MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. — With the flick of a switch, Sam Cimino brings a decades-old family tradition to life.
"That's all the '50s; this is all the '60s and '70s, all the cars and trucks, all the storefronts, Langis' candy shop–I worked there when I was in high school."
Cimino is opening the doors to Trainland in Mount Carmel for the 45th year. He's about ready to pass on the responsibility to another family member, but something always keeps him coming back.
"We keep saying we're going to stop, but when you see the kids come, it's crazy. You get the jumpers. My wife, every time I go home, she says, 'How many jumpers did you have tonight?' They come in and just start jumping," Cimino said.
Sam and his brother Tom have been collecting model trains pretty much their entire lives.
"Back then, I had one train. Tom had about 15 trains when we started putting them up. And it just grew."
The Trainland setup is directly above the Clover Hose Company garage. From the modest signage, you'd never know the impressive display that awaits you upstairs– thousands of individual pieces with thousands of tiny details within each scene.
Parts of our area are represented—Knoebels, the Bloomsburg Fair, shops, and restaurants, old and new, throughout Schuylkill County.
You don't have to be a kid to be impressed, but Cimino has a guess as to why the kids especially get so excited.
"Well, I guess because the kids aren't brought up anymore with the trains. Years ago, they ran right through. We used to hop the cabooses up here and go down to Sunbury, and we saw trains every day. Now the young kids don't see them anymore."
Trainland in Mount Carmel is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings now through December 19.