Model Trains Making Spirits Bright in Scranton

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SCRANTON -- People in Scranton took part in a small but long-standing Christmas tradition. A miniature train display has found its home inside a mall in the Electric City, and its owners say there's something about the holiday season that brings lots of people in.

In the sea of busy store-fronts at The Mall at Steamtown in Scranton, there's one that takes you back to Christmases before shopping malls. And shows you the electric city in a different light.

"I think it's amazing, I'm pointing out different things that I'm noticing, like over there is the stadium from Central and Tech.  I graduated from Central. Over there we saw Nay Aug, it's just so neat," said Lori Santarsiero of Moosic.

The Scranton landmarks in miniature are the creation of model train guru Don Clark. Clark was in business for more than 30 years in Lackawanna County. His kids now carry on the tradition in his memory.

The trains run throughout the year. But, Don's daughter Kathy Shock says there's something about Christmas that brings families out to see the display.

"Those kids through the years have grown up, grown up, and they all keep coming back, so I think my father left such a mark on so many people's lives because he was such a good man, such a caring man," Shock said.

Don Clark's dream was to bring his display as close to the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton as possible.

"He felt home. And as I said, two days after we opened he passed but he was just so content, he was at peace," added Shock.

This is the display's second Christmas in The Mall at Steamtown, and Shock says they plan to be there for the long run. She says visiting the display is free, and always will be.

Donations go to St. Joseph's Center and the Lackawanna County Holiday Bureau.

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