UNION TWP., NJ - A favorite, festive tradition for area residents is set to return November 24, when The Model Railroad Club hosts its annual Holiday Sound and Light Show.
The centerpiece of the extravaganza is the club’s sprawling, meticulously-detailed HO scale model train layout at the A. Paul Mallery Model Railroad Center, which is located in mixed-use area of Lenape Park off Route 22 East in Union Township.
This year, the Holiday Sound and Light show begins on November 24 from 12 - 8 p.m. Shows will continue from 7 - 10 p.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays through December 10.
“The show is designed to capture the imagination with a ‘you are there’ feel, and the layout itself is a decades-long labor of love at the heart of our mission,” said Railroad Club President Tim McCollum.
The Model Railroad Club is dedicated to preserving and sharing the art of model railroads while providing the public with a unique window on the history the New Jersey-Pennsylvania rail corridor. The Railroad Center is open to the public every Saturday during the year, and each November the layout is transformed into a living theatre complete with sound and lighting effects and professional narration.
The Sound and Light Show repeats continuously on each scheduled day from November 24 to December 10. Attendees can stay as long as they like to enjoy more than one show, view an elaborate N-scale layout and other displays, grab a bite to eat at the snack bar, and stock up on train-themed holiday gifts at the gift shoppe.
For the convenience of attendees with babies and small children, a play and rest area is also located on site.
Discounted advance tickets to the Sound and Light Show may be purchased by visiting themodelrailroadclub.org/advance-show-tickets. Advance tickets are $7 for adults age 16 and up, $5 for teens age 13-15, and $4 for children age 3-12. Children under age 3 are free.
Attendees can also purchase tickets at the Railroad Center. Tickets purchased at the Railroad Center for a future date are at the discounted rate. Tickets purchased on the day of attendance are at the regular rate of $1 over the discounted rate.
The Model Railroad Club, Inc. is a non-profit organization that built and runs the Railroad Center through an arrangement with the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation. Work on the HO display began 40 years ago with the construction of the Railroad Center in Lenape Park, and it has been enhanced and expanded since then. Work on a major expansion is under way, practically doubling the size of the original exhibit.
The Model Railroad Club has been a part of Union County since its founding in 1949 by Master Model Railroader Paul Mallery. Today, it is one of the largest model railroad clubs in the region.
All proceeds from the Holiday Sound and Light Show go towards funding the Railroad Club’s activities.