Happy Holidays

Harry Huckemeyer

As we rapidly move on to the ending of quite a challenging year with a variety of unexpected happenings, the Short Line Model Railroad Club has taken a most positive approach and is closing out the year on a busier note. With great pleasure, we have seen our area come back to life, having one of the busiest years pass by and heavy scheduling in place to last until at least close to the end of the year. With the holiday season moving into full swing, the area will soon come alive with an abundance of holiday festivities with all the decorations that go along with it, plus the arrival of visitors, friends, and relatives who welcome what this state has to offer.

Once again, Arizona Big Train Operators (ABTO) will be opening up their locations in several parts of the area for their annual Christmas Open House. The dates will be Dec. 10 and 11 and Dec. 17 and 18. The times they will be open, in most cases, is between 4 and 8 p.m. Names of layout providers and locations can be found on the website, www.azbigtrains.org, or if you run into problems, feel free to contact me by text at 480-600-1349 and I will help you as best I can.

Lastly, for the young at heart, you may want to set aside an evening to run up the 101 to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park run by the City of Scottsdale. They really do things right, getting into that holiday spirit, with an amazing light display and a train ride that will take you and your friends on a trip through fantasyland. If you have any questions, do feel free to contact us by email at [email protected], or you can try my cell line 480-600-1349, as there are a few changes you should be aware of. The park is free from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., but starting at 6 p.m., reservations are required for entry to enjoy the night festivities with the many lights, free unlimited rides on the train, carousel, and the run of the park for the next hour and a half. Children under 2 do get in free. The cost for the reservation, which covers almost everything, is $15 per person. The evenings that the Railroad Park will be open with the Holiday Lights will be from Nov. 25 until Nov. 30, requiring reservations starting at 6 p.m., with the park closing down at 9 p.m. For additional or more specific information, please contact the Railroad Park directly.

Locally, our club is still working out details for finalizing plans to participate in sharing some time over the holiday season in one of the main areas of the Clarendale and, secondly, at Oakwood at their main access close to the restaurant area. We’re looking forward to that, and between these two activities, we will be kept busy until sometime after the Christmas holiday.

Wishing you all a happy and exciting holiday season, and a healthy new year.