AUGUSTA — The annual Model Railroad Celebration will be held at the Maine State Museum on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3.

The celebration features two clubs, the Great Falls Model Railroad Club and the Maine 3-Railers. Club members will set up and operate a variety of displays running G, HO, O and Z-gauge model trains.

The hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3.

The link between model trains and the holidays has an historic connection. The first regularly scheduled passenger train in the United States began in 1830 on Christmas Day. Toy trains appeared soon after, as railroads came into regular use. Long before electricity was a mainstay in homes, children and adults constructed model motorized trains that ran on steam power.

Trains figure prominently in the museum’s collections. Most notably, the 1846 Lion, one of America’s earliest surviving steam locomotives, continues to be a popular attraction at the museum’s entrance.

The Maine State Museum is at 230 State Street. For more information call 207-287-2301 or see the museum’s website

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