Danville’s Choo Choo Church: Giant Train Set up in House of Worship

If you, your kids, or even grandkids are fans of model trains, you might want to check out a giant year-round display set up in a church in Danville.

Thanks to donations from train lovers all over the country, Christ Memorial Episcopal Church at 120 East Market Street has provided a free Saturday Trains program since 2005.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey spotlighted the train program Thursday morning. The program runs every Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon.

Despite more than 10,000 visitors from various states popping by the display over the past several years, not many in our area know it exists.

FACTS ABOUT THE TRAIN DISPLAY: 

Courtesy of Robert Bomboy

  • The main layout is O Gauge (generally called Lionel). It's 22 feet long and 10 feet wide.
  • There's also an American Flyer layout that's four by eight feet.
  • The new gifts, where you can see the Lionel coal loader and the bascule bridge, among others, are on a three by eight-foot layout.
  • There's a garden-size train (technically G Gauge) running under the ceiling on 100 feet of track.
  • The display also has a 1933 blimp model of the USS Akron that circles the Christmas tree, running around and around, powered by a microwave oven motor.
  • There's a little-tykes play table where small children can play with Thomas the Train engines, cars, and track.

QUESTIONS?

Reach out to Robert Bomboy at 570-275-7822 or email him at bob.bomboy@gmail.com.

ANOTHER ACTIVITY AT TRAIN DISPLAY HELPS FAMILIES IN NEED: 

As part of the train display setup, the Danville Area Diaper Bank also operates out of Christ Memorial Episcopal Church on Saturday mornings since 2012. Over that time period, the diaper bank has given close to $100,000 worth of free diapers to families in need, no questions asked.

On average, infants use about 240 diapers each month. A year’s supply of diapers costs $936. That means a single mother working full time at the minimum wage can expect to spend six percent of her annual pay on Pampers alone.

While the diaper bank distributes product most Saturdays during the train program from 10 a.m. until noon, the schedule can vary. To learn more about diaper giveaway times, head here for the group's Facebook page.

CHURCH FACTS:

Courtesy of Church Members

Christ Memorial Episcopal Church dates back to 1883, but parishioners rebuilt it after a disastrous fire in 1948. On the cold winter night of February 13, 1948, a towering inferno shot more than 200 feet into the air engulfed Christ Church, completely incinerating everything in the church except its stone walls. Many in Danville, even today, still remember that blazing fire. After the embers cooled, the congregation had the courage to rebuild this church upon its fire-blackened walls.

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