The steady clickety clack of wheels on the track, tiny lights in miniature windows, and the gentle whoot-whoot of the whistle brings a smile to every child’s gazing face. Who doesn’t love a holiday train show? We have plenty of opportunities to take in this seasonal tradition, a favorite of the young and the young at heart. “We are grandparents, and we had trains as kids,” says Bill Dressler of the Connecticut G Scaler Model Railroad Club. Dressler and fellow club member Leo Moerkens orchestrate the Holiday Express Train Show at The Fairfield Museum and History Center. “Many kids come in with their grandparents, or their parents will share their own memories.”
Dressler and Moerkens take two days to set up their show, contemplating every detail from the best way to simulate snow to what types of lights would produce the most authentic look of warmly glowing windows. In the end, they say, the looks on the children’s faces and the endless flow of delighted visitors make it all worth it.
“There is never an empty day,” Moerkens says. “It’s amazing how long the kids will stay and watch.”
This year, the Fairfield Museum and History Center’s Holiday Express Train Show will feature five trains running on five loops, a tribute to Fairfield’s 375th anniversary, and an interactive switching puzzle to connect and redirect the cars. Interactive panels will allow even the youngest children to help control the action.
The show officially kicks off Friday night December 6, immediately following the tree lighting. It is then open to the public noon to 4 pm on weekends, 11 am to 1 pm during the week, 10 am to 4 pm pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, closing on January 5.