Ken Designs a Unique Train Tree Layout with Kids

Kitchen Design

Ken Designs a Unique Christmas Train Tree Layout with Lionel, LGB, Thomas the Tank & Department 56.

This year an elf named Ken Kelly designed this unbelievable, unique multilayer Christmas train tree and village display in his workshop with a few elves (i.e. our kids). He also informed me he has been collecting a holiday box car each year since the year we met. The man is full of surprises. The first layer features the large G-scale LGB Circus Train and Playmobil’s Circus Tent designed by our youngest. The second layer is a Lionel Big Boy engine pulling Lionel’s Christmas box cars –one for each year we know each other. Next holiday, our son has already informed us he wants to design the second layer tier dedicated to skiing, and he and his sisters want to rework the wiring down the center pole. It’s a Kelly family affair that keeps us busy on December weekends.

What you see here on the inner loop is a Thomas the Tank engine with Annie and Clarabel train cars. On the third layer, we have Lionel Christmas box cars. There are two inner loops on this layer as well that our kids designed. One features a clown speeder car and one features the Santa and Snowman handcar. On the fourth level is Ken’s original 1957 Lionel train set given to him by his grandfather.

The fifth tier houses Lionel’s pink girl’s train set. The sixth tier is a Lionel Steel coal train set (just in case someone’s naughty). The seventh tier is Lionel’s version of Thomas the Tank from the giant circus collection. At the very top is the eighth tier, which has an HO Christmas engine and features Department 56 Santa’s North Pole.

The entire tree is constructed of plywood circles supported by PVC pipe. The inner pipe is a conduit for all the electric for both the trains and the houses. It took 7 different transformers to run all the different trains. The village details are quite personalized. We have models of the very first cars we owned, the hotel we stayed at on our honeymoon, and gifts we received through the years. All in all, it is magical!


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