|Mark Carroll (seated) and Lauren Abele|
put the finishing touches on
this years train display.
"I sent a letter to the company that manages South Station last year saying that I could do a whole lot better than what they had been displaying" says Carroll, "Now here I am!"
During his youth Carroll spent six years working in a hobby emporium and train shop, now out of business, on Tremont Street in Downtown Boston. He says that working in that shop fostered his love for model trains. Today, in his free time, Carroll fixes and paints model trains to depict area rail roads.
The model train show at South Station has been around for many years, but this is one of the first times it is being fully redesigned. Carroll said that none of this could have happened without the help of South Stations' property manager Biederman Redevelopment Ventures (BRV). He says that both Ted Furst and Matt Coogan, both of BRV, "took a risk" on letting him design the new train display. "He (Ted) has been the best art director I have ever worked with" says Carroll, "I had a vision that was locked in my head and he helped me get it into this display."
Carroll also had a number of current and former Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) students helping him out on this project. Most of the scenery work was designed and built by Lauren Abele and Joseph Taylor who are both in the Visual and Media Arts program at BHCC. A few international students were also kind enough to lend a hand; Kidanun Nye who is from Thailand, Jainci Liang from China, and Ilana Tal from Israel.
"I've spent the past six nights sleeping here (South Station) in the basement" says Carroll, "this project has taken a lot of time but it is truly worth it"
Funding for the display has come from sponsorships by a number of area companies. Some of this years sponsors include the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail (MBCR), Boston's Children's Museum, Go Charge, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, and Durgin-Park Restaurant. Carroll says that sponsors will either get a rail car or part of the scenery painted with their logo, depending on how much money their sponsorship was for.
The display will officially be completed tomorrow and will run until January 13th. The display features "O"gauge model trains that are painted to represent the MBTA, MBCR, and Boston and Maine Railroad. The tracks are surrounded by a 1950's village, luscious mountains, and a large harbor.
Carroll's love for design and his attention to detail really shine in his display at South Station. "I just turned 50 and I could just be sitting at home watching television, but instead I'm out here doing the best job in the world" says Carroll, "I couldn't be happier."