Cincinnati Holiday Traditions

The Duke Energy Model Trains


Duke Energy TrainsThe image of toys underneath the Christmas Tree is one of the most long enduing and poignant images of the holiday. As a child, there is nothing better than going under the tree to find your favorite toys waiting for you on Christmas morning, and as an adult, there is nothing better than seeing the look of joy on your children’s faces as their tear open their boxes. One Christmas toy that has found its way under the tree for generations is the classic toy train. The magic of trains has captivated both children and adults for decades, so much so that they have become a holiday tradition in and of themselves.


See the Trains at the Holiday Junction


In Cincinnati, you and your children can enjoy the holiday tradition seeing wonderful toy trains by attending the Holiday Junction at the Cincinnati Museum Center. The Holiday Junction is one of the most anticipated and beloved holiday traditions in the Cincinnati area. Every year from November to January, the Museum Center opens its doors to the stunning display of the miniature toy trains that were gifted to them in 2011 by Duke Energy. People from all over the city come to see the stunning display of trains, not only for the trains themselves, but also to see the beautiful and historical model shops, homes, and businesses that surround the tracks.


About the Trains


Part of the appeal of the Duke Energy Holiday Trains is the attention to detail that put into their construction and display. Not only are the trains and all the buildings and structures around them built to accurate scale, but the trains also travel at scale speed as well. While they run during the holiday season, the model trains will travel up to 100,000 scale miles.


The Duke Energy Holiday Train tradition started decades ago in 1946. Duke Energy and Baltimore & Ohio Railroad partnered together to create the gorgeous model trains. Throughout the 1940s to the 1960s, the trains were visible to the public at the Duke Energy Headquarters. Now, they have found a comfortable and beloved home in the Cincinnati Museum Center where the tradition of viewing the model trains during the holidays has once again flourished. Gifting the trains to the museum has also helped to ensure the Duke Energy trains will stay in their home of Cincinnati for generations to come.


Other Attractions at the Holiday Junction


As viewing the model trains has once again grown in popularity, the Holiday Junction itself has grown as well. When you and your family go to the holiday junction, you can now enjoy many more holiday attractions in addition to the Duke Energy trains. You can tour a display of other vintage toys scattered throughout the exhibit, including some historic Goldsmith dolls and a first edition Monopoly game board. You can also see some beautiful and historic paintings from the Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar. Your kids can even enjoy an actual train ride for the small price of one dollar per child.


Lastly, no holiday celebration would be complete without the big man himself. Santa Claus makes an appearance at the Holiday Junction every year, bringing smiles to faces young and old. From Friday November 28th – Wednesday December 24th, Santa will be in attendance to visit with children and make Christmas wishes come true. Be advised that Santa does take a break every afternoon from 1:00-2:00pm for lunch, as well as some delicious milk and cookies.


Whether you have come to the Holiday Junction every year, or if you are looking for new Christmas traditions to start with your family and/or friends this year, seeing the Duke Energy trains is an excellent way to bring some Christmas joy into your life this holiday season. The iconic Christmas imagery combined with the historical models and running trains will light up the faces of your children while also bringing out the inner child in you.




Image Credit: Vuono