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Toy train sets have been under the Christmas tree for more than a century

A Polar Express train car is seen at the grand opening of the Mohawk Valley Railroad Company on Hamburg Street in Schenectady in this file photo.
A Polar Express train car is seen at the grand opening of the Mohawk Valley Railroad Company on Hamburg Street in Schenectady in this file photo.
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Santa Claus’ mode of transportation has traditionally been a reindeer-powered sleigh, but somewhere along the way, toy trains chugged their way into Christmas tradition.

For about a century, they have clacked around tracks that orbit Christmas tree trunks, to the delight of kids and adults alike.

The connection between Christmas and choo-choos started with the Lionel Train company in the early 1900s, according to Tripper Stiles, an employee at Mohawk Valley Railroad Co. in ...

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