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Pass On the Tradition of Loving Lionel Trains -

It’s the Holiday Season and time to set up your Lionel Trains around your home.  Whether its under your tree or around the dining room table, I encourage everyone to Run Your Trains!  Please send me pictures and stories of how you enjoy your Lionel Trains!!!

This year my theme is “Pass on the Tradition of Loving Lionel Trains”.  We have a long history of trains in my family that started with my grandfather and was passed down to me through my father.  My brother Alfonse and I enjoy running our trains all year round but especially at Christmas.  Our tradition started when I was very young and I would follow my older brother around and set up track wherever he told me to.  We would start with the family Christmas tree first and usually end up arguing about which train set and scenery to use for the main tree in our house.  This layout would usually take a couple of days to complete and we always had lots of snow.  Then we moved on to our smaller tree which is made up of our homemade ornaments and gifts from relatives.  This layout usually has a theme, could be dinosaurs, Star Wars, Hockey or World War II or maybe just a regular locomotive pulling a tree on a flat car.  This layout was always my favorite and I would spend hours on the floor admiring the smoke filled layout.

During our teenage years both layouts have gotten to be more about power and noise than theme.  I have my favorite locomotives and now its more about how fast we can set it up.  After 17 years I have it down to a science and get everything up within a day.

The big event is getting our train layout down the basement ready for our relatives and guests during the holiday.  This usually takes a whole weekend of cleaning and dusting but it is all worth it to see the faces of amazement on our cousins and friends faces as they watch all seven trains going at once.  Then the accessories take on a life of their own and sometimes become the main attraction.  Usually the carwash, Ferris wheel and the rocket launch pad are the favorites but the football and baseball fields get plenty of attention too.  Everyone loves this tradition and usually start asking soon as they arrive when the trains will be ready for viewing. 

During this past Christmas I noticed how much fun my younger cousins had with our gifts of trains.  As soon as they opened the trains they began begging for us to set them up.  Ava who is 4 loves Little Mermaid and we gave her a pink locomotive with Ariel on the side.  Trent who is 5 loves anything Big and Powerful so we presented him with his first Lionel Flyer Set.  It is so cool to see their faces light up as they sit in the middle of the track and shout Make it Go Faster!  Our family decided then that every year we would get each cousin a train for Christmas. 

The tradition is alive and well at the Kolis home and we are assured the Tradition of Loving Lionel Trains will continue beyond our immediate family and will thrive into the next generation.


Vincent Kolis 
LCCA Junior Member Coordinator