Mount Holly man’s Yuletide train brings joy to Christmas show

by Alan Hodge

Mount Holly resident Brian Green shows off his 1:87 HO scale train at the Southern Christmas Show last month. (Bill Ward/MIM photo)

When Brian Greene of Mount Holly put his scale model Yuletide train on the Metrolina Model Railroad Club’s track setup at the recent Southern Christmas Show in Charlotte, the whole place lit up with smiles.

A labor of love of all things Christmas, Greene’s 1:87 HO scale train consists of a Tyco locomotive and 10 cars that he turned into what he calls “pure fantasy”.

“It took me about 40 hours spread over three months to build and decorate the train,” Greene said.

Greene’s train is done up in an imaginative and spectacular fashion. The locomotive is encrusted in royal blue glitter, and the cars are also covered in green, red, and blue sparkles. One of the cars features miniature packages wrapped in gold and silver foil.

“I call that my good boys and girls car,” Greene said.

Other cars in Greene’s train haul toys, drums, Christmas trees, angel, and of course, Santa Claus.

The glitter and miniature figures on Greene’s model train are impressive, but what really sets it apart is the lighting.

“There are 36 LED lights on each car,” Greene said. “The lights took it to a whole other level.”

According to Greene, this is his third year volunteering with the Metrolina Model Railroad Club’s Southern Christmas Show display.

“Next year I’m going to add flashing lights and a Nativity scene,” he said.

Greene estimates that during the course of the Southern Christmas Show’s 10-day run from November 8-18, around 35,000 folks took turns watching his model trail and others ply the 250 feet of track in the Metrolina Model Railroad Club’s room.

Greene says he was inspired to build his model Christmas train after seeing a life-size train decorated for the holidays in Indiana.

“It was called the Santa Claus Express,” he said.

A YouTube video that Greene filmed during the Southern Christmas Show captures the looks of sheer wonder and joy that both children and adults express seeing his train in action and with the LED lights glowing.

“It was worth it just to see the faces of the children,” Greene said. “It’s hard to get kids excited these days, but I think my train did.”

Want to see the train in action?

To see a video of Greene’s train in action, go online to

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