The Enchanted Railroad Pulls Into The Morton Arboretum this January

Intricate miniature model railroad wind through magnificent scenery at child-friendly heights
The Enchanted Railroad is open from January 18 to February 24.
December 20, 2018

The popular Enchanted Railroad returns to The Morton Arboretum this winter with a theme that celebrates trees and nature. Opening January 18, the 17th annual event will feature a large-scale platform complete with two levels—ideal for even the smallest visitors to enjoy—and 12 toy trains, including miniature replicas of Metra and Amtrak trains.

Highlights of the 2019 Enchanted Railroad include:

  • Mini versions of the Arboretum’s many tree collections: Kids can look for Japanese flowering cherry trees and trees in bright fall color. Additionally, the display showcases the work of the Arboretum. A small-scale greenhouse represents the plant production that takes place on its grounds. Elsewhere, an arborist works high in the canopy of a tree. 
  • Miniatures highlighting many of the Arboretum’s events: As visitors circle the platform, they can look for the racing sled dogs of Husky Heroes, January 26 and 27. Other vignettes highlight the tiny pumpkins of the Glass Pumpkin Patch, or the Chinese pagoda and European-style cottage, which call to mind cultural festivals that take place in the summer and early fall.
  • Interactive elements: Buttons along the edge of the display  cause a train horn to sound or propel Thomas the Tank Engine forward along the tracks.

“The Enchanted Railroad is one of our most popular wintertime events, as kids and families take in all the intricate details in the huge display, highlighting events and activities that takes place at the Arboretum throughout the seasons,” said Mary D’Amico, special events coordinator at The Morton Arboretum.

The Enchanted Railroad is assembled and run in partnership with the LGB Model Railroad Club of Chicago.

The Arboretum is offering sensory-friendly times and dates for those children who may be overstimulated by all of the sights and sounds of the Enchanted Railroad. Learn more about these accommodations and special times.

The Enchanted Railroad is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends through February 24, and is free with the price of admission. Visitors can pick up timed tickets at the Visitor Center Information Desk.

The Morton Arboretum thanks DuPage Medical Group for its sponsorship of the Enchanted Railroad.