The sights and sounds of railroading history still ring out every day at the Old Mauch Chunk Model Train Display in Jim Thorpe which just marked a landmark 25th Anniversary this past weekend.
Owned and operated by the Heery Family and one of Carbon County's premier family-friendly attractions, the model train display officially opened its doors to the public on August 22, 1985.
"We are proud of the fact that we have been a source of joy and inspiration to guests of all ages throughout the past 25 years", said Michael Heery, spokesman for the family.
Located on the second floor of the Hooven Mercantile Building at 41 Susquehanna St. in Jim Thorpe next to the Train Station, the HO train display measures 47-by-22 feet, with 13 separate mainlines measuring 1,087 feet of track. Some of the engines pull as many as 50 railroad cars.
The display, which is open year-'round, contains more than 100 bridges and trestles along with over 200 structures including houses, churches, stores, and skyscrapers. Most of the buildings were built from plastic model kits, but several have been constructed by hand.
Also replicated in the display are some famous Allentown landmarks such as the PP&L Building, the Americus Hotel, and the Episcopal Hi-rise.
There is also a college campus featuring German architecture, reminiscent of Allentown's Muhlenberg College.
Nearly everything in the display came from the collection of Rev. Joseph Kean, formerly of St. Peter & Paul Parish in Lehighton, and his family.
When the Old Mauch Chunk Model Train Display located to Hooven Mercantile Building, it took 15 volunteers approximately a year and a half to put it all together.
Along with everything else visible on the display, they also installed three miles of fine gauge wire which connects over 1,000 streetlights throughout the exhibit.
Since the Heery family purchased the trains, buildings, and accessories from Father. Kean in 1993, the display has been an all-family business.
They also present Holiday-Season themes such as Halloween with haunted mansions and spooky decorations, and at Christmas time, snow scenes with a lot of decorations.
Located adjacent to the model train display is the Old Mauch Chunk Hobby & Gift Shop which is stocked with model railroading merchandise, souvenirs, and gift items.
The Hobby & Gift Shop is also home to the one and only "Jim Thorpe Bobblehead!"
For more information concerning Old Mauch Chunk Model Train Display, visit OMCTrainDisplay.com or contact the Heery Family at (570) 325-4371 or info@OMCTrainDisplay.com.