CROSS LANES, W.Va. -- Things are rolling at the home of the Rev. Gary Nelson, where 10 trains travel a layout covering an area of 5 by 16 feet.
There are numerous miniature accessories, and flipping various switches can cause all kinds of commotion such as steam coming from an engine or skaters gliding across a pond.
While visitors are welcome to see the elaborate layout, there is one rule.
"This is not a train collection," Nelson said. "These trains are to be played with. This is kid friendly."
Nelson is the pastor of Cross Lanes United Methodist Church, 5320 Frontier Drive, where buses will be available on the half hour from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 23 to provide transportation to his Nitro home for a Christmas open house.
While folks may enjoy the trains during this event, they are not just set up for Christmas.
"This is permanent," Nelson said. "I've been working on this for months. Every time we move, it gets taken apart and put back together. Since the 1970s, the display has been to West Virginia, Massachusetts, Virginia and back to West Virginia."
The trains have been taken along from one appointment to the next as he serves various churches and makes room in each new parsonage for the display. He arrived here in June, just before the fierce derecho, and officially began his post at Cross Lanes United Methodist in July.
The display changes from time to time with pieces added or new switches installed so there are more for kids to operate. Nelson is currently seeking more detailed landscaping.
Some cars date back to his childhood.
"I got my first train when I was 6 and now I'm 57," Nelson said. "This is the Lionel my parents got me. This was my wife's train when she was a little girl. She only had sisters and no brothers. Her parents got her an American Flyer."
Some cars from these sets are currently running along the tracks.
As Nelson was growing up, there was a time he decided he had outgrown trains and gave his set to a neighbor.