By Jennifer Glickel
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL — The ninth annual Grand Central Holiday Train Show opened Monday to the delight of children, parents, and grandparents alike.
The show, which is organized by the MTA's Transit Museum, consists of model Lionel trains that travel through a miniature Manhattan to the North Pole. The 34-foot long layout features NYC Transit subway cars that run alongside Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road, New York Central, and Pennsylvania Railroad cars.
"They're gorgeous, they're beautiful, and they're just so intricate," said Liza Calderon who visited Grand Central from Brooklyn.
Calderon, who brought her three- and five-year-old sons to check out the trains, said her kids are of an age at which they can really start to appreciate the model trains.
But children weren't the only ones capable of enjoying the display.
"You're never too old for this stuff," said 84-year-old Upper West Sider Leslie Kingon.
"I can't wait to get my hands on my four-year-old grandson and use him as an excuse to come down here and look at these,” he added with a chuckle. "I'd love to look into his eyes and see the excitement because it's the same excitement in my eyes."
For kids like Henry Telfer, 2, the excitement of seeing the trains will light up his eyes multiple times a week for each week the show runs through Jan. 17, 2011.
"We'll probably be here two or three times a week while the show's open," said Rachel Telfer, 38, of Wall Street. "Henry's fascinated by trains and this is a perfect place to bring him as a stay-at-home mom. We definitely had to come the first day it opened."
That the show is free was also a strong appeal for Telfer.
"When you're a one-income family, this is a wonderful free option and we'll wind up spending hours here at a time," Telfer added.
Adults like Long Island resident Bob Bohlert, 41, said that the train show evoked strong childhood memories for him.
"We used to have train sets every year when I was a kid, so that's what made me actually come in and look at it," said Bohlert, who works across the street from Grand Central.