Nacogdoches man opens Loblolly Train Display for public viewing

This massive miniature train project has been a passion for the host, George Ellis.
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 6:19 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 25, 2022 at 11:13 PM CST

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - For the last decade the Loblolly Train Display has been a tradition in Nacogdoches, and on Nov. 11, it opened for everyone to see.

This massive miniature train project has been a passion for the host, George Ellis, and many pieces of the nine-section railroad town were his toys when he was a child.

“We just hook up the controls and everything comes alive,” Ellis said.

Ellis likes to share his hobby with the community and give back during the holidays by making it free for the public to come see. He works on the railroad for most of November to get it ready for the grand opening.

“I started moving it in on the first of November,” Ellis said. “And, it took yesterday before I finished it all.”

The raildroad pulls in train enthusiasts of all ages, including some who have loved them for years, like Ken Enloe.

“I’ve been fascinated by trains since I was a boy,” Enloe said. “Heck, I even love trains so much that when I go to the Lufkin zoo, I’ll sit up there and ride the little kiddie train that runs around there.”

It also attracts some who are just getting started, like Weston and Colbie, two Nacogdoches children who just visited the display for the first time.

“It was really cool. It had everything in Nacogdoches. It was just ‘wow’,” Colbie said.

“And it had really good details on it,” Weston said.

Ellis said while it’s all for fun to share his hobby, you can also learn some about Nacogdoches’ past through the trains.

“The lumber they moved from the mills was moved by rail,” Ellis said. “The different trams in the woods, that’s where it all started.”

Those mechanisms helped Nacogdoches become what it is today.

“When the railroad came through Nacogdoches, it brought a lot of things with it,” Ellis said. “Commerce and helped Nacogdoches get on the map.”

You can go see the display for free at the Nacogdoches Railroad Depot on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Ellis’ Loblolly Trains will be on display until Dec. 11.