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Irvington Historical Society’s Train Show is Back and Better Than Ever

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November 25, 2021

`By Barrett Seaman—

The annual Irvington Historical Society winter train show has returned after a pandemic interruption. The product of Chief Engineer Bill Schwartz, with help from Earl Ferguson and Any Api, the display fills the basement of the Historical Society’s McVickar House headquarters at 131 Main Street in the village and will be open to the public on successive Thursdays and Saturdays throughout December, starting on Dec. 2, with the exception of Christmas Day.

There are several new features this year:

  • additional replicas of village buildings in the diorama, including two churches and the gas station on Broadway at the top of Main Street, the Octagon House, and an updated reconstruction of the train station area and Matthiessen Park
Two churches and a gas station on North Broadway (Barrett Seaman/The Hudson Independent)
  • a European commuter train, constructed entirely of LEGO bricks by Schwartz’s grandson, Ellis Mishkin
Train built of LEGO bricks (Barrett Seaman/The Hudson Independent)
  • a mechanically accurate model of a Timberline locomotive, which uses a powerful Shay engine to haul lumber up and down steep mountain slopes
A log-hauling locomotive, powered by a Shay engine (Barrett Seaman/The Hudson Independent)
  • a miniature Amtrak train with engine and passenger cars
An Amtrak locomotive with passenger cars (Barrett Seaman/The Hudson Independent)
  • two gondola lifts high above an alpine village
Gondolas high above an alpine village (Barrett Seaman/The Hudson Independent)
  • Ninja turtles, who join the old ghosts that occupy a fantastical netherworld somewhere underneath Broadway
Ninja turtles join ghosts in the underbelly of the village (Barrett Seaman/The Hudson Independent)

The show also has lots of realistic train sounds pumped into the room and a video history of the Lionel model train company for real model train aficionados.

If you’ve got young kids — or even old ones — who are into trains, this is a must-stop in the rivertowns over the holidays.

 

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