2014 Layout Updates

Here's a recap of the changes that were made over the past winter:

Tom has been working through the wicked winter weather to make sure that everything is ready for opening day. If you've been keeping up with us on Facebook, you already know that Tom and Mike started the year by removing all the snow from the Christmas layout.
tom vac snow mike vac snow

And of course, as adorable as they look, the giraffes cannot be festive year-round, so all of the Christmas decorations (including 52 Santas!) had to be removed and stored until November.
IMG_0287 outhouse

giraffes naked xmas in boxes

Tom updated and added a lot of new billboards, like this one for Kitchen Kettle Village: kkv billboard
Other new properties featured on billboards include Hershey Farm, 360Lancaster.com, and Plain and Fancy Farm Restaurant. See if you can find them this year!

Strasburg Scooters also made its debut on the layout with a group of riders wearing custom t-shirts! scooters

What started out as a small "refresh" at the circus turned into a full overhaul of the landscaping inside and outside the tents. This is pretty much what happens with most of Tom's projects - they start small and then take on a life of their own, ending three weeks later than planned!
tom redo circus cirucs refresh

Using a combination of beads and sequins, Tom re-made many of the trolley poles. They have taken a beating over the years because the "wires" are easily snagged by the vacuum or when someone has to climb atop the layout to fix something.
trolley1 trolley2 trolley3

Tom also added two animations - one at "Randy's Garage" (new last year) of a mechanic fixing a VW and one over by the cave of a man in a bucket truck who is fixing an electrical pole (click the link for a video!). The latter is rather humorous, considering that Tom's house was without electricity for 5 1/2 days in February!
randys garage

And now it's almost 5pm on Thursday, March 6 and things are looking good! The trains and most of the animations are running and about 85% of the plexiglass is back in place. Tom is putting some finishing touches on the Memorial Day parade (some parts of it had to be sent out to be rebuilt and he just got them back this morning!). Ryan proudly arrived an hour ago with a new bag of goldfish! Just in the nick of time, Tom added two BUTTONS (that's right, for you to push to operate the animations!), which you'll have to find when you visit! Come Saturday morning, we will eagerly be awaiting the first customers as a new season will be upon us! We sure hope to see you in 2014!

wide shot finishing touches

ryan with fish

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If you have any questions or comments about the Choo Choo Barn, please contact me at kristi@choochoobarn.com!