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Retired teacher spends holidays running model train display

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. – Each December, a model train enthusiast keeps busy with a model train display to bring some holiday cheer to children and families. Dan Goins has operated and maintained the display at KeyBank for 27 years.

Goins is part of the Morgan County Model Railroad Association. He and others from the group get in the bank every year a couple days before Thanksgiving to setup the trains, tracks and the surrounding scenes.

"They come and help me set it all up," Goins said. "It takes about three hours."

After the setup, the display is available to anyone who wants to check it out while the bank is open. The display will be taken down on Tuesday, January 8.

Goins is there almost the entire time.

"I live in this bank lobby," Goins said. "Only thing missing is I don’t have a cot."

Goins is there each day to make sure the tracks are running properly and to keep things looking nice.

He gets plenty of visitors each winter.

"I see people year after year after year," said Goins. "I watch them grow up, too."

On Friday, Goins had nearly 20 visitors from Tabernacle Christian School. Third and fourth graders stopped by to see the display and look for the hidden sasquatch. Goins said it’s moved every day.

Goins, who is now 76, doesn't know when he'll stop but the joy the trains bring visitors each year is making the work worthwhile.

"It just takes an enormous amount of patience to do this," Goins said.

Each year, the display will see little changes. In recent years, it’s added to an amusement park with a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel and bumper cars.

Goins spent time as a teacher in Delaware County before retiring as a teacher at schools in Martinsville.