December 4, 2013

'Polar Express' to pull into Chatsworth Depot

Misty Watson

— “The Polar Express” has become a modern classic story for children at Christmastime. Several cities host Polar Express-themed events to celebrate the holiday season, and Chatsworth is no exception.

The Chatsworth Train Depot, on First Avenue, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday with model trains and Christmas trees on display. Admission is $2. Proceeds benefit the depot, a property of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society. The event is co-sponsored by the historical society and the Chatsworth-Murray County Library.

A reading of the book “The Polar Express,” about a boy who rides the Polar Express to the North Pole where he’s given the first gift of the year by Santa, will be at 3 p.m. by educator Toby Westmoreland.

Refreshments will be served and children will receive a gift and a book.

The event is prior to the Christmas parade in Chatsworth, which begins at 6 p.m. on Third Avenue.

“We hope everyone comes out and the (parade) doesn’t get rained out,” said Dianne Davis, an organizer. “We’ll be there regardless. … We have all kinds of little things going on. We wanted to have something before the parade for kids to do.”

Model trains will be displayed by enthusiast Ted Yarbrough, and the depot will be decorated with several different types of trees, including an old aluminum with a color wheel, Davis said.

Last year, the model trains were set up at the library, but organizers expanded the event and hope to have more in attendance.

“We decided to do the trains at the depot to let everybody see how good it looks,” Davis said.

The depot includes a talc and railroad museum. Both were important to Chatsworth’s history, and the museum will be open on Saturday. The property also includes a caboose that historical society members are hoping to see restored.

The caboose had been opened to the public, but because of a leaky roof that caused floor damage it had to be closed again. Funds from Saturday’s event will be used to help restore the caboose, Davis said.

“I think we have the money for a new roof,” she said. “After the roof is finished we can start on the inside, new floor and some windows will have to be replaced.”

Plans include landscaping around the caboose, as well.