Keeping the ‘train around the tree’ tradition alive


SOUTH SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — For many families, the train around the Christmas tree is part of the holiday tradition.

“I’ve always been kind of a hands-on kind of guy, tinkering. And I went to college for electronics. Started fixing trains because there isn’t anybody around who does it anymore. So, I was traveling to reading, Philly, to new york to get things fixed. And ah, decided to try and do it myself,” said Bill Boock, Bucky’s Toy Train Back Shop.

Boock tells Eyewitness News, most are repairable, and parts are available.

“Any trains built back in the 20s, 30s, 40s, are still around today. This one is an example of it (Lionel Sante Fe). It is a very popular Lionel model from the late 40s. It is a testament to American-made products. They are very well built, very well constructed. I have a wall of parts here. Just wearable parts, brushes and springs, and anything that wears through time. A little cleaning and a couple of replacement parts, and they’ll run as good as they did when they rolled off the shelf in the factory,” said Boock.

This is Boock’s busiest time of the year.

“All the way up to February will be the bulk of my workload. And especially the three-four weeks before Christmas,” Boock said. “Trains and Christmas always seem to work hand in hand and they have a connection to family and good warm Christmas memories.”

A common refrain from customers is “I just want to have dad’s train running.”

“They want to see it run. They want to have that reconnection. These were very expensive it’s back in the day. And they only came out they were special. They only came out at Christmas. They went back in their box for the next eleven months. And they definitely carry some memories along with them. So people can reconnect in some ways with their father, their grandfather,” said Boock.

You can check out Bill’s Facebook page Bucky’s Toy Train Back Shop and as he said this is the busiest time of the year.

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