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

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November 20, 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 December 2, with the exception of Christmas Day.

There are several new features this year:

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*added replicas of village buildings in the diorama, including the 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 Broadway

*a European commuter train, constructed entirely of Legos by Schwartz’s grandson, Ellis Mishkin.

A train made of Legos

*a mechanically accurate model of a Timberline locomotive, which uses a powerful Shay engine to haul lumber up and down steep mountain slopes.

A powerful Shay engine to haul lumber

* a miniature Amtrak train with engine and passenger cars.

A replica of an Amtrak passenger train

*two gondola lifts high above an alpine village.

Gondolas hover high above the village

* Ninja turtles, who join the old ghosts that occupy a fantastical netherworld somewhere underneath Broadway.

Ninja turtles have it out with the ghosts

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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