NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The 7th annual 'Loblolly Model Train Display' has brought wide eyes and even wider smiles to the Nacogdoches Railroad Depot, some, like Dustin Campbell, from as far away as the state capitol.
"Our grandfather said that they had a toy train over here," said Campbell. "I did not expect the whole town. That was really surprising."
For Campbell, this trip might lead to a new addition in his son's life.
"What I really like is how he's not trying to take everything down," said Campbell. "Which kind of leads me to hoping that we could set one up around his room."
Loblolly crew member, George Ellis, said that his love for model trains began in 1949, when he was given his first.
"It brings me back to the days when I would play with them with my father," said Ellis "And, I thought he was a master wizard by making everything go up and down and lights and stuff."
35 years of collecting model trains has shown Ellis the educational side of the hobby, especially regarding STEM.
"Science, technology, engineering, and math," said Ellis. "Because what you have here is physics with the track, geometry, electricity."
Ellis said he's used Nacogdoches and the surrounding East Texas communities as inspiration for his display.
"And, over on Main Street, I've got the brick streets," said Ellis. "Over here, the north church, the old stone fort. You've got the oil well. A gentleman came in the other day says is this Tyler? I said, it could be."
Ellis' strategy for bringing in crowds year after year is to keep the display ever changing and ever entertaining.
The display will be open Friday, December 1 - Sunday, December 3, as well as Friday, December 8 - Sunday, December 10. The hours for Fridays and Saturdays are 10 AM to 6 PM. Sunday hours are from 12 PM to 5 PM.