"I and some others, we love trains and we can't remember when we didn't like them. This is the kind of layout we always wanted when we were kids, and look at how long we had to wait to get it," says Bill Knode, Co-Chair of the "Trains of Christmas."
Now after decades, he continues to bring this sense of wonder to his community with a Christmas train display at the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum.
"This is a fun railroad for people to enjoy. It's the way America used to be in railroads, and the way it will be in the future. We have old-time trains as well as new modern trains," says Knode.
He calls it a fantasy land. Bill and three others started building the 12 by 30 foot display every August. About 1,000 hours of sweat later, 24 trains and a trolley car are running up to speed.
"It's a lot of fun for us, and as long as the kids and the adults enjoy it, that's all we care about," says Knode.
Everyone comes to watch; from infants to retirees. Bill says he sees some families every weekend.
"I just love it when the kids enjoy it so much. A little boy came up to me one day and I couldn't understand what he was saying, and his mother says, 'he wants to know if he can give you a hug.' I said I'll take that anytime. So, it's a lot of fun," says Knode.
From a childhood dream to a community venture, the "Trains of Christmas" bring in the holiday spirit.
The Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum is open now through the end of February. It will also open the day after Christmas. Last year, there were over 6,000 visitors.
See the Museum's website.