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30 Years of Trains in Emlenton


The annual train display started back in 1992. It was built by the Emlenton Boy Scout Troop #41 and its Scoutmaster Bruce Donaldson. For the first two years, it was located in the Emlenton borough building on Main St., now Hickman’s Lumber. In 1994 the display was moved and expanded to Donaldson Motors on River Ave. The showroom could be used since the AMC/Jeep dealership was not renewed. Each year new things were added and the mountains grew larger. Plywood was on loan from McNany Lumber so no nails or holes were used on the layout, the track and wiring were Scotch-taped down on top. In February all items were boxed and stored until next season. Missed 2008.

After 75 years the Emlenton Boy Scout Troop #41 didn’t re-charter and Bruce was short 3 months of 50 years in scouting. The present layout was built by Bruce and now remains up year-round to run the Christmas season and for the summer festival in July. Bruce keeps changing and adding items. Twelve trains, one trolley, and a slot car track operate on the 32x18 ft. plus layout. On the display are over 200 locomotives, 200 cars/trucks, 200 buildings, 500 feet of track, and hundreds of trees made from Yarrel. Two other side displays are American Flyer, Lionel, Rail King, and Thomas trains. On weekends Bruce displays his collection of local postcards cards and photo Scrap books to view. The “Can you find list” is always a challenge for visitors. A few years ago a signature book was started, it now has over 10,300 names from all 50 USA States, D.C., 285 Pa. towns, and 18 countries around the world covering 6 continents. We're missing someone from the Antarctic Continent but did have someone who lived there for 6 months.

The Trains will be running on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 PM to 5 PM in December and January. The display is open to view on weekdays, but not operating unless arrangements are confirmed for a group or family. Contact Bruce at 724-867-2293.

The display is located at Donaldson Motors, 714 River Ave. in Emlenton, Pa.

This is Donaldson’s 76th year in downtown Emlenton, moving business from the Nickleville farm selling farm equipment and potatoes in 1947 and later selling Nash cars which became American Motors. The farm was purchased in 1822 and sold in 1951.

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