Readers looking to either put the family on the fast track for model train viewing or to take a more sentimental journey have several opportunities with the following “train lines” that features a variety of displays in a variety of venues. With some free, there are no reasons for reservations.
Central New Jersey:
Bordentown Old City Hall, 13 Crosswicks Street: Holiday Train Display featuring two floors of train layouts, runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in December from 4 to 8 p.m. Free. For more info, visit www.cityofbordentown.com.
Northlandz, 495 Route 202, Flemington: The all-year model train attraction where more than 100 trains travel over eight miles of track on 16 acres within a building that also includes a doll museum, a 2,000 pipe theater pipe organ, and art galleries throughout. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., $9.75-$13.75. For more information, visit 908-782-4022 or www.northlandz.com.
New York City:
The New-York Historical Society, Central Park West at 77th Street: “Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection,” now through Sunday, February 22. The collection is recognized as the largest and most comprehensive collection of European and American toys and trains ever assembled.
It was created by Jerry and Nina Greene, owners of the Philadelphia-based music-reissuing company, Collectables Records, and began as a means to bring together products made by European-Jewish companies destroyed by the Nazis. It includes 35,000 pieces and has been valued at $50 millions. Now part of the Historical Society’s collection, this is the first time that a portion of the collection has ever been made available for public viewing, Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. $6-$19 (pay-as-you-wish, 6 to 8 p.m., Fridays).
The New York Transit Museum Annex, Grand Central Station, 89 East 42nd Street: 13th annual holiday train show. Featuring Lionel Trains and miniature subway networks, the free exhibition is on view daily, mainly 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with some extended hours closer to Christmas) now through Sunday, February 22. 718-694-1600 or web.mta.info/mta/museum.
The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx: 23rd annual model train display with a replica of New York City built entirely out of plant parts. Included are the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, and more than 150 other landmarks along a quarter mile of track, all nestled underneath the glass ceilings of the famous Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, through Sunday, January 19, Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., $28 to $10, 718-817-8700 or www.nybg.org.
Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch Streets: “All Aboard!,” the annual 500-square-foot train exhibition, featuring 17 working trains lines traveling on a third of a mile track through scenes of Center City and snow covered surrounding areas, through Wednesday, December 31, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., free, $4 parking, 215-922-2317, www.readingterminalmarket.org
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, 100 East Northwestern Avenue: “The Garden Railway” a quarter mile of model train track, seven loops and tunnels, 15 different rail lines, cable cars, bridges, and model trains that cruise past scaled replicas of historic monuments and Philadelphia-area landmarks adorned with thousands of twinkling lights for the holidays. Trains run through Sunday, January 4, and the display is free with admission, open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $8 to $16, 215-247-5777, www.business-services.upenn.edu/arboretum/index.shtml.