A nostalgic model train installation will return to the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art for the holidays.
The second annual “All Aboard” train event will feature a model train track created by members of the Oklahoma N-Rail Club. This year’s theme is “Oklahoma in the 1960s” and the installation will feature iconic landmarks from Route 66 and downtown Norman, according to a press release.
Some of the miniature landmarks include the blue whale of Catoosa, the Arcadia Round Barn, the Yukon flour mill and the Frankoma Pottery plant in Sapulpa. This year, the Oklahoma N-Rail Club added the Norman Depot to the installation, said Bruce Alcock, the club’s president.
To recreate the buildings from the 1960s, the club spent time looking at old pictures, including archival photographs from OU’s Western History Collection, according to the press release. Members have been working on the installation since April, Alcock said.
“It’s a bit frustrating at times because it seems like 1960 was one of those years when people were not taking many pictures,” Alcock said.
But the club has still found ways to include beloved Norman buildings, including a bit of OU's stadium before it was renovated.
The Oklahoma N-Rail Club has about 30 members and started in 1984. The club participates in model train-related events, including the Oklahoma City train show at the state fairground, Alcock said.
Alcock said the exhibit is for all ages and kids love to watch the trains.
“I guess the biggest hope is just that they’ll enjoy the exhibit and enjoy watching the trains run, and perhaps see things that they remember from 1960,” Alcock said.
“All Aboard” will open with an opening night from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 12 at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. The event will include door prizes, a cookie and hot cocoa bar, art activities and portraits with Santa Claus.
The train modules will be displayed through the end of the year. Kids can bring their own model trains to run on the racks on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 during museum hours.