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Brandywine Museum's Railroad delivers the holiday season

Philip Gabriel Photography/Philip Gabriel Photography
Brandywine Conservancy & Museum

The holiday season returns to the Brandywine Museum of Art with the opening of the Brandywine Railroad.

The Museum opens the Brandywine Railroad Saturday, November 18.

For more than 50 years, the iconic O-gauge model train display has been a holiday tradition at the museum and now features trains running on 2,000 feet of track and more than 1,000 pieces.

Paul Hoerner is the museum's senior model railroad specialist. He says model trains harken to a special time in our memory.

"The railroads were bringing the gifts, maybe from your Aunt Matilda, who couldn’t make it, so the railroad post offices would bring in the cartloads of gifts. So it became very synonymous of holiday feelings and going to get your relatives from the train station and trains bringing those people that you really love."

He says the Brandywine display launched in the 1970s, and grew over the years.

"Since then we have evolved the layout because the audience has evolved. Seeing a little engine rattling around the tracks has a certain amount of nostalgia, but for the modern viewer who wants the whistles, bells and lights, we have to get more of the modern novels put out by Lionel and Mike’s Train House."

Interactive components include buttons and foot pedals that allow for further engagement.

The display also features a Victorian dollhouse with eleven rooms filled with hundreds of miniature objects

Beginning Nov. 24, the Museum is open seven days a week for the holiday season. The Brandywine Railroad exhibit runs through January 7th.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated three decades of on-air experience, most recently in New Orleans as WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for the broadcast/podcast “Louisiana Considered”.