GIBSONVILLE — All aboard! The miniature Gibsonville Garden Railroad departs for its new season when it begins running again 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
The outdoor G-guage model train layout is on the town green between Main and Burke streets. It is the largest garden model railroad in the state.
Bobby Summers, who was a retired freight operator for Southern Railway and model train hobbyist, laid the first tracks for the railroad in 1996. Over the years, the layout grew in size and now features a variety of vintage, modern and historic model trains — including a Thomas the Tank — operating on 16 tracks covering 2,400 linear feet of layout. Highlights of the layout include a replica of Gibsonville circa 1855 with a working trolley and a replica of the town's gold mine.
After Summers died, Neil Bromilow took over as president of the layout.
New to the attraction this year is a 35-foot children's play station built in the likeness of a train by Amish word working company. It was shipped from Pennsylvania and will be dedicated to Summers.
Bromilow, Summers' widow Peggy and Gibsonville Mayor Leonard Williams will dedicate the new season at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The Garden Railroad operates on the mornings of the first and third Saturday of each month through December and during the Fall festival and Lighting of the Greens events.
For information, visit the Gibsonville Garden Railroad page on Facebook.