Union County residents and visitors looking for an educational activity for all ages can come to Open House events at the A. Paul Mallery Model Railroad Center in Union Township every Saturday afternoon in September from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and experience the sights and sounds of an enormous HO scale train layout along with other displays.

The Railroad Center is run by The Model Railroad Club, a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching the history of railroads and industries in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania while sharing the art, craft and science of model railroading.

“A visit to the Railroad Center has become a family tradition, and the Freeholder Board is very proud to host this unique educational resource in the Union County parks system,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski.

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In addition to viewing model trains and educational displays, Railroad Center visitors can enjoy a snack bar, toddler rest area, and railroad-themed gift shop.

October will feature extended hours and additional days for the Open House events, in celebration of the Halloween season. Starting on Saturday October 19, the Open House hours are 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The extended hours continue on Sunday October 20, Saturday October 26, and Sunday October 27.

The extra openings coincide with the second annual AddamsFest events in Westfield, where Model Railroad Club members will assist in the running the “Dynamite” layout featured in an episode of The Addams Family television show.

The Railroad Club will also once again host the annual Holiday Sound and Light Show on three consecutive weekends at the Railroad Center beginning on Friday, November 29 and ending on Sunday, December 15.

The Railroad Center is conveniently located off Route 22 East in a mixed-use area of Union County’s Lenape Park, behind the Home Depot in Union Township.

The Railroad Center was built by club members and donated to the Union County parks system in 1976 under an arrangement with the Parks Department. The original building has been expanded since then. Today, it is one of the largest model railroad clubs in the region.

New members are always welcome to join. Current members are on hand during Saturday Open House events and other activities throughout the year, and they are always happy to provide information to visitors. Prospective members can also request information on joining by email, at info@tmrci.org.

For complete details about public events, admission prices, advance ticket sales, directions, and other information about the Railroad Center visit The Model Railroad Club online at themodelrailroadclub.org.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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