model train set on track

Christmas In July, Part 1 (aka: If the decorations could only talk!)

e*Train Issue: Jun 2019   |   Posted in:

By John S. Halajko (TCA 84-20653) and John A. Bonfanti (TCA 87-26716)
 Summer 2019

“So, deer, what are they going to do with us over the long hot summer? We need lots of attention and deserve an audience, or two, every day. 

“Well mama, they will just put us into storage like they did last year and won’t let us out until its November once more, but Dr. Brass found something cool to do with the Christmas Train Engines.

“Let’s break the rules and use Christmas Engines to pull special consists like Mickey Mouse or Circus Cars!”

Santa agrees: “Yea, Christmas Engines make great SPECIAL PULLERS. Sounds Cool! So, what do they look like? “

“Very cool! I give it Five Hot Cocoas out of Five and throw in a Chocolate Chip Cookie. How do they run?  It turns out that Christmas Engines are Angelic Runners; they pull like their older brothers. Just look at the videos to learn more.

“Did you know that Lionel put a secret switch under the tender to shut off the whistle so as not to drive parents crazy with their young engineers learning to run trains? John B. calls it a real ear saver. He knows about such things because his grandson Oliver loves to come over and play trains.”

“Can we focus it better, slow that down a bit and see the Disney cars once more?

“Wow, I just love that colorful train. There must be others who thought of using Christmas Engines for pulling Specials long before this e*Train article. So, let’s not call it an original idea, for now.”

“OK, so where did Dr. Brass get all these cool Christmas photos?

From Feeney’s 2018 Christmas Displays, If you want to see the entire photo shoot; just visit the link below.  There is also a story at Feeney’s 2017 story in Winter, 2018 e*Train.

See the full photo album here.

Understand that Dr Brass and Joanie visited Longwood for Christmas 2018 Longwood featured an outdoor G Gauge Layout this year. A real hit with families as you will hear below.

Here are their photos of their adventure.

Which album do the readers like better? I think each has a special place in their heart.

So what else is Dr. Brass up to?

He is building a train garden with lots of surprises. They are called Easter Eggs like in video games.

Why does he call it a train garden?

That’s because like real gardens, things change.

Did you know that the Atlantic Division of the TCA offered to set  up their fabulous animated portable layout at Feeney’s Open House for Christmas of 2018? They got turned down, but Longwood had a terrific outdoor train layout. It’s hard to not like Thomas and Percy. Alas, Feeney’s store did not feature a large running layout. Hopefully they will do it for Christmas of 2019.

“Boo Hiss, Christmas Trees without a large animated train layout is UNAMERICAN, but I love the idea that Christmas engines can be used for pulling Specials. Look how much more colorful the Lionel Christmas A5 is over its older brother the Lionel black B6.”

But wait, John G. Hubbard says that all steam engines should be black. Is he the same guy that wrote the Greenberg books?

Yepper, that’s that same John G. Hubbard whose favorite Prewar Steam Engine is the Hiawatha.

Go figure.

So where else did Dr Brass and Joanie visit last Christmas?

The GLENCAIRN Museum’s fabulous display of Christmas Items at Glencairn.

Wow, they even run a Lionel Train! The best part of this seasonal museum display is their fabulous collection of Nativity Sets from around the world. See the photo shoot at the link below:

“Well, all good things must come to an end. Tune in later for something very special for you LEGO LOVERS out there!”