Open Nov. 7, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015
A beloved Cincinnati tradition, the Duke Energy Holiday Trains began in 1946 in partnership with the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad. The portable model train display at the headquarters of Duke Energy (formerly Cincinnati Gas & Electric) grew, along with the railroad itself, through the 1940s, '50s and into the '60s.
In 2011, Duke Energy gifted the trains to Cincinnati Museum Center to ensure the trains and beautiful historic displays will stay in the Greater Cincinnati area for all of Duke Energy’s families, friends and customers to enjoy. The Duke Energy Train display's new permanent home is located off of the Public Landing of the Cincinnati History Museum and is open to the public from early November through early January every year.
Holiday Junction also features:
- Santa Claus. Visit him during Holiday Junction hours from Friday, Nov. 28 through Wednesday, Dec. 24. His break time is from 1-2 p.m. daily. (NOTE: Santa will not arrive in Holiday Junction until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6 because he will be attending Pancakes with Santa.)
- An expanded, raised platform surrounding the Duke Energy Holiday Trains so kids and photographers alike can get an even better view of the display.
- A NEW 1/3-scale locomotive engine, built by Santa himself!
- A two-level, G-scale set (22.5 times smaller than real life) with three trains running through a theatrical winter wonderland scene.
- An interactive O-gauge set (48 times smaller). This display is an exact reproduction of a Lionel dealer display layout from 1959.
- HO gauge (74 times smaller) and Z scale (220 times smaller) displays.
- A kids' train ride ($1 per child, per ride; Member children receive a token for one free ride per visit).
- Pogie and Patter, the talking reindeer from the former Pogue's Department Store in Downtown Cincinnati. Show times are every hour from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
- Vintage toys on display throughout the exhibit, including a first-edition Monopoly set and historic Goldsmith dolls.
- Historic paintings from the Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar Series by Grif Teller and Frank Reilly, on loan from the American Financial Group.
- A slideshow of historic Union Terminal images.
- A newly expanded gift shop with trains and other toys.
Duke Energy Holiday Trains Quick Facts
- Since 1946, more than 9 million people have come to see the Duke Energy train display.
- The display is one of the largest portable models in the world, measuring 36 1/2 by 47 1/2 feet long.
- More than 300 miniature rail cars and 60 engines run along 1,000 feet of track.
- The trains are authentic "O" gauge in which a quarter inch on the model is equivalent to one foot on a real train; rail cars, tracks and buildings are 1/48th actual size.
- During the holiday season, the trains will travel more than 100,000 scale miles.
- While these trains may seem to travel slowly, they are traveling at actual scale speed. The basic three-track loop is 1/48th of a mile around, representing a full mile of real track. If a model train travels that loop in one minute, it is traveling at 60 miles per hour – not at all slow for a real train.