Holiday Model Train Show is a Hit in Herndon
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Holiday Model Train Show is a Hit in Herndon

Rail buffs young and old admire the scale layouts.

Two-year-old Simon Baker cannot believe his eyes. The best thing in life has come his way, TRAINS. According to Nathan Baker, Simon's uncle, the toddler's first words when he spoke were "choo, choo."

Two-year-old Simon Baker cannot believe his eyes. The best thing in life has come his way, TRAINS. According to Nathan Baker, Simon's uncle, the toddler's first words when he spoke were "choo, choo." Photo by Mercia Hobson.

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Nathan Baker holds his nephew, Simon Baker, 2, as a model train makes its way by them at the 12th Annual Herndon Holiday Train Show. The two-day event, held Dec. 9-10, featured multiple train layouts in two buildings.

The lure of model trains holds no barriers for those who build them and those who come to admire them. Whether the entrancement is triggered by memories of the lonesome whistle or admiration of the new stainless express cars, the train is an icon of Herndon’s history and future.

On Saturday, Dec. 9-Sunday, Dec. 10, the Herndon Chamber of Commerce, part of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, sponsored the 12th Annual Herndon Holiday Model Train Show at the Herndon Municipal Center (HMC), 777 Lynn St.

People from every generation made their way on the snowy days to help celebrate the magic of trains. This year's event at the HMC displayed two of the three featured scale layouts, the HO Scale layout, one of the most popular of scale railroads and the N Scale layout that takes up approximately half the space of the HO Scale.

Nathan Baker of Herndon arrived early. In his arms, Baker held his nephew, Simon Baker, 2, of Rockville, Md. While Simon's parents, Sarah Robison and Nathan's brother Danny Baker looked on, Nathan tightly held Simon up to watch the mini trains barreling down the tracks, much to the delight of young Simon.

Asked why he came with Simon, Nathan said, "The first thing Simon recognized growing up were trains. His first words were, 'Choo, choo.' When I saw the Model Train Show on the Events Calendar, he was the first person I thought of."

Bill Jacobs of Fairfax was one of the railway modelers at the HMC. He has been coming for eight years. "It's quite a tradition of ours, and this is one show I try not to miss. It's the Christmas season," said Jacobs.

A short walk from the HMC, in the Herndon Depot Museum, the Herndon Historical Society hosted a train layout by Northern Virginia NTRAK. They had set up their N-Scale layout in the Old Freight Room of the historic depot.

According to NVTRAK, the N-Scale layouts are flexible since their modular design allows for tailoring to the individual space, ease of transport, and storage.

In all, the weekend event was great fun for everyone from rail buffs to rail modelers.