Toy trains return to Bedford Museum for Christmas

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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) They’re eagerly anticipated.

“We actually get people that come in during the summertime and look for the trains," says Jennifer Thomson of the Bedford Museum. "And we’re like: No, no, no, only during Black Friday to January, that’s when the trains will be back.”

And now the trains are here. The sign in front says so, and you can hear it as soon as you pass the Christmas tree by the front door.

“As far as the train layout itself," Thomson explains, "So far the shape has stayed the same and the background has stayed the same. But every year we kind of do something different.”

This year, it’s to localize the layout with tiny reproductions of local landmarks and businesses.

“So people are driving around, they go: oh my goodness, there’s the Blue Ridge Animal Hospital. Oh look, there’s Arnold’s Jewelers. Oh my goodness, it’s Avenel,” says Thomson.

Businesses, that helped out the museum with some of the expenses for the popular display.

“I spent 37 years on the railroad,” says Raymond Banks – a third-generation railroad man – who is a volunteer guide.

“This is my second year," he says. "And I enjoyed the first one.”

He says the kids are great … but for one thing.

“They want to do hands on a lot of times,' he explains, "And you have to tell them and explain to them: it’s just like a regular train. Don’t put your hands on it. Stay away from it.”

But, as with every year, there’s still plenty to see and enjoy.

“I enjoy it,” Banks says.