Museum Info

Monday – Saturday:
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Noon – 5 p.m.

500 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

News Release: Indy favorite holiday tradition Jingle Rails returns to Eiteljorg Museum for 10th year

Captivating model railroad adventure opens Nov. 23, recreates IMS; open late hours

Photo courtesy of Zach Dobson

INDIANAPOLIS – Visiting the holiday-season model railroad display at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art has become an annual tradition for many families. Back for its 10th year, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure returns to the Eiteljorg Nov. 23 with some never-before-seen dioramas that will delight visitors. Fifth Third Bank is Jingle Rails’ presenting sponsor.

Jingle Rails is a fascinating network of nine G-scale model electric trains that ramble over and through bridges, trestles and tunnels, rolling past iconic scenes and landmarks of the American West and the skyline of Downtown Indianapolis. In this year’s Jingle Rails display, favorite miniature recreations are back, including Monument Circle, Lucas Oil Stadium as well as the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge and more, creatively built out of all-natural materials and decorated with holiday lighting.

A major new feature at this year’s Jingle Rails is an artistic representation of one of Indy’s best-known landmarks: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The display recreates the iconic IMS oval (with two fanciful Indy cars racing around the track), the Pagoda, scoring pylon, flag stand, grandstands and the Yard of Bricks finish line with the Goodyear Blimp flying overhead, accentuated by authentic race day sound effects.

Photo courtesy of Zach Dobson

Other new eye-catching elements in the model train layout are the historic Spanish Colonial missions of the Southwest, including the Alamo, the San Francisco de Asis Mission and several others. Those scenes and all the dioramas that make the Jingle Rails model railroad so charming are wonders of botanical architecture — crafted out of pine cones, tree bark, leaves, acorns, seed pods and honeycomb. The backdrops, trestles and model train layout are designed and built by the talented staff of Applied Imagination of Alexandria, Ky., founded by Paul Busse.

“Visitors to the Eiteljorg Museum are consistently amazed and amused by the whimsical model train itinerary at Jingle Rails each year,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “Grandparents and grandchildren and generations in between will want to experience Jingle Rails during the holiday season, enjoy the imaginative model train journey and create new family holiday memories,” he said.

New presenting sponsor Fifth Third Bank also will have its Downtown Indianapolis building recreated in botanical model form in this year’s Jingle Rails layout. Other Jingle Rails sponsors are Katz Sapper & Miller, One America, the Indianapolis Colts, the Kortepeter family, the Sunrise Foundation, the Butler Family Foundation, L.G. and Alyce Edwards and an anonymous donor.

So that more families can experience Jingle Rails, the Eiteljorg Museum will be open late, until 8 p.m., on Mondays in December: Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30.  A team of volunteer guides, including model-train enthusiasts, staff the Jingle Rails display and answer visitors’ questions.

Jingle Rails is not just one of Indianapolis’ most popular holiday attractions, it also is one of the most affordable. It’s included with regular Eiteljorg Museum admission, and children ages 4 and under are free. Adults are $15, and advance discount tickets can be purchased at and are valid through the entire duration of Jingle Rails, which continues through Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20. Other discounts can apply; check the museum website for details.

The nationally recognized team at Applied Imagination that created Jingle Rails has built similar botanical architecture displays for the New York Botanical Garden and United States Botanic Garden in Washington DC. Since it first delighted visitors at the Eiteljorg in 2010, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure has received national acclaim and has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, USA Today and more.

About the Eiteljorg Museum
Celebrating 30 years of telling amazing stories in 2019, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the Indigenous peoples of North America. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg Museum was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.

VIDEO:  For a YouTube video of the Jingle Rails trains, visit this link:  Video is courtesy of James E. Moriarty, Moriarty Media.


Media Contacts:
Bryan Corbin
Public Relations Manager

Bert Beiswanger
Director of Marketing and Communications

Hyacinth Rucker
Digital Communications Manager