“Hayes Train Special” chugs into the holiday season Nov. 29

The “Hayes Train Special” model train display returns on Friday, Nov. 29, to the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums to delight visitors of all ages throughout the holiday season.

This intricate, multi-tiered display winds several trains through a Victorian winter wonderland reminiscent of President Rutherford B. Hayes’ day.

This year, there will be six trains, some of which are not normally used in the display. Other trains will be on exhibit on the wall.

Interactive buttons allow visitors to be a part of the special exhibit. They can lower the crossing gates, run one of the trains, sent a lamplighter up to his post and more.

“When you’re little, trains are big and loud and fast,” said Kevin Moore, associate curator of artifacts. “They inspire awe. But even when you’re older, you still remember how you felt as a little kid when you saw the train go by. I think our model railroad display is a special place where old and young can come together in a shared experience of wonder and nostalgia.”

Displayed on the walls around the “Hayes Train Special” will be original paintings and artwork by the late Bob Lorenz, railroad artist and photographer, of Fremont.

Lorenz has worked in commercial art and helped design five steam-powered trains. He served as the staff artist for the American Freedom Train, which toured the country in 1975-76, and his paintings of trains have been displayed in various places around the country.

Another new addition to the “Hayes Train Special” this year are miniatures of Ohio legendary creatures hidden throughout the display and a scavenger hunt for kids involving these miniatures. These additions of bigfoot, frogman and other creatures are to help get visitors excited for the upcoming exhibit “Ohio: An Unnatural History,” which opens Friday, Feb. 28, and will feature the creatures and spooky tales from Ohio.

The “Hayes Train Special” will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29. It then will remain open through Sunday, Jan. 5. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday with the exception of holiday hours and closings.

Access to the “Hayes Train Special” is included with regular admission. An admission coupon is available at rbhayes.org. Hayes Presidential members are admitted for free.

The 12-by-24-foot display has been a tradition at the Hayes Presidential since 1994. It is sponsored by Croghan Colonial Bank and the Gordon W. Knight Family.

Then on Saturday, Jan. 4, those who need help fixing or sprucing up their model trains can attend the Model Train Clinic from 1 to 4 p.m.

Model train hobbyists will help estimate the value of trains and give repair and upkeep advice.

Those who bring trains also can run their models on the “Hayes Train Special” track. The track fits standard, O-gauge and G-gauge trains.

The clinic is included with discounted adult museum-only admission of $10 on Saturday, Jan. 4, or with a site pass that includes the museum and Hayes Home. The discounted adult museum-only admission is available all day on Jan. 4.

Kids 6-12 are admitted for $5, which includes access to the museum and to tour the home. Kids 5 and younger are admitted for free.

In the event of inclement weather, the clinic will be canceled. For updates, visit rbhayes.org and Hayes Presidential’s social media pages.

The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is America’s first presidential library and the forerunner for the federal presidential library system. It is partially funded by the state of Ohio and affiliated with the Ohio History Connection. The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues.

For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit rbhayes.org. Like HPLM on Facebook at @rbhayespres and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @rbhayespres.