Learn about Milltown’s place in railroad history at the upcoming holiday toy train show and Raritan River Railroad memorabilia display on Saturday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Milltown Senior Center.
This great family event will spark your holiday spirit as it features a spectacular winter wonderland with many operating toy train layouts, a vintage Victorian sleigh, a replica model of the Raritan River Railroad station built by Ken Durrua of Point Pleasant, and Santa showing his support for preserving the train station.
Many are wondering where things stand for the fate of this little station, and if it wasn’t for some very dedicated volunteers like Jim Reid, owner of Frosty Automotive, who knows where we would be today. He has done everything humanly possible to work toward moving and preserving this historic (and pretty cool) structure. From providing most of the toy trains, building a new custom layout for each show, donating door prizes, and contacting Santa to invite him to the show, to just being a great supporter of needs and causes in Milltown.
For over two years many volunteers have worked to raise money and protect the last remaining station on the RRRR line. Plans are in place for it to get a new home just across the tracks where it stands today. Once moved it will serve as a Railroad Museum with a focus on the Raritan River Railroad. The Milltown Historical Society and the Raritan River Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society is committed to this endeavor with their resources, manpower and knowledge of railroad history.
The current owner, Jim Curran has protected it from demolition until it can permanently preserved on Middlesex County Open Space land and operated by the Milltown Historical Society. This area was once the location of the Kuhlthau Coal Company, which had a siding serviced by the Raritan River Railroad. Approvals from the borough of Milltown and Middlesex County are already in place.
Santa will arrive at noon and stay until 2 p.m. There will also be refreshments, music, many photo opportunities, and renowned experts on the history of the Raritan River Railroad.
The cost is $5 per person, kids under 3 feet tall are free. The Milltown Senior Center is located at 60 Violet Terrace.
The event also will be a chance to collect heavy duty garbage bags, paper towels, mops, brooms, and any kind of cleaning supplies people want to give, along with buckets, sponges, etc. The donations will be used for people displaced by Hurricane Sandy.
--The Miltown Historic Society.