Final Boarding Call for Model Train Expo at Union Station

Little engines that could: The surprisingly realistic displays at Union Station delight with authentic locomotive sound effects, lighting and even puffs of “smoke.”

As you may have guessed from the title, this post has to do with trains … well, model trains, which are appearing at Union Station until January 2.

According to their website: “The joy of model railroading transcends generations as it sparks the imagination of young and old alike, often creating memories that last a lifetime.”

Model trains are like the Taylor Swift of hobbies – fun and safe for the whole family. (Anyone remember “The Sopranos” character Bobby Baccalieri’s fascination with model trains? Yes, that fantastic show was about as far from family-friendly as you can get, but still, it really underscores the universal appeal of model trains. Even mythical mobsters like them.)

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This year, Union Station has partnered with M.T.H. Electric Trains of nearby Columbia, Md., and Amtrak to bring a new holiday model display to the famed Washington, D.C., landmark. Several trains will be choo-chooing away in both the Main and West Halls.

Union Station
2 West/40 Massachusetts Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002

The displays feature “O Gauge trains from the steam and modern eras.” And each “train is outfitted with state-of-the-art electronics capable of recreating the sounds, lights and smoke of their real-life counterparts.”

In fact, you can even buy some of what you see, as most of the trains featured will be available in starter sets.

Union Station is located in Capitol Hill (technically, part of the Northeast and Southeast quadrants), one of the premiere neighborhoods to rent an apartment in Washington, D.C. For those who don’t live there, by gosh, this is Union Station, so you have your choice of transportation options, including the so-named Metro stop on the Red Line.

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Though it just occurred to me to look … The neighborhood map from the online edition of The Washington Post has Capitol Hill stopping just in front of the grand old dame, putting Union Station in the Near Northeast neighborhood. But the Capitol Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals (CHAMPS) and its Capitol Hill Map prominently claims Union Station as its own, so the debate rages on.

Since I used to live in Capitol Hill, we’ll side with CHAMPS … just don’t tell anyone.

So wherever Union Station officially resides, bring your kid, your father, your Dutch uncle or the whole family out to Union Station and check out the trains. You can also explore available apartments in the area with Apartment Showcase. 


Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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