Alpharetta man's Christmas train village an enduring tradition - CBS46 News

After 50 years, Alpharetta man's Christmas train village an enduring tradition

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ALPHARETTA, GA (CBS46) -

Richard Thoreson said he fell in love with the Lionel Train when his father gave him one at Christmas, in 1946. Thoreson was five years old. Now 72, his love for Lionel trains has manifested into a massive train village beneath the Christmas tree.

"Each year, we added on more, and more, and more, and now it's out of control," said Thoreson. "I've probably got about 110 cars, 11 engines, and as far all the little pieces here, I don't know, 7,000, 8,000 pieces?"

As the train village grew, Thoreson began receiving visitors in his home to see the show. He says he never advertised for it, but people came anyway.

"Hundreds," he said. "I've never really counted. Sometimes we have 17 people in (the living room) at one time."

"Fifty years of doing this, and then having trains when I was five years old, I can't imagine a Christmas not having a train in my life."

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