CC Model Railroad to share the fun with everyone

CASTANEA — Little eyes get big with wonder at this time of year.

A favorite holiday fascination is with toy trains and the tracks they run on, and everyone can see a big little model railroad in action at the Clinton Central Model Railroad Club in the former train station at 15 Logan Ave.

The club’s annual open house season starts next Tuesday and runs into January 2018.

People of all ages will enjoy the sights and sounds of trains operating on more than 2,300 feet of mainline and branch track on the large HO scale, Digital Command Control (DCC) layout. Benches are provided for kids to stand on so they can see the action on the layout, which is shaped like a giant letter E.

Station tours, including railroad memorabilia in the museum and model railroad displays, will be provided during the open houses. Homemade food items will be available for a light lunch on weekends. Admission and parking is free for all.

The club will open its doors on the following schedule:

r Tuesday, Dec. 5 — 5-8 p.m.

r Saturday, Dec. 9 — 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

r Tuesday, Dec. 19 — 5-8 p.m.

r Wednesday, Dec. 27 — 5-8 p.m.

r Saturday, Dec. 30 — 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

r Saturday, Jan. 6 — 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

r Sunday, Jan. 14 — 12 noon – 4 p.m.

r Saturday, Jan. 20 — 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

r Saturday, Jan. 27 — 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

An open house schedule and flyer can be downloaded at–flyer2017-18.pdf

Clinton Central Model Railroad also has a Facebook page.

The club’s home is the historic former New York Central railroad station in Castanea, originally built in 1884. The club has transformed the old 28×40-foot freight room into a continuously growing HO scale model railroad layout. An adjacent room has been converted into the computerized dispatcher’s office.

There is always something new to see each year, with lots of things added to the layout over the last seven years or so. Each train car is a work of art, and each locomotive is equipped with what is described as a micro-computer so it can communicate with the dispatch center.

The Clinton Central Railroad runs through the fictional town of “Clinton Mills” circa 1940-1960, on five eastbound and five westbound tracks.

During open house season, kids will want to look for Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, as well as a tiny Santa.

The club hosts field trips at other times of the year as well, including trips by the YMCA Day Care children.

Club members also have developed a collection of railroad artifacts, which includes an extensive railroad library. Donations of railroad and model railroad items are always appreciated to continue the expansion of displays. Membership is open to the public, and the current members come from Altoona, Montoursville, Williamsport, Bellefonte, Renovo, as well as the local area.

Bring the whole family to enjoy the sights and sounds of railroading in a former train station, visit the information roundhouse, and see the caboose and train car parked at the station. To reach the old station, take the Lock Haven exit (Exit 111) off Route 220. Turn south at the end of the exit ramp and follow the signs to Castanea. Cross the bridge and take the first left onto Allison Street. Go two blocks and turn left onto Logan Avenue. The station is just ahead on the right. Orange signs will be posted along the route.