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PHOTOS: One of World's Great Toy Train Collections Chugs Into NY Museum

Monday, December 03, 2012 - 02:54 PM

(photo courtesy of NY Historical Society)

(Johanna Mayer - New York, NY - WNYC) Just in time for the holidays, the New York Historical Society is mounting the first museum exhibition of selections from perhaps the world's greatest model train collection.

Jerry and Nina Greene with the Jerni Model Train Collection. (photo courtesy of the NY Historical Society)

It took 50 years for private collectors Jerry and Nina Greene to put together their 35,000-piece Jerni collection, which the museum says spans from 1850 to 1940 and "is widely acknowledged as the world best." It bulges with intricately detailed and hand-painted toy trains, stations, bridges, and idyllic scenes from late 19th and early 20th century life.

Some of the models of European trains and stations have outlived their real-world counterparts, which were destroyed by bombs during the world wars.

(photo courtesy of NY Historical Society)

Frima Christopher recently came to the museum to see a different exhibit, but the elevated station caught her eye.  She leaned over a glass case and smiled. "I grew up in the Bronx with elevated trains being part of my childhood," she said. "And it was always a gateway to Manhattan or a gateway to the zoo, or someplace wonderful. And so, this is intriguing."

The exhibition will be on display through January 6th.

(photo courtesy of NY Historical Society)

 

Museum patron checking out the Jerni Model Train Collection. (photo by Johanna Mayer)

(photo courtesy of the NY Historical Society)

(photo courtesy of the NY Historical Society)

 (photo courtesy of the New York Historical Society)

(photo courtesy of the New York Historical Society)

 

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