Love model trains? Hopewell Furnace is the place to be on Dec. 9.

On Sunday, Dec. 9, the Friends of Hopewell Furnace invite the public to a holiday celebration of model trains and the Reading Railroad.

Dale Woodland from the Reading Company Technical and Historical Society will present "The Reading Railroad: Then and Now."

The free program will also feature model train displays and will begin at 2 p.m. in Hopewell Furnace’s conference room.

Dale Woodland serves as the director of operations at the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum in Hamburg.

Considered an authority on the history of the Reading Railroad, he is the author of four books: Reading Diesels Vol. I & II, The Reading in The Conrail Era Book I & II and has published work in national railroad hobby magazines including Trains, Classic Trains, Railfan & Railroad, Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman.

During the latter part of the 19th century, Hopewell Furnace manufactured pig iron for the railroad. The first model trains were created by the Germans in the 1830s and the first in this country were produced by Mathias Baldwin, founder of the Baltimore Locomotive Works.

People interested in attending the program are encouraged to bring their favorite model. While the Tannenbaum’s peak has its star or angel, in many American homes, the space under the lowest boughs is reserved for a model train.

While at the park, visitors are encouraged to explore the landscape, go into the village, tour the buildings, and learn about iron making and why Hopewell Furnace is important to our nation’s history. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday thru Sunday, the park is located five miles south of Birdsboro, PA, off Route 345.

For more information visit www.friendsofhopewellfurn.org

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