The Train Man Returns to the Downtown Bend Library
Posted By: Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted: 12/3/2018
Michael “The Train Man” Lavrich returns to the Downtown Bend Library on December 20 to share his extensive collection of model trains. This marks Lavrich’s nineteenth year displaying his trains at the library, meaning children who first watched the trains run almost 20 years ago may now have children of their own with whom they share this family tradition.
Lavrich began collecting trains more than 20 years ago. While the public only sees the display once it’s all up and running, the set-up involves a lot of background work. “I pretty well dedicate December to this,” Lavrich says. “It’s a four day set-up and a four day take-down, and there are a few weeks on each end at home.”
People can watch the days of set-up condensed into a quick time-lapse video on the library’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/deschuteslibrary). Lavrich generously donates his time and collection to this beloved annual event.
All ages are invited to watch and listen as the trains run. Lavrich’s collection represents trains of the 1920s and ‘30s made by Lionel, Dorfan, Ives and American Flyer. Trains will run December 20-28, but running times vary by day:
- December 20, 21: 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.; 3:00–6:00 p.m.
- December 22, 23: noon–5:00 p.m.
- December 27, 28: 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.; 3:00–6:00 p.m.
Lavrich is a former kindergarten teacher who’s well aware of children’s fascination with trains. “They can sit there for hours, it’s amazing,” he says, “and they’re well behaved. I used to be a kindergarten teacher, so I love kids. When I see someone looking through the windows I can slow the train down, I can stop the train in front of someone that’s really interested”