This weekend, the Herndon Chamber of Commerce hosted the eighth annual Herndon Holiday Model Train Show.
Despite the icy weather, hundreds of young children and their parents came out to look at and control a variety of model trains on both HO- and N-gauge operating displays.
“Modular railroading is a way for those of us who don’t have home layouts to put layouts together and run trains for a weekend,” said Tim Barr of the Potomac Module Crew. “We do it maybe eight times a year—set up trains and have fun.”
It seemed especially fun for the kids in attendance.
“I love to see the number of children come through. For them to be able to tour the caboose is beyond exciting,” said Laurie Meyers, a volunteer at the Herndon Depot Museum.
The Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) caboose and Herndon Depot Museum were also open for exploration. Trains and railroads have played a key role in Herndon’s history.
“The reason the Town of Herndon is here is because of the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad coming through,” said Richard Downer, who said he has many fond memories of trains in Herndon. “There used to be a passenger service here. My mom took me on one of the last trains that ran from Herndon to Vienna for 15 cents.”
As the Town of Herndon’s website says, “When the Town of Herndon was incorporated in 1879 … the railroad defined the Town.” The railroad was essential, especially for dairy farmers looking to ship and distribute milk.
Meyers said preserving that history is vital for the Herndon community to preserve its roots.
“Anyone who loves history knows that the more you pass it on to future generations, the more it stays alive,” she said. “Herndon has wonderful traditions that we want to keep going."