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John Todd keeps an eye on a replica of Mount Saint Helen’s at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Model Railroad Garden exhibit, which opened Saturday, May 9. Photos by Jill Dunbar/22nd Century Media
Model Railroad Garden engineer John Ciszek (left) shows 2-year-old Ronan Polowy his favorite train during the exhibit’s opening day.
John Todd (left), of Deerfield, educates young visitors, 4-year-old twin brothers William (middle) and Michael Sanko (right), of Evanston.
One of the trains roars around a bend past a model house.
As the garden celebrates its 125th anniversary, steam engines featured in the exhibit, used in trains and steamboats like this one, represent the 1890s.
Hilary Anderson, Freelance Reporter
5:06 pm CDT May 11, 2015

Dave Rodelius admits to being an overgrown kid, and he’s proud of it. 

So are John Ciszek, Jack Myers and Dick Jacobs. They are among the more than 80 model railroad buffs who now serve as engineers and volunteers for the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Model Railroad Garden Landmarks of America exhibit that opened for the season on Saturday, May 9, and continues through Oct. 25.

Rodelius is beginning his 16th season as chief engineer of the exhibit. The Model Railroad Garden began in 2000.