FAIRMONT — A model train chugged along, disappearing under a couch.
Continuing on its journey, it then rounded a coffee table and went under a Christmas tree aglow with lights.
“Click, clack, click, clack,” the little locomotive sang as it moved over the tracks.
With its cars in tow, the model engine traveled past a town of tiny houses. At one, a policeman stood outside the door as if saying hello.
This model train layout can be found in the storefront window at the Arts & Antiques Marketplace in Fairmont.
The Marion County Historical Museum has the model train on loan at the business for a display that will continue through the holidays.
Lou Spatafore, manager of the Arts & Antiques Marketplace, thought the model train would be popular with people walking by.
“We’ll see a lot of nose prints on that glass,” he said. “This is what kids live for, the holiday season, and this is part of it.” He shared a recent photo of a child peering into the window at the model train display.
Spatafore said the Arts & Antiques Marketplace is proud to host the train layout. He thinks it’s reminiscent of yesteryear.
“This is the 200th anniversary of Fairmont, and the plan for our Christmas season is to bring a little nostalgia into downtown,” he said. He said dressing up the store windows falls in line with that vision.
Joni L. Morris, executive director of the museum, said the model train used to be displayed on the third floor of the museum, but it hasn’t been out for at least 10 years.
She wanted it displayed again, only in a more visible place.
“I wanted to be able to bring it out where everybody could enjoy it,” she said. “If you can walk down the street, you can enjoy it.”
She said the train layout is set up as a child might have done it, with the track going under and around furniture.
“I thought how cool would it be to actually take it underneath the couch and around the coffee table like a little kid would set it up on Christmas morning,” she said.
Ashley and Brandon Umstot of Fairmont, who were shopping in the store Sunday, were impressed by the model train layout.
“I think it’s lovely here in the window with the Christmas decor,” Ashley said. “I think it looks so lovely and so homey.”
She thought it was nostalgic.
“It’s cool,” Brandon said. “It reminds me of Christmas and stuff like that.”
According to Morris, the model train is an LGB German train. LGB stands for Lehmann Gross Bahn, which means “Lehmann Big Train” in German.
She said the model train was made in 1968 in West Germany. Morris said LGB is responsible for introducing the G Scale, or garden scale, model train to model railroading.
“This size train is considered a garden train, and people actually would put them in their gardens outside,” Morris said.
She said John Champ Neely donated the model train to the museum in 1992.
Morris said the train layout fits in well with Fairmont’s railroad history.
“This is a great symbolization for the B & O Railroad for Marion County and Fairmont,” she said. “The B & O Railroad reached Fairmont in 1852, and it was major transportation for the coal here, the lumber.”
She said the model train brings back a lot of memories for people, which she said was the goal.
“You see the old storefronts at Christmastime with the trains in the windows, and this was a great collaboration between the Arts and the Antiques (Marketplace) and the museum to bring a piece of history out where people can see it,” she said.
Morris said the owner of the Arts & Antiques Marketplace, Dominick Claudio, was very enthusiastic about having the model train layout in the store.
Morris; her husband, Allen; and her father, George W. Liston of Smithfield, Pa. assembled the model train layout in the store window.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea not only for this business but for Fairmont in general,” Allen said.
Morris said Dean Hardman, program specialist at Jackson’s Mill, will be loaning some straight track, which will be added to the train layout to make it less curvy.
She said this will allow some more cars to be added, in addition to the current livestock, coal and grain cars.