Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains opens Nov. 2 at Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati’s favorite holiday tradition is back! Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains opens Friday, Nov. 2 for the second year in its new home at Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal.

The priceless holiday trains are on display inside the Cincinnati History Museum and have expanded Museum Center’s annual Holiday Junction exhibit as a favorite must-see display of the holiday season. Visitors experience a collection of model trains, including the timeless Duke Trains, zipping around a winter wonderland.

“It is a wonderful partnership that gives our historic trains a permanent home at Cincinnati Museum Center,” said Johnna Reeder, vice president of community relations for Duke Energy. “We are so pleased this has been, and will continue to be, a great place for people of all ages to see them for many holiday seasons to come.”

The Duke Energy Holiday Trains have been on display since 1946 and are one of the largest portable models in the world, measuring 36 ½ by 47 ½ feet long. The trains are authentic “O” gauge, meaning that a quarter inch on the model is equivalent to one foot on a real train. The rail cars, tracks and buildings are 1/48 actual size. During the holiday season, the trains will travel more than 100,000 scale miles!

New this year is an observation deck which overlooks the Duke Energy Holiday Train display for a fantastic view of the historic trains. Children will love seeing Thomas the Tank Engine and his friend Percy zipping around through the island of Sodor as the display’s new centerpiece.

Throughout the exhibit, you’ll see examples of popular “N” and “Z” scale layouts, a collection of Lionel trains and see an exact reproduction of the Lionel dealer display layout of the Super “O” Track, complete with interactive push buttons.

While grownups and kids enjoy the model trains together, children can escape to their own holiday wonderland as they ride through a magnificent winter scene on a special kid-size train. Tickets to climb aboard are $1 per child, per ride. CMC Members receive one free ride per visit for each Member child listed on the Membership.

Santa Claus will take time from his busy schedule at the North Pole to visit with children at Holiday Junction , while Pogie and Patter, the reindeer from the former Pogue’s Department Store, will be part of the exhibit. The newly expanded gift shop is filled with trains and other toys for gifts and stocking stuffers.

Duke Energy Customer one-time admission codes

Beginning in Oct., and available through Dec. 24, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky customers have been able to visit to print a personalized admission voucher, or if you do not have the ability to print the voucher, to simply retrieve a personalized confirmation code. In either case, the printed admissions voucher or the confirmation code must be presented at the Museum Center Box Office for exhibit tickets.

This unique admission voucher or confirmation code must be exchanged for exhibit tickets at Cincinnati Museum Center’s Box Office. The entry tickets will be good for same day, one time entry and is valid from Nov. 2- Dec. 24. The admission voucher or confirmation code is good for four free admissions (maximum two adults) to see Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains in the Cincinnati History Museum. The voucher and code have no cash value.

An All-Inclusive Holiday Experience

“The Duke Energy Holiday Train display is a vital part of Cincinnati’s history and one that delights families across the generations,” said Douglass W. McDonald, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “It is an honor for Museum Center to be the guardians and care takers of this key Cincinnati tradition. What makes this tradition that much stronger is that we can add to it our display of historic trains, the breathtaking OMNIMAX film Rocky Mountain Express and the palpable magic of Union Terminal.”

From the moment you step foot into Union Terminal, the magic of the holidays and the history of trains in our community will surround you – families, out-of-town guests and railroad enthusiasts alike. Not only will you experience the Duke Energy Holiday Trains and CMC’s trains, you’ll also see Toys Through Time and The Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar Series paintings as part of the exhibit. Exciting programming and energizing performances will contribute to the overall cheer of the holidays.

Toys Through Time

Upon entrance to the gallery space you’ll feel just like a kid again with your favorite games, toys and dolls on display in Toys Through Time. Recall your childhood holiday wish list with items such as a first edition Monopoly set and the historic Goldsmith dolls. Cincinnati’s own Carlisle & Finch trains are also on display and are considered the first true electric model trains. Adults will relive their childhood memories and children will make new ones with this exploration of fun from yesteryear.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar Series Paintings

Another highlight of the exhibit are historic paintings from the Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar Series. Between 1928 and 1958, five different artists were commissioned by the Pennsylvania Railroad to work on the calendar series. Two of those artists are represented here. One Hundred Years 1846 – 1946 was painted by Frank Reilly (born 1906), a well known editorial and advertising illustrator of the period, to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Pennsylvania Railroad. But, the majority of the paintings in the series are the work of one man – Grif Teller (born 1899). His paintings for the Pennsylvania Railroad calendars helped foster the company’s image as one of the nation’s most powerful, efficient and modern railroads. The paintings are on loan from the American Financial Group.

Additional Holiday Highlights at CMC

Rocky Mountain Express showing in the OMNIMAX Theater

Beautiful landscapes. Breathtaking vistas. Jaw-dropping chasms. Roaring river gorges. Our OMNIMAX film, Rocky Mountain Express , takes you back to the Age of Steam and highlights the adventure of building North America’s first transcontinental railway.

Show times: Monday – Thursday: 2 and 4 p.m.; Friday: 2, 4 and 6 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: Noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m.

Thanksgiving Crafts

Celebrate Thanksgiving by making place cards and quill pens for your Thanksgiving table.

Saturday, November 17 – Wednesday, November 21

Daily from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Santa’s Arrival & Tree Lighting

Join us for the arrival of Santa, Mrs. Claus, Holly Claus and Caboose the Elf, by carriage to Cincinnati Museum Center! Santa and a lucky family will light the Union Terminal Tree in the Rotunda, then Santa will head to Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains to start taking orders!

Friday, November 23

Santa Arrives: 11:50 a.m.

Tree lighting: Noon

Grandparents’ Weekend

December 8 & 9

Sponsored by Harold C. Schott Foundation

Francie & Tom Hiltz

Saturday, December 8

Pancakes with Santa

supporting partner Fifth Third Private Bank

A celebration for grandparents and grandchildren

Join us for a special brunch featuring a decorate-your-own pancake buffet, holiday carols from The Mistletones, family-friendly activities and photo opportunities with Santa Claus!

10 a.m. to Noon

$30 Adult, $15 Child, Children under 2 are free

Call (513) 287-7021 for reservations.

Sunday, December 9


Celebrate the holidays with the special young person in your life with HoliDate! Enjoy baked treats from Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, hot cocoa and a performance of excerpts from The Nutcracker by Cincinnati Ballet’s Otto M. Budig Academy! Take a journey through the land of the sweets with Spanish Coffee, Chinese Tea and Sugarplum fairies. This evening is sure to delight all ages and put you in the holiday mood!

6:30 p.m.

$12 Members, $15 Non-Members

Call (513) 287-7021 for reservations.

Winter Solstice: Festival of Lights

Join us as we celebrate and participate in hands-on activities about holidays from around the world such as Hanukkah, Diwali, Chinese New Year and more.

Friday, December 21

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The North Pole Pajama Party

Celebrate the holidays with us! Join us in your pajamas for hot cocoa, cookies, and of course, Santa! Visit Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains, participate in fun activities and crafts and enjoy a performance of The Gift of the Magi from The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati!

Friday, December 21

6:30 p.m.

$18 Members, $28 Non-Members

Call (513) 287-7021 for reservations.

Exhibit Hours

Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

December 24th 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

CMC is closed Nov. 24 and Dec. 25 for the holidays.

Don’t wait too long to experience the magic of the trains, last day for free exhibit entry with your Duke Energy voucher is December 24!

While the exhibit is also open to the public from Dec. 26 – Jan. 1, only CMC Members can enter at no cost. Admission to the CMC “All-Museums” ($12.50 adult/$8.50 child) or the Cincinnati History Museum ($8.50 adult/$6.50 child) includes free entry to Holiday Junction featuring the Duke Energy Holiday Trains.


About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration. As one of the top cultural attractions in the Midwest, Cincinnati Museum Center has served as an educational, research and entertainment resource to millions of visitors from around the world.

Organizations within Museum Center include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and the Cincinnati History Library. These organizations combine to serve more than one million visitors annually, reaching out to nearly 400,000 young people through hands-on exhibits and programs.

Because of its commitment of excellence to the community and the museum field, Museum Center proudly holds the distinction of being a recipient of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service and has also received accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 2012. Museum Center is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource.

Originally built in 1933 as a train station, Union Terminal stands as one of the last remaining grand-scale Art Deco style railroad terminals and has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. The building is a National Historic Landmark and was renovated and reopened as Cincinnati Museum Center in 1990. For information, call 1-800-733-2077 or visit