Holiday tradition

Brimstone Museum will feature elaborate train display

Ginger Broomes

Christmas is a special time for the Southwest Louisiana O-Gauge Model Railroad Club members because they get to show off their annual toy train display, which features collectible trains they’ve had since childhood.

The display will be set up at the Brimstone Museum, 900 South Huntington St. in Sulphur, for Christmas Under the Oaks. Civic leaders will preview the display Nov. 30, and it will be open to the public every Saturday throughout December.

The elaborate, two-level layout is 34-feet long and 10.5-feet across and includes multiple dioramas. It will feature model reproductions of the original Union Sulphur Company complex, the Brimstone Village and other historic landmarks and buildings in Sulphur and Lake Charles.

“This is a huge project,” said Andy Buckley, founding member of the club. “It’s quite a layout.”

The 12 railroad club members — who include retired graphic artists, electricians and carpenters — help arrange the display. Most members have used the same trains they received during Christmas when they were children.

“We’ve got 1945 steam engines, a 1949 steam engine,” Buckley said. “There’s a Polar Express level for the kids, passenger trains … (the trains) have smoke, have bells and all the train sounds.”

The display also features sounds of the train “engineers” shouting out orders, along with five running railroad lines, Buckley said. A trolley is the newest addition.

Founded in 2017, the railroad club seeks to educate and entertain children and adults. Its charter calls for the layouts to represent the Southern Pacific, Missouri Pacific and Kansas City Southern rail lines.

“We need members who are going to help us,” Buckley said.

The railroad club has set up elaborate toy train displays every Christmas season in Southwest Louisiana, first at the Muller’s building in Lake Charles, and most recently at the Brimstone Museum. Last year’s display brought in 1,500 visitors.

“We’ve had people from as far away as Alexandria,” Buckley said. “And people come off of (Interstate) 10 just to see if our display is up yet.”

Club members also host year-round group showings for children’s programs at the Brimstone Museum. After Christmas, the toy train display can be visited year-round at the museum.

The club meets on the third Saturday of every month. Membership is $10 per month.

To become a member of the Southwest Louisiana O-Gauge Model Railroad Club, call Buckley at 274-6206 or email andybuckley1224@gmail.com.

Local News

Late morning, afternoon thunderstorms on today’s docket

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Brumley likes propaganda videos

Crime

Jurors take less than 30 minutes to convict Fontenot of murder

Crime

Sheriff: Body found on the side of the road

life

Team Green Wednesday recycling drop-off schedule has changed

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Veterans Cemetery holds burial for seven unclaimed veterans

Business

Commonwealth LNG accused of mowing over threatened bird habitat

Local News

Biden announces Israel has offered a three-part proposal to end the war in Gaza

Local News

Release of 1M barrels of gas ‘not likely’ to ease price at pump

Crime

LC man charged with child porn possession

Local News

Scooter Hobbs column: Everything you need to know (and more) about LSU opponent

Local News

Lake Charles, Sulphur populations down, but Hunter says news isn’t all bad

life

STEM-centric Saturday: Phillips 66 STEM Family Fun Day in the Park this weekend

Local News

Four local educators finalists for state teacher, principal of the year

Crime

Trial begins for man accused in fatal Sherry Street shooting

Crime

GUILTY: Trump becomes first former US president convicted of felony crimes

Crime

Doomsday plot: Idaho jury convicts Chad Daybell of killing wife and girlfriend’s 2 children

Local News

WEATHER UPDATE: Potential for severe storms into Saturday

Local News

Sowela awarded nearly $300,000 to support mental health intiativies

Local News

Louisiana may soon require public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments

Crime

Jury in Trump trial resume deliberations after asking to rehear testimony

Crime

Two injured in Wednesday shooting

life

Calcasieu Sheriff’s Office joins ‘Click It Or Ticket’ campaign

Local News

LDH urges precautions for mosquitoes to protect against West Nile, dengue