The LGB Model Railroad Club of Chicago has been bringing the Enchanted Railroad to Lisle for 15 years to attract visitors during colder months to the Morton Arboretum.
“The winter is a great season to be here, there’s a lot to do. But we wanted something extra that families could enjoy to warm them up after hiking on our trails or snowshoeing,” said Mary D’Amico, Special Events Coordinator with the Morton Arboretum.
But it’s no easy feat to set up, as it takes many hands to put each piece in place – a two-week process.
“It starts with us setting up all the structure and then the Railroad Club comes in and sets up all the tracks and the wires and all of that, which takes them about two days, and they bring in about 15 people to do that,” said D’Amico. “Then we come through as a team and decorate it and make it very enchanted and add all of the bears and the trees and the stuff that the kids can look for in our eye spy sheet.”
Show coordinator Kevin Kell has had a relationship with the arboretum for 17 years. He originally started showing the trains outdoors on Father’s Day to explain the hobby to visitors.
“You get to learn a bit of everything. Electronics, electricity, and just having fun,” said Kevin Kell, Show Coordinator with the LGB Model Railway Club of Chicago.
The LGB Model Railroad Club of Chicago has been around for over 30 years, and features trains made by the LGB Company out of Germany.
The trains are run remotely and can be made to perform various actions such as train sounds and dumping ore out of train cars.
“It’s a good time and if you come in we will have a button you can hit the crossbuck and get it to go ding dong and make the lights flash,” said Kell.
Throughout the year, The Morton Arboretum highlights the four seasons through various programming. During the winter, there is plenty to keep visitors on track.
It’s an enlightening experience for kids of all ages.
The Enchanted Railroad exhibit runs through February 19th.
Naperville News 17’s Chris Picciuolo reports.
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