7 decades of train collecting on display at St. Joe’s in O’Hara |
Fox Chapel

7 decades of train collecting on display at St. Joe’s in O’Hara

Tawnya Panizzi
Jerry Werries sets up a public train display at St. Joe’s Parish in O’Hara.

Four vintage American Flyers chug slowly past a 1950s-model supermarket in the St. Joe’s Parish social hall in O’Hara, while a replica of the Mr. Rogers trolley cruises by a plastic Three Rivers Stadium.

The detailed scenes are part of a public train display opening on Nov. 24 at the church campus along Dorseyville Road.

Hours will be noon to 3 p.m. through Jan. 6. Admission is free but a goodwill collection will benefit a homeless shelter.

Train enthusiasts can enjoy the vast collection of Plasticville villages and Tyco miniature rail cars thanks to the efforts of township resident Jerry Werries, who is eager to share his lifelong passion with others.

The holiday display constructed on nine 4-by-8 platform boards is stretched across St. Cecilia Hall in the rear of the church building. Each of the tiny street scenes were hand painted. Trees made of colorful steel wool dot the landscape.

Werries’ prized engine — a 1951 Sante Fe Diesel — will be on display. The collection is so substantial that Werries has only pulled it from his home on a few occasions.

“When the trains start going and smell like smoke, it’s like Christmas morning,” Director Jack Shaw said.

“We have free hot chocolate and cookies, and it’s something for adults and kids alike.”

There will also be informational storyboards with historical facts about the American Flyer Trains and Model Train history in the U.S.

Thanksgiving weekend only, there will be a model train and village estate sale. More than 3,000 pieces will be up for grabs. Proceeds will help with medical expenses of the anonymous donor. Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 24 and noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 25.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, [email protected] or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.