Move Your Caboose! Seasonal Toy Train Exhibit Comes Back ’Round the Bend
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library welcomes trains Dec. 2-30
The railway station is a witness to history, carrying stories of generations. And those stories are forever captured in the wonderful world of local libraries. Fortunately for the Chippewa Valley, we are going to be host once again to an extraordinary convergence of both stories and trains.
The newly remodeled L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library (400 Eau Claire St., Eau Claire), will host the Season Train Exhibit for the second year in a row. From Dec. 2-30, the Riverview Room on Level 3 will bring excitement for the whole family in the form of toy train models chugging along a 16’x28’ layout with at least three trains running through multiple scenic backgrounds. The price of admission is as follows: ages 18 and over is $5, ages 5-17 is $2 and children younger than 5 are free. It will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 pm-7:30 pm and Saturdays from 1pm-5pm. Trains will not run on Dec. 23. (Several special events will be held in conjunction with the exhibit; see below for details.)
These toy trains range from originals to reproductions from 1906-1940 running along a 448 square foot standard gauge layout and decked out for the holiday season. Tuesday and Thursday evenings will be enhanced with illuminated cars for even further enjoyment. Proceeds generated from this exhibit will go back to the Friends of the Library to fund several programs and services to the community such as Teen Book Boxes, Play and Learn Items, Reference Services Seed Library and the One Book One Community Program, just to name a few.
as a child, i remember local shops displaying toy trains prominently and being in awe of them.
They were truly a highlight to the whole community. I hope everyone enjoys this exhibit because it's very unique to Eau Claire.
STANDARD GAUGE MODULE ASSOCIATION OF E.C. COORDINATOR
Spearheading this giant-miniature endeavor is coordinator of the Standard Gauge Module Association of the Eau Claire area, Chuck Lindvig. A life-long train lover, Chuck enjoys the history of trains and being part of the close-knit, national organization that creates the hobby of toy trains.
“As a child, I remember local shops displaying toy trains prominently and being in awe of them. They were truly a highlight to the whole community. I hope everyone enjoys this exhibit because it’s very unique to Eau Claire,” Chuck said.
Approximately $4,500 was raised from last year’s exhibit and Chuck is hoping the library does even better this year. He is especially proud of the scavenger hunt being created for the kids as it will be presented for readers and pictorial clues for non-readers. And be on the lookout for something that wasn’t included in last year’s exhibit: the Norwegian Troll. But don’t come too early. Chuck says it’s only seen during the night train exhibits, because, “Trolls only come out at night!”
Enjoyment isn’t the only goal of this exhibit, of course. Chuck and the Friends of the Library organization are hoping to educate families about trains, as tables full of books and safety literature will be available to everyone. A large emphasis that Chuck is hoping to educate all families on is train track signage safety. In many instances, train warning signage is overlooked by people, and Chuck is ready to help teach people about train crossing IDs and how to best use them to call the proper authorities in an emergency.
“In a lot of situations with trains, calling 911 isn’t the fastest way to stop a possible accident. These particular signs on railroad crossings can be a lifesaver and help notify train companies of immediate assistance and railway emergencies,” Chuck stated.
So stop on by the L.E. Phillips Memorial Library next month and watch in amazement as toy trains chug past and whistles blow to notify you of the next stop. If you wait on the Seasonal Toy Train platform long enough, the right train will bring all the holiday magic to you – or the train will bring a Norwegian troll to eat you if you stay past sundown. Who knows?!
For more information on the event and confirmed times and costs, visit www.ecpubliclibrary.info.
SPECIAL EVENTSPolar Express Experience • Saturday, Dec. 2 • 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm • Innovation Lab (Level 3) • $5 per child (includes admission to the Train Exhibit) • Enjoy a reading of The Polar Express, a free gift, and a visit from our train conductor prior to visiting the exhibit. Online reservations are required as space is limited. Sponsored by Culvers and CCF Bank. For more information and reservations, visit www.ecpubliclibrary.info/friends/trains.Give a Kid a Book Night • Tuesday, Dec. 12 • 4:30pm to 7:30pm • Free with donation of a NEW children’s or young adult book • Enjoy an evening of trains while supporting this year’s book drive. Sponsored by RCU.Community Night • Thursday, Dec. 28 • 4:30pm to 7:30pm • Free • Enjoy an evening of trains for free. (Free will donations are always accepted.)