Train set up to celebrate Halloween |

Train set up to celebrate Halloween

Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer
Rick GunnJohn Amantea shows his model train set in front of his house at 2162 Courtside Circle. He is prepared for nearly 1,000 children to trick-or-treat -- and check out his trains -- tonight.

John Amantea never had any children. But on Halloween that doesn’t matter.

“If the good Lord never gave me any kids, at least I can enjoy somebody else’s,” he said.

Each year since he moved to Carson City six years ago he has decorated his yard and home to celebrate the holiday and stocks up on candy for the trick-or-treaters.

This year, he’s going full steam. In what he called a “labor of love,” he built about 40 feet of paneling around his porch and laid down tracks for three trains.

One is a replica of the V&T Railroad. Model homes around the tracks depict Carson City with a model of the fire department and the Carson City Depot.

Other scenes are also set up from Virginia City and Lake Tahoe as well as a fort labeled Mormon Station.

“I want to give the kids a little bit of education while they’re enjoying the trains,” he said.

He added an editorial comment by labeling an outhouse as Truckee, Calif.

“It shows what I think about California,” he laughed, although he is a native of the state.

Raised in San Francisco, he moved to Carson City from San Jose after retiring from a 30-year career with Sears.

Last year, he estimates he had about 250 children come by looking for candy on Halloween. This year, he’s planning for more than 900.

He said all children are welcome, even the grown up ones.

“I think inside of every adult is a child,” he said. “You don’t have to be a child to enjoy the trains.”

He plans to dissemble the track the day after Halloween then put it back together for a presentation to a tour of hobbyists at his home Nov. 16. He will run the trains through Christmas along with a Santa cable car filled with elves.


What: John Amantea’s train display

When: Tonight, and Nov. 16 through Christmas

Where: 2162 Courtside Circle in Silver Oaks subdivision