Marlborough Arts Center hosts ‘On Track Toy Trains Exhibit’

By Marlborough Arts Center
Marlborough - posted Tue., Apr. 9, 2013
- Contributed Photo

The Marlborough Arts Center is sponsoring an “On Track Toy Trains Exhibit” that will delight everyone with this trip back into childhood memories of having or playing with a toy train – or wanting to do so. Looking at this impressive collection of trains brings up images of train crossings, of the sounds of “All Aboard!” and the horn’s tooting that signaled adventure and unknown places – and still does.
The exhibit runs through May 19, every Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m., with the exception of Mother’s Day, May 12, when the Arts Center will be closed. Admission is free of charge.

There will also be expert guest lecturers. The guest on Sunday, April 21, is Jack Swanberg, a Connecticut railroad historian who has been interested in railroads since a child. His career has included a series of major positions with the railroads in New York, Michigan and Connecticut, including trainmaster in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, staff trainmaster in New York City and New Haven, and lead trainmaster in New Haven, from which he retired in 2000. He is the author of “New Haven Power, 1838-1968: Steam, Diesel, Electric, MU’s, Trolleys, Motor Cars, Buses & Boats, a history of the locomotives and motive equipment of the New Haven Railroad.” He has also published many articles and photographs in magazines and railroad history books. He will speak from his experience of working in, and understanding, train transportation.

On Saturday, April 27, guests Phil Manaker and Tom Ladny will be at the Arts Center from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., explaining their secrets. So dust off your toy trains that have been sitting in your attic or basement for years, bring them and your questions, and ask the experts how to get them in top operating shape again, so that you, your children, and grandchildren can enjoy them for many years more. For this hands-on afternoon, there is a suggested donation of $5/person.

The guest lecturer on Sunday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m. will be Laura Smith, who has been the curator for the Railroad History Archive in Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries, since 1999. Smith will speak about the collections of the archive and how they can be used as a source for historical research for modelers and others, focusing particularly on materials associated with the Air Line Railroad. The archive includes the records of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, the predominant railroad in southern New England from 1872 to 1969, as well as a collection of more than 50,000 images of railroad stations, locomotives and cars, and other scenes, maps, timetables, annual reports, scrapbooks, research files and more.

“On Track” is a very interactive exhibit, which includes some off-campus activities such as the Walking Tour of the Air Line Trail and Viaducts in East Hampton on Sunday, May 5, that will be a fun afternoon for the entire family. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Admission is free (the rain date will be Saturday, May 18).

On Saturday, May 11, Fred Dole will also lead a tour of a whole town/working train exhibit called “Town of Raymondale” set up at his home in East Hampton. Tickets are required at $10/adult and $5 for children under 9 years of age.

The Marlborough Arts Center is a non-profit regional center for the fine arts, performing arts, and fine crafts located at 231 North Main St. in Marlborough. Call 860-295-9389 or visit the website for up-to-date information on the various artistic activities and applications for membership.

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