, do train art, learn railroad signals, or try their hand at a working telegraph system.  Families can view authentic railroad artifacts in one part of the exhibit, as their imaginations are challenged by the magic of model trains and hobo life on the rails in another section.


Crucial support for this exhibit has come from the collections of Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Important vintage dinnerware once used in railroad dining cars has come from as far away as the Canadian Pacific Railways in Montreal, Canada.  The exhibit also received support from the Norfolk Southern Railroad, the Union Pacific Railroad, and grants from the County of Lehigh, the Charles H. Hoch Foundation, the Holt Family Foundation, the Julius & Katheryn Hommer Foundation, the Keystone Nazareth Charitable Foundation, the Rider-Pool Foundation, the Sylvia Perkin Perpetual Charitable Trust and Wells Fargo.


The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum is a teaching institution that attracts a diverse audience.  Its collections of historical Americana include over 30,000 three-dimensional objects, 3 million documents and more than 70,000 vintage photographs.  The Museum is located at 432 W. Walnut Street in Allentown.   Parking is available in the rear of the Museum, on the street, and in nearby lots.  Admission is FREE to members, Non-members $6 adults, $3 children, FREE under age 5.  For more information, contact Joseph Garrera, Executive Director, at 484-553-2592 (cell) any time of day or at 610-435-1074. Visit or visit us on Facebook.


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ChiefEngineerDennis.JPG:  Chief Engineer Dennis Smith of Allentown will greet train enthusiasts of all ages at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum’s Railroad Exhibit on Saturdays in January.


LocomotiveBells.JPG:  Assistant Director Jill Youngken prepares authentic brass locomotive bells for new railroad exhibit; vintage lanterns and train signs appear in the background.


LVRREngine464Easton.jpg:  This photo taken in South Easton is part of the 4,000 square foot railroad exhibit at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum.


JillandThomasTrain2011Cropped2.JPG:  Assistant Director Jill Youngken welcomes Thomas the Tank Engine to the Museum.


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