The fundraiser is allowing people to enjoy their love of railroading in special way.
"The purpose of the West Virginia railroad museum is to tell railroading in West Virginia. A lot of things and a lot of towns in West Virginia were developed because of the railroad," said Denver Barnett.
Educating visitors and the community about West Virginia's railroad history has been the museum's mission. Every year during The Polar Express rides in Elkins, the museum raffles off a train layout. This is its third year, and the three rail Christmas train layout includes scenery, all the wiring, and the train.
Proceeds from the raffle, along with grant funding and donations will help complete the restoration of a 1906 steam locomotive. Barnett said the steam engine served on the Preston Railroad before its retirement in the 1960's. Parts of the locomotive are currently being restored in different cities in West Virginia and Maryland. The museum's goal is to rebuild and have it running in the next couple of years.
"One of the reasons we want to get it restored is to run it on the tracks here under the scenic railroad that's already here. We have a very good relationship with them, and we plan on running it on the tracks here," Barnett said.
Tying together the fundraiser with projects the museum is working on brings a connection with our past.
"A lot of us when we were kids had these three rail Lionel type layouts, and we're trying to remind people of that. The real amazing thing when little kids come in here 4, 5, 6 or 7 years old, and see this layout. Sometimes the parents have a tough time getting the kids away from the layout so they can get on the train," Barnett said.
The drawing will be held Sunday, Dec 15 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are still available. The layout is currently on display at the Elkins Depot. If the layout doesn't fit in your home, you have the option of taking $500. Second prize will be a Backman HO Train Set, and Third Prize will be a limited edition railroad art print.
Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and you need not be present to win. Call 304-636-2903 for more information.