2009-09-24 / Local & State

Train Museums Host Third Annual Garden Railways Tour

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the National Toy Train Museum in Strasburg, Lancaster County, will host the third annual Garden Railways tour on Sunday, October 11, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are now on sale at all Stauffers of Kissel Hill locations in central Pennsylvania and at both museums.

This exclusive, self-guided tour of six, beautiful Lancaster County private homes features fascinating displays of operating model trains set amid attractively landscaped gardens. These outdoor garden railways creatively use the natural environmental and varieties of spectacular flowers, plants, trees an ponds. Unique, unexpected and fun features will delight visitors of all ages. The homes are located in and around Lancaster, Mountville, Lititz, East Earl and Narvon.

Garden railways are the fastest growing interest area in model railroading, and serious horticulturists find that trains add excitement to their gardens. However, many beautiful, operating garden railways have been created by people who do not consider themselves to be either gardeners or model train buffs. This family-friendly hobby goes back more than a century in Great Britain and first achieved some popularity in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. Its more recent resurgence has often been credited in part to the advent of colorful LGB model trains from Germany.

Garden railways may be set up in very small spaces or large expanses, as well as in differing climates and in widely varying degrees of complexity. The pursuit has attracted the formation of numerous garden railway en- thusiast associations, special equipment and supplies from model train companies, Web sites and even its own magazine.

Garden Railways Tour tickets are only $10 per person for ages 6 and over. Tickets may be purchase at all Stauffers of Kissel Hill locations in central Pennsylvania, at both museums and by using a printable ticket request available on the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania's Web site. No tickets will be sold at the individual Garden Railways tour home sites. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge. Proceeds from the tour benefit programs at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the national Toy Train Museum.

Garden Railways Tours visitors may wish to stay over in Lancaster County to more fully enjoy both the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the National Toy Train Museum. An awe-inspiring collection of 111 historic locomotives and vintage railroad cars - some of which are open for inspection - and a delightful, interactive education center will be found at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. A wonderful collection of toy trains from the 1850s to the present and five amazing operating layouts will be on hand at the National Toy Train Museum. Visitors to Lancaster County also can ride the Strasburg Railroad, see the Choo Choo Barn and take advantage of many other great activities. for information on area lodging, dining, shopping, historic sites and attractions, visit www.strasburg.com, www.padutchcountry.com or www.visitpa.com or call toll free at 1-866-STRSBRG, 1- 880PADUTCH or 1-800-VISITPA.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, with the active support of the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. For information, visit www.rrmuseumpa.org or call 717- 687-8628. The National Toy Train Museum is operated by the train Collections Association. Visit www.nttmuseum.org or call 717- 687-8623 for more information.

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