Railroad club to sponsor annual Christmas ExTRAINaganza

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AUBURN — The eighth annual Christmas ExTRAINaganza will be held at the Great Falls Model Railroad Club, 144 Mill St., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 18, 19, 24 and 25. The two-story, handicapped-accessible clubhouse, across from Barker Mill Arms, will be decorated for Christmas with trains of various sizes operating under the Christmas trees and on five permanent layouts.

As they enter the building, visitors will see trains running on the multiple tracks of the G-gauge layout with an interactive ski slope in a winter scene and tunnels connecting to the main part of the G-gauge layout in the next room.

Around the corner, young children can enjoy Thomas the Tank Engine on a separate layout in the G-gauge room, with other engines from the Thomas series running on the upper trestle. The G-gauge layout has many features that are hidden from the earlier view, including a new trestle for the logging train. In the next room, details have been added to the club’s permanent layout for the smaller N Scale trains.

Club members have continued to develop the scenery on the extensive HO layout downstairs. They have recently upgraded the track, added switches and created a second line in one section. Local residents may recognize many of the 1950s scenes reproduced in the Lewiston lower section of the layout, including Bates Mill No. 5. Older children can sign up to be “guest engineers” and operate one of the HO trains.

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Children will decorate and eat gingerbread cookies, create Christmas ornaments to take home and play the club’s original railroad games. The younger children will have fun with the Brio layout and age-appropriate trains in the play area. While watching these activities, parents can have light refreshments at tables and chairs in the craft area.

Train-related items, which can be purchased at the club’s store, include railroad books, locomotives and rolling stock in a variety of scales, railroad hats, whistles and T-shirts. “TRAIN TIME” videos, produced by the Great Falls Model Railroad Club and seen on many local cable channels, will be shown continuously each day and will be available for sale.

Tickets for decorating cookies and ornaments and for the games with prizes are $1 each or seven for $5. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

FMI: greatfallsmodelrrclub.org.

Ken Nettleship of Turner recently helped to install the impressive trestle on the G-gauge layout at the Great Falls Model Railroad Club. This will be one of the features at the ExTRAINaganza to be held at the railroad club, 144 Mill St. in Auburn, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 18, 19, 24 and 25.

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