Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
John Jennings, 9, checks out the trains Dec. 16 in the municipal building. Jennings observed Dick Lobach, an advisor to Explorer Post 101, as he set the long line of cars and train engines on one of the tracks. Throughout the year, the Explorer Scouts work on layout changes, make improvements and maintain the tracks and trains in preparation for the annual open house during the holidays. John Jennings, 9, checks out the trains Dec. 16 in the municipal building. Jennings observed Dick Lobach, an advisor to Explorer Post 101, as he set the long line of cars and train engines on one of the tracks. Throughout the year, the Explorer Scouts work on layout changes, make improvements and maintain the tracks and trains in preparation for the annual open house during the holidays.
PRESS PHOTOS BY AL RECKER Dick Lobach, an advisor to Explorer Post 101, readies an engine and cars for a ride on the rails at the Coplay Borough municipal building. Lobach is an advisor to a group of Boy Scouts who have set up the HO model train display since 2001. For more information, see the Coplay column on page 6. PRESS PHOTOS BY AL RECKER Dick Lobach, an advisor to Explorer Post 101, readies an engine and cars for a ride on the rails at the Coplay Borough municipal building. Lobach is an advisor to a group of Boy Scouts who have set up the HO model train display since 2001. For more information, see the Coplay column on page 6.
A train rounds a corner on one of the tracks at the exhibit, located on the second floor of the Coplay Borough municipal building at Fourth and Center streets. A train rounds a corner on one of the tracks at the exhibit, located on the second floor of the Coplay Borough municipal building at Fourth and Center streets.

Coplay column

Thursday, December 20, 2012 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Columns

Holiday train display open at borough hall

An under-the-radar train display which receives little or no media attention during the Christmas holidays is housed on the second floor of the Coplay Borough hall, located at Fourth and Center streets.

The only indication there are trains located on the upper floor in a former classroom of the old Coplay High School is a yellow and black railroad crossing sign.

But once children climb the steps to the second floor, they can hear the whirl of several trains gliding down the tracks.

The exhibit is an Explorer Scout project that is staffed by advisors whose passion for trains goes back decades, to when they were kids. The trains with their cargo travel under trestles, through train yards and past villages with mountains on the sides. Local scenes are replicated, including a realistic work of the movie theater in Emmaus.

Weekend afternoons during the holidays are the best time to visit the railroad exhibit. There is no waiting for long lines of people ahead of you and the display is free.

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The white powder can't come soon enough for children. Not only are the they looking for some time off from school, but also they are eager to go sledding.

Perhaps the term "sled" is a bit outdated since most equipment now used to glide or race down a snow-covered hill is made of plastic.

The hill on the west side of the Coplay Parkway is the place to be, once snow falls, for everyone from little children with moms and dads in tow to teens.

The borough also has a tradition for ice skaters. In the 1960s, Coplay Recreation and Welfare had an ice skating plot on what now is the tot lot, behind the borough hall and across from the St. Peter's property. Large steel drums with wood burning fires kept skaters warm. Association volunteers were also on hand to serve hot chocolate.

Then in the 1970s, after Koplay Keystone Kops erected the parkway pavilion, the group laid down heavy plastic on the concrete floor and large wooden poles on its sides as water from the fire company truck slowly filled the rink. The project continued for a couple of years.