The Magic of Christmas
Dec 01, 2017 04:20PM
Steve Lukefahr standing in front of his Polar Express model train display.
Steve had his Polar Express display fabricated at TW TrainWorx, a company that specializes in designing, producing, shipping, installing, and maintaining all things model train-related. Located in Dallas, Texas, the company provides custom heirloom train furniture and full layouts to train enthusiasts and beginners alike. “It took them about 9 months to complete The Polar Express,” says Steve. “Their attention to detail is remarkable. For anyone who has seen the movie, the various scenes are represented throughout the display.” From the houses where the train picks up the doubting children, to the snowy, winding mountain paths, to the colossal clock tower at Santa’s village in the North Pole, the layout is truly a work of art that draws the observer into the story, just as the movie takes the viewer into a magical world of a child’s imagination. When Steve uses the special remote control to turn on the trains and displays, newbies to the world of trains drop their jaws in awe. Not only do the trains run around the tracks, but they make real train sounds, including the voices of the conductors and the sound of whistles, and spew real “smoke” from their engines. The passenger cars are lighted and filled with tiny passengers. The “towns” that the trains run through are replete with homes, billboards, trees, bridges, and shops, including Jerie’s father’s welding shop, called Modern Supply, and the East River’s Hell Gate Bridge in New York City. There’s even a panorama of Fernandina Beach’s harbor, with shrimp boats, the Salty Pelican Restaurant, the Fernandina Beach train station and passenger platform. The “town” of St. Louis, Missouri, includes its famous Route 66 Ted Drewes Custard Stand and a scale replica of the St. Louis Union Station. For the young and the young at heart, Steve’s train collection brings a sense of wonder to all the guests who visit the Lukefahr home, especially at Christmas. “Everyone loves trains, and people love to come by and see them in action,” says Steve, smiling. “I don’t collect as many as I used to, but I’m always working on a new vignette for the display, especially Lionel and Ives pre-war trains, along with the 1950s trains I remember from my childhood.”