There is something nostalgic about miniature trains. They harken back to a time when hobbyists tinkered with cars and rails, built sets and then sent scale versions of magnificent trains, happily around a track.
For at least a decade now, a local train enthusiast in nearby Campbell runs a set of model trains around the track…in his front yard. I haven’t had the courage to knock on his front door, but I would love to hear how he got started. I wonder if the family peaks out the window from time to time to see the joy they bring to others.
The Livingston home converts the front yard into a model train village. A massive platform fills the entire front yard, and stands about knee-high. There is a shorter platform circling the yard as well. Three different trains run around the tracks, passing small villages, figurines and miniature versions of Christmas trees.
Some of the scenery has the vintage flavor of a train station in the 1940’s. Leaves drop from the massive tree above, lending a naturalized air. Surprises include tiny figurines from the Pixar Car’s movies, Star Wars and Mickey Mouse.
This year, there was an even bigger surprise: a delightful cat.
I didn’t see the kitty at first. What an unexpected surprise. Just before taking the last of my pictures I caught a glimpse of his fur.
Kitty stretched and yawned, then marched across the train tracks for a closer view of me. Far from being skittish, he was happy for a bit of TLC.
When it was time to go, I carried him back to his spot. I didn’t want him to follow me into the street, and although he looks a bit cranky, he was entirely unmoved by the experience.
I couldn’t help but drive by a week later to see if I could spot him once again. Sure enough he was sound asleep in the same spot. I think I smiled the rest of the way home.
The miniature train runs during the month of December on McBain Drive in Campbell, CA.
Merry Christmas! May your day be filled with your version of miniature trains, nostalgic treats and whatever makes you smile.