Tom Miller has taken his training to new heights.
His model train tree is now six levels instead of the five it was a year ago.
Miller, who lives in the Rising Sun area, has been a model train enthusiast for a half century.
About 25 years ago, he began creating a train tree, which has grown and features different types of trains - Garden, HO, Lionel, Marx, and N Scale. Each train set has its own layout and some of the models and accessories date back to the 1920s. All the trains operate independently or can run simultaneously. He has worked to fine tune the operation and spent hours working on the mechanics.
The train tree is built from wood and plywood. It is ever evolving.
This year, the top tier features a pushcart from the 1920s. The second level is an N scale Union Pacific steam engine. The third level is Penn Central's Marx train. Lionel's Christmas Winter Wonderland train occupies the fourth level. That's also the newest train in the tree and is a 1996 model. Level five is a Rudolph train. Level six has proven to be a favorite with children, it's a Thomas the Tank Engine train. "Every year I try to put something different in. The kids always know what's new from year to year," said Miller. "It makes you feel young when the kids come in."
Miller's train garden will be on display at Queen Street See Trains Nutrition, Rising Sun at the corner of Queen and Main streets until January 5. Hours are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Miller will be on site evenings 3-6 p.m. most days to answer questions and do demonstrations.
The train tree will also be at a local upcoming show. On January 7 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., Family Train Day will be held at St. Mary Anne's Parish Hall, 317 S. Main Street, North East. There will be dozens of model train exhibits, layouts, refreshments, train giveaway, a kids play area including toy trains and a coloring area and more. There is no admission fee. Donations will benefit St. Vincent's School of the Handicapped. Just Trains of Newark, Delaware is providing a train raffle.
Area schools have invited Miller to bring his train tree on tour at their events. But right now the six hour set up and three hour tear down time doesn't allow for that. He is planning to create a mobile display that he will take to schools in the future.