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Holiday Train Festival

Current Exhibitions


Permanent Galleries

The Birthplace

The Helicopter

Upcoming Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

President Nixon wrote in his memoirs “All through grade school my ambition was to become a railroad engineer.” Nixon’s father, Frank, had been a street-car motorman in Columbus, Ohio, and later when he moved to California in 1907 he became a motorman for the Pacific Electric trolleys that ran from Los Angeles to Whittier. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library welcomes visitors to the two newest creations of the holiday train layouts by model train volunteers.
The volunteers of the National Train Collectors Association planned and built four multi-tiered platforms that are 16’x 16’ featuring an overhead trestle at a height of 10’ in our Special Exhibits Gallery. The show includes 17 trains from manufacturers Bachmann, Lionel, MTH and Williams running on approximately 1,500 feet of track!  Each of the four platforms is decorated with its own theme. The first has a Monument Valley 1880s landscape. The second shows a snow-covered village with Santa and Reindeer atop with the Polar Express train twisting its way to the North Pole and Thomas the Tank meandering through the mountain. The third has reproductions from the 1900s of colorful metal standard gauge trains referred to as pre-war. The original metal buildings and accessories around them date back to the 1930s. The fourth features a modern New York City skyline with subway trains running through it.
November 18, 2011 to January 2, 2012.


In the Great Room the Southern California LEGO® Train Club returns for a third visit for the winter holidays with a 36’ x 24’ layout showing the Tustin hangars, an airport, long bridges, skyscrapers and other city buildings, town and country sections, and a deep canyon with trestle bridge. Hundreds of thousands of bricks and countless hours by 23 members create an amazing display, with trains running through it all. A “find-it-list” is provided to entice visitors to find interesting scenes and items around the layout.
November 14, 2011 to January 27, 2012.

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