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Rochester’s Miniature Polar Express

December 20th, 2011

This model railroad display at the Garden Factory features three trolleys and four loooong trains; over 100 train cars in all.
If you’re looking for something to do with the kids while they’re off from school for the holidays, grab your conductor hats and head out to the Garden Factory [mapexternal link]. They’ve got a 60′x20′ model railroad on display thru the end of the month that you won’t want to miss.

Built to “G” gauge, which is roughly half-an-inch per foot, the model train display is the work of two local train enthusiasts, David Rouse and Peter Todd. Peter past away in 2008, but before that, the duo had worked on major train projects all over the Rochester area.

Built to 'G' gauge, this exhibit is the work of David Rouse and Peter Todd.
This display features three trolleys and four loooong trains—over 100 train cars in all.

One corner of the exhibit brings onlookers back to the days when Santa roamed Main Street...
One corner of the exhibit brings onlookers back to the days when Santa roamed Main Street and trolley cars shuttled holiday shoppers between department stores.

... and trolley cars shuttled holiday shoppers between department stores.
You’ll also find mountain terrain with ski lifts, a working drive-in movie theater, ice skating rink, many bridges, crossings and more.

There's exquisite detail.
Stored over the course of the year in eight sections, it takes over 100 hours to move, assemble, and fine tune to get it ready for holiday viewing.

And LOTS to look at.
A 40-foot extension actually had to be added to their warehouse to fit the extended display.

Howdy, Sheriff. Was I speeding?
The Garden Factory has been putting on the display since 1990 along with a holiday light show (admission: $3 adults / $2 kids, 10-2:30p), a mini petting zoo, arts and crafts, and visits from Santa Claus himself.

A real working drive-in! Now playing, what else but 'Polar Express'.

Train Display Hours:

November 25 thru December 23
Mon-Fri: Noon-7:30p
Sat-Sun: 10:00a-5:30p

December 24
9:00a-2:30p

December 25
Closed

December 26 thru December 31
10:00a-4:30p

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 10:32 pm and is filed under Art + Culture, Train/Railroad Stuff, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Rochester’s Miniature Polar Express”

  1. zeus says:

    Now if only we had a real one to ride through the middle of the city. That would be great.

  2. Jim Fraser says:

    Ah, Christmas time, children and model trains. When I was young, we had Lionel – “O” gauge – trains. These were toys, albeit expensive ones, that were big, untrue to scale and had that weird middle rail in the track.

    When you outgrew the “toy” trains, there was “HO” gauge, smaller, more realistic, more of a serious hobby. As a teenager working those early, minimum-wage jobs, the good life of your fantasies was one in which you always had enough money to buy that next accessory – no more waiting until Christmas!

    My grandfather had an elaborate HO layout in the attic of my grandparents’ house. Above the door, my grandmother hung a sign, “Playroom for children of all ages.”

    Merry Christmas, Mike, to your family, and to all your readers.

  3. yard lights says:

    I’m really inspired together with your writing skills and also with the layout for your blog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent high quality writing, it is uncommon to look a great blog like this one today..

  4. jim fadden says:

    I just recently moved to Wichita Kansas from Rochester NY The Christmas train exhibit at the Garden Factory is fantastic Have not seen anything like it here


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