The train project was started in 2006 with a donation from the Tyler Rotary Foundation to begin building a special Train project for Special Needs children and adults. For over two years, Billy Hibbs, Jr., and his “Lucky Den 13″ Cub Scouts worked on this project. The garage at the Arc was transformed and remodeled to receive this project and is now called the Train Room.
This project contains a little village and many moveable buildings and people in the buildings and three trains that run at the same time. Everything is controlled by a button for the children to push and there is a Plexiglas shield surrounding the train set to allow the children and adults to see everything without having to touch the project. There is also a specially made display shelf that houses many of the engines of past trains as well as a TV and videos of the history fo trains. This Train Project has been very popular with the entire community of Tyler and Smith County.
The Arc has invited many groups to come by providing lunch and ice cream for all the children that come to play with the trains and every year in December the Arc invites the media and the community to come by to see this Train and hear the story of how it began.
The best result form this project however, is to have witnessed the pride and happiness in these children from “Lucky Den 13″ when they donated this to the Arc upon completion and seeing the excitement and happiness in the eyes of all of the special needs children who came over to play with it that special day in December. This was truly a work of love on behalf of these Cub Scout boys and their families and their leader Billy Hibbs, Jr. The train remains a very popular item at the Arc.
There were three functions that the train would serve according to Mr. Hibbs, Jr. First, as entertainment, second as a reward for those who have completed life skills training; and third, to entertain siblings while a special needs brother or sister is utilizing the services of the Arc.
These functions have been met as the children and adults of our community have come to the Arc to play with the Train and interact with our special needs citizens.
NOTE: The train project has been moved to The Discovery Science Place. This move was made when the Arc of Smith County changed locations and had no room to move the train project too. The Discovery Science Place has graciously offered to host the train at their facility. For more information on visiting the train call the Arc office at 903-597-0995.