The Indiana Insider Blog

Trains on Main, a Rising Sun Tradition

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A member-constructed ticket booth sits outside the Trains on Main exhibit entrance in Rising Sun.

As a young girl growing up near Pittsburgh, some of my fondest Christmas memories include the vast holiday decorating my parents would undertake. Dad–the original “Clark Griswold” of Christmas Vacation movie fame—with trees, wreaths, and thousands (and thousands) of lights evoked memories my family and countless others will never forget. My father drew so much power with his endeavors that his electric provider issued him his own transformer!

What spectators didn’t see however, was the elaborate train display that my father built in our game room. With both his dad and grandfather having worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad, it was “McCormick family tradition” to have trains during the holidays.

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An engine and Pennsylvania Railroad car at the Trains on Main in Rising Sun.

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Over 10 tracks with trains and miniature scenery fills Heritage Hall in downtown Rising Sun.

When I visited Heritage Hall in Rising Sun recently it produced fond memories of my Christmas past. Not just my older brother and me scooting on the tile floor under a work-in-progress train platform while Dad wasn’t around or finally being old enough to be the conductor. It was reminiscent of all of us sharing family history–from talking about my late Grandpap McCormick, a conductor turned inspector of “real” trains to table-top models with engines that blew smoke and cars that dumped logs that traveled up a conveyor belt.

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Member Mike Estep forms mountains as he works on creating the train display inside Heritage Hall in Rising Sun.

The nearly 15 members of The Conductors of Southeastern Indiana’s feature over 10 tracks of model trains with miniature buildings, vehicles, and landscapes. A family-oriented organization, the troupe not only promotes “family unity” but a learning experience of how real trains affected our history and daily existence.

Trains on Main takes place now through January 3, 2016 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. with the exception of closed on Wednesdays. Heritage Hall is located at 214 Main Street in downtown Rising Sun.

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Some of the Trains on Main display incorporates local signage into the design.

Admission is $1 per person with a maximum of $5 per family.  The event is free for service men and women, police, firefighters, rescue workers, and children under five.

For more information on tourist attractions, lodging, eateries, and community events, contact Rising Sun/Ohio County Tourism at (888) 776-4786 or log on to enjoyrisingsun.com. Rising Sun/Ohio County Tourism is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Trains on Main is sponsored by Rising Sun/Ohio County Tourism and Rising Sun Main Street.

Photos by Kendal R. Miller

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Written by : Kendal works as a freelance writer/photographer and in PR/Marketing for Kendal Communications & Events. Along with working in the tourism industry, Kendal has worked for newspapers, non-profits, and as a custom picture framer. An Indiana Artisan, Kendal was selected as an Indiana Lt. Governor Hoosier Women Artist Award winner in 2012, 2014 & 2015. She has received awards for both writing and photography from the Woman's Press Club of Indiana and the National Federation of Press Women. Kendal resides in Dillsboro, IN.