There’s something synonymous about toy trains and Christmas.
Huntley residents are invited to enjoy both at the Sun City , 12880 Del Blvd., Huntley.
For the ninth year, the Kishwaukee Valley-Eakin Creek Model Railroad Club of Sun City is delivering a dose of Christmas cheer by erecting a model train holiday display in the Prairie Lodge social lounge. The trains started running the day after Thanksgiving in the Prairie Lodge and will stay on track until Dec. 29.
The display includes a trolley — with Santa Claus in the conductor’s seat, of course – and various gauge sizes of trains. Several trains race along the various tracks, weaving through snow-draped landscapes, tunnels and old-fashioned villages.
Thomas the Tank Engine is part of the action, speeding by spectators, miniature villages and crossing gates. A tiny, yellow trolley bus purrs along a higher track, built up in the center of the display.
The Kishwaukee club members even built a small viewing stand to help shorter, younger visitors capture a better perspective of the display.
“The railroad club is proud to sponsor this holiday tradition, and we invite all Sun City residents, their family and friends, as well as residents of neighboring communities, to this annual tradition,” a club press release stated.
The 2011 model train display schedule has visiting hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, according to the club. Visitors should note has shortened hours on Christmas Eve, and is closed Christmas Day.
Kishwaukee conductors Al Price and Ken Mundt manned the giant display Saturday afternoon, chatting with visitors and talking shop with toy collectors and enthusiasts.
“We have an even bigger display at our workshop,” Price said. “This one’s little compared to our main display.”
Since 2004, the club has made its permanent home in the lower level of the Millgrove Woodshop, 13400 W. Sun City Blvd., Huntley. The club always welcomes new members, and meetings are held once a month.
As in years past, the railroad club is sponsoring a raffle drawing for three trains. This year's raffle prize includes a ski train from the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad (O gauge). The drawing is at 3 p.m. Friday Dec. 23.
Money raised from the raffle helps fund club projects.