DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a 30-year tradition in North Texas: The Trains at NorthPark bring out generations of families each holiday season, for a good cause.
For many years now, you’ll find Roger Farkash behind the scenes keeping the magic on track.
“The earliest photographs we have of myself and my sisters at Christmas time have trains in them,” Farkash remembers.
He recalls the magic of his own childhood Christmas. “I think that the majority of people who get into trains do it at Christmas time. It becomes a gift under the tree.”
Farkash never lost that connection. His company, TW Trainworx, configures the layout and flow of The Trains at NorthPark each winter.
“There’s an entire team that works on the back side,” he says.
Everyone makes sure the more than 400 electric train cars are ready to roll once guests step inside.
“When the doors open and the kids come in… there’s nothing like it really,” Farkash says.
It’s a monumental operation that takes months of planning ahead of the holidays.
The Trains at NorthPark also supports a worthy cause: helping to raise more than $13 million for the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.
Last year’s event helped provide more than 4,000 overnight stays for families with children receiving essential medical care at North Texas area hospitals.
This year’s Kid Conductor is Gil McKoin, who stayed at RMHD after receiving a heart transplant at Children’s Medical Center this fall. Gil helped cut the ribbon on opening day for this year’s exhibit.
“People tend to think of trains as these massive, big machines that move people and product, but here we move children’s emotions,” Farkash says.
The Trains at NorthPark is located on Level 2 at the mall, between Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. The exhibit is open every day through January 6, and is closed on Christmas Day.
Tickets are $4 for children ages 2-12 and seniors over 65. Adults are $7 and children under 2 are free.
Click here to support this holiday tradition, get ticket and volunteering information, or to purchase a sponsorship railcar.