Waterford man makes holiday train for neighborhood kids

Ethan McDowell
Ethan McDowell
WATERFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– When Eathel McDowell takes this homemade train through his Waterford neighborhood all the kids come running, and this weekend they’ll get a special holiday ride.

The tractor turned train is just one of many things McDowell has built over the years. He built a wooden caboose around the tractor and built a wooden car with benches on a wagon frame he pulls behind it.

“Like I said that’s my enjoyment,” said McDowell. “Getting a hold of nothing and making something out of it.”

Now he’s making this something into something even more special.

“You know the old story, the little train ‘I think I can, I think I can,’ that hit me and I was going to make a train,” said McDowell.

Along with PVC and a piece of his wife’s old pot, McDowell has added holiday music, and green and red lights to the tractor pulled train. Silent Night is one of the several Christmas songs that play out of the cassette tape player he added to the sound system. Come Sunday when night falls, the festive fun will begin in his Waterford neighborhood, a holiday ride for kids and adults.

“This guy is the greatest guy in the world and we’ve been married 53 years,” said Ines, McDowell’s wife.

She says he is a man who never grew up, and that’s a good thing.

“I’m 77-years old, I’m entitled to be a little crazy, right?” said McDowell.

“And you’re making so many people happy,” we said.

“I enjoy that,” he said. “I enjoy that.”

There are about 15 kids in the neighborhood, so some of the little ones will ride in the train car while the older kids will get a special hay ride in a wagon McDowell set up to be pulled by another tractor.

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