Brothers donate train set to Wheelchair Engineers
BLOOMSBURG - Two brothers who want to see children smile have donated a special collector's item to the Wheelchair Engineers model-train program at the Columbia Mall.
Francis Hall, of Montour Township, and Russell Hall, of Williamsport, added a limited-edition electric train made in the 1990s for Dillon Floral Corp. to commemorate the company's 125th anniversary. Dillon numbered railroad cars for the train and issued them as collector's items.
"We bought two of these trains and added cars over the years," Francis Hall said. "I worked at Dillon's for a while. At this point in our lives, we'd like to make sure that the train continues to make people happy, and we've given it to Wheelchair Engineers."
The brothers are retired.
The O-Gauge train will run every Monday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. among the dozens of O-Gauge, American Flyer, and HO trains that children and adults can play with on the free Wheelchair Engineers display, now in its fourth year at the mall.
"We're glad to get this beautiful train, with its significance as a collector's item and its connection to the Dillon company," said Bob Bomboy, who operates two free public model-train programs with his volunteer partners at the mall and on Saturdays in Danville. "Everything we have is donated."
Francis Hall pointed out that the train's green cars were made by Weaver Quality Craft Models in Northumberland. "They have pictures of Dillon facilities on them," he added.
The handsome MTH locomotive puffing smoke has a pink Dillon rose on its tender. The train also has a boxcar, a tank car and a caboose.
The Wheelchair Engineers model-train layout is handicapped-accessible. On the main layout, two trains run past animated accessories such as milk, cattle and log-unloading cars. Visitors can use push-buttons to make a helicopter take off and see beacon lights, crossing gates and a watchman with a lantern.