Christmas at Carail

Carail Christmas layout
A snowfall in Virginia half a century ago? No, this nostalgic winter scene featuring a Southern steamer pulling heavyweight passenger cars takes place on the Christmas O gauge layout at Carail, where former Lionel owner Richard Kughn and his wife displayed their antique trains and autos.
Jim Forbes
When you walked into Carail, no matter how many times you'd been there before, you still felt like you'd strolled into toy train paradise. Trains of every vintage, gauge, and color surrounded you. New and old sets filled shelves, and store displays reached to the ceiling.

As you discovered the attraction farthest from the central area, you imagined it was December many years in the past. You came face to face with a Christmas-themed layout that captivated every visitor. To see this holiday O gauge railroad was to be carried back to the 1930s or '50s or even '70s, when department stores featured toy trains in their windows before the holidays. You believed you were standing in front of the glass at Macy’s in New York, Famous-Barr in St. Louis, Higbee's in Cleveland, or the Broadway in Los Angeles.

Revisit the layout by downloading our tribute to Carail, the private museum where Richard and Linda Kughn kept their collections of antique automobiles and toy trains. Just enter your email address below and you'll immediately receive this article, along with our free twice-monthly newsletter.

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