For generations, trains and Christmas have gone hand in hand. Since model trains were invented, children have asked Santa to bring one and lots of children have gotten up on Christmas morning to find a train running around the Christmas tree.
Here in Middle Georgia, trains and Christmas also go together because every year we are blessed with the gift of Planes and Trains hosted by the Museum of Aviation and sponsored by the Middle Georgia Model Railroad Club.
In years past, the train exhibit was held in the Century of Flight Hangar; this year due to remodeling and construction in the Century hangar, the train portion will be moved to the main rotunda in the Eagle Building. Because the space will be different, the layouts will be different as well but you can count on lots of trains and lots of fun at the annual Planes and Trains Exhibit.
“Because the hangar is getting a new floor, we are being moved to the main rotunda and the show will be smaller,” said Ken Joyner, a longtime member of the Middle Georgia Model Railroad club. “Although the show will be smaller it will still include the HO gauge layout, N gauge layout and of course Thomas!”
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The Thomas that Joyner referred to is Thomas the Tank Engine — from the popular television shows and books and a favorite with both children and adults at Planes and Trains.
“It is a Middle Georgia holiday tradition,” said Joyner. “Many families come out to the museum each year to see what is new and to just watch trains together.”
Joyner said a train set will be raffled as a fundraiser. Tickets will be on sale at the Planes and Trains are $1 each or six for $5.
Tyler Bryant of the Museum of Aviation said that there are a lot of things to see on the plane side of the Planes and Trains as well.
“We have a lot of new models in the gift shop and in the World War II hangar there is the B17, the first aircraft being restored in public view,” said Bryant.
Bryant said that his favorite exhibits at the museum are the ones that tell the story of living history — like the paratrooper exhibit.
“They just come alive when you walk through them and you can see the kids’ eyes light up,” said Bryant.
The Planes and Trains show at the Museum of Aviation will be held Nov. 19-30 from 9 am to 5 pm. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day. Admission to the event and the museum is free.
Alline Kent can be contacted at 396-2467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.