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All Aboard! Annual Model Train Exhibit Opens

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Museum of North Texas History Model Train Exhibit | Image by The Museum of North Texas History/Facebook

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The holiday season has kicked off in North Texas with the annual Heart of Downtown Model Train Exhibit opening at the Museum of North Texas History in Wichita Falls.

Each year the exhibit is put up by Ronald Mauch, who explained that he displays the model trains during the holiday season so other North Texans can enjoy it.

“Even in here it grew and it grew and it grew, there’s absolutely no sense in me having this if I can’t share it,” he told KFDX in an interview.

The display runs through January, but Mauch stated there could be enough demand for it to stay up all year. The exhibit will feature 13 trains this year.

The exhibit opened on November 3, but Mauch explained that the process first begins on paper during the planning stage.

“The plan is on graph paper, and I know exactly how my boards are going to be laid out, how I’m going to lay the train tracks, where the city is going to be, the residential communities, the monster trucks, the amusement park, I know where they’re going to go,” he said.

The Heart of Downtown Model Train Exhibit can be seen at the museum from Thursdays to Saturdays, the Facebook page shares, with trains running at three different times each day: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.

Mauch shared that visitors can spot something new each time they stop by the exhibit.

“I put a little humor in some of the scenes you don’t always catch it the first time you look at it the second time around you’re looking, you say, boy, I didn’t see that before and again it’s something just to put a smile on your face,” he suggested.

He added that many North Texans who see the holiday model trains want the chance to see them again.

Mauch continued, “It is a lot of work to put together and so many people have now seen this and when they come to the museum they would like to come back and see it again and remember what I said earlier, the second time you start to go around and say I didn’t notice that before.”

The Museum of North Texas History is housed in the Lindemann Building, according to the museum’s website, where it has been since 2001.

In addition to the Heart of Downtown Model Train Exhibit, visitors can enjoy permanent collections and explore exhibit halls, including the Heritage Hall and the Ralph O. Harvey, Jr. Exhibit Hall. The Wichita Falls Regional Airport also houses the museum’s “Jenny to Jet” Exhibit.

The museum will be closed from November 22 to 26 for the Thanksgiving holiday, and then again from December 20 to January 2 for Christmas and New Year.

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