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Train show open weekends at Cross Orchards Historic Site

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Rio Grande Railroad - Downtown Grand Junction

The 29th annual Christmas show, hosted by Grande Valley Model Railroad Club, will be held at Cross Orchards Historic Site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 9-31.

Grande Valley Model Railroad Club has hosted a Christmas show annually since 1988, one year after its founding. Ten years later, the club was invited to move to its permanent home at Cross Orchards where visitors will find various train and model train displays. Construction on the current HO model (1:87 scale) train display began in 2004 and depicts the Rio Grande Railroad as it routes from Denver to Salt Lake City, with emphasis on the railroads in the mountains of Colorado's western slopes. At present, Grand Junction, Mt. Garfield, Glenwood Springs and Glenwood Canyon, Minturn and Leadville are built, with a new section of narrow gauge traveling to Montrose currently under construction. The club also displays a small N-scale (1:160) and G (garden scale) layouts.

Cross Orchards manager Matt Darling says, "Most of the equipment people will see at this display is historical in nature, as we want to depict -- as much as possible -- an authentic version of the Rio Grande in western Colorado. Some of it is owned by the club, some by the individual members; it comes from lots of places, and much of the display is scratch built. You can stop by here any given Thursday afternoon and will find model railroaders doing their ongoing work on the display."

As part of the Christmas show, the Rio Grande Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society will be onsite and offering tours of its full-scale caboose and other train features, also on permanent display at Cross Orchards.

Admission to the Christmas show is $4 for adults, $1 for children (ages 3-12 years) and $7 per family. Cross Orchards Historic Site is located at 3073 F (Patterson) Road in Grand Junction. For further information, contact Mickey Nutall with the Model Railroad Club at 970-245-3273, or visit the Museums of Western Colorado website at www.museumofwesternco.com, or phone Darling at 970-261-7839.

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