Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic features model train

November 17, 2009 (CHICAGO) Brookfield Zoo is getting on the right track for the upcoming holiday season. Beginning in December, the zoo's Holiday Magic Festival will feature lions, reindeer and more than a million lights. The LGB Model Railroad Club of Chicago is also constructing a large model railroad.

"It's the twenty-eighth anniversary of Holiday Magic and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the zoo. So we thought let's bring back something nostalgic. They were here ten years ago with a model layout in the Children's Zoo. This year we're going to bring it inside where it's a little bit warmer for guests to enjoy," said Ken Grzeslo, Brookfield Zoo spokesman.

"Candyland" is the theme of the railroad and countryside where about 800 feet of track lead the g-scale models through the train stations of our childhood imagination but with way more trains.

LGB Model Railroad Club of Chicago member Bill Halupka said, "We're going to have about fourteen trains running at the same time. That makes for an interesting picture. A lot of action, a lot of animation."

In just a few weeks, the model railroad will be set up in the lower level of the Safari Grill.

Holiday Magic will run weekend nights in December from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and every day between Christmas and New Years.

Jim Snorek, LGB Model Railroad Club of Chicago, said, "This is all for the kids. It's great to set up our ropes, the kids get on the floor on their hands and knees. It's just wonderful to watch them when the trains go by."

Another LGB member, "I really like to watch the big kids. The dads coming in, their jaws dropping and they're going… Oooh I wish I had this!"

Up to 8,000 visitors a day will ride the rails without any worry of being derailed.

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