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In the late 1940s, Lew received an electric train set for Christmas. Both he and his parents got sick of him setting it up and playing with it in the living room. His father built a large table for it in the basement of their home in Chester, Vermont. Lew spent many hours in the basement near the furnace playing with his train set.

When Lew's parents moved from Chester to Brookfield it was packed up and stored. A few years ago, Lew unpacked it and set it up in the Christmas Barn. The initial set that Lew played with as a boy was a Louis Marx brand. In recent years he has purchased used Lionel equipment to augment the display. Now, after several seasons of numerous technical problems with the main layout, Lew made some significant changes.

The toy trains of his youth have been put on display above the layout. What made those trains so much fun to play with as a boy, the need for constant care and attention, made them unsatisfactory as an operating feature of the Christmas Barn.

A Louis Marx 2-4.2 "999" locomotive pulling a short consist over a bridge.

A Louis Marx 2-4.2 "999" locomotive pulling a short consist 

At the urging of, and generous assistance of his neighbor, Bob Deforge, he installed a large scale (G gage) train on the existing platform. This train layout has provided more reliability and required far fewer trips up the step ladder to coax it into reluctant operation. He has kept the bumper car display because that generally worked better and fascinated children of all ages.

 

New Train Layout

New Train Layout

The train, which includes a replica of a late 19th century wood burning engine, has morfed into four trains. They have predominantly Christmas cars. In 2011 we have added a second main line with additional sidings. Three of the engines have sound systems to thrill the kid in most of us. In 2016 Lew is still waiting to add a Vermont Railways diesel engine with sound system. The production of this engine has been delayed.

 

 

The 2-8-0 Consolidation pulls a small consist on the main line

The 2-8-0 Consolidation pulls a small consist on the main line

To keep the rails clean and conductive, Lew runs a maintenance car around the layout on daily track cleaning sessions.

 

 

0-4-0 Switcher waits in the South siding to pull the track maintenance car

0-4-0 Switcher waits in the South siding to pull the track maintenance car

This display is open during the Christmas tree season (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) November 25th through December 23, 2016, free of charge to customers and non-customers alike.

There is one caveat. Attention to the needs of our Christmas tree customers must come first! The number of trained and approved engineers is very limited by necessity. We hope you understand.

If your group would like a special tour, give us a call or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..