Caption the Photo: National Christmas Tree Train Wreck

Readers are invited to caption a photo of a model train off of its tracks at the National Christmas Tree.

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In the background of the photo below is the National Christmas Tree. Does that make the tableau in the foreground the National Trainwreck? Submit your suggested caption in the comment space below. I'll post some good ones as the week progresses.

Here's the backstory of this photo: At two, my older son has reached the age where he can appreciate and get excited about Christmas, including helping to trim our tree this year. So I decided to take him to see the National Christmas Tree on Sunday afternoon.

[See pictures of the White House Christmas decorations]

At 26' 4" it's honestly a bit underwhelming, having only been planted in February (the old tree, planted in 1978, was blown over). But it was still easily the biggest such tree in my son's very limited experience. This was moot, though, as he was transfixed by the various model train sets arrayed around the tree, especially those featuring Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends.

One of the trains as you can see had derailed. Apparently a spectator pastime is dropping pennies in the empty storage bins of passing trains and it looks like a coin landed on the tracks, causing the derailment.

[Read about why Congress may be spending Christmas in Washington.]

The story has a very American happy ending—a father and his son vaulted the fence and set about getting the train running again.

Weigh in with your caption suggestions below.

  • Read Peter Roff on how Obama's payroll tax Grinch act could backfire.
  • Read Washington Whispers: Obamas Showcase First Pup Bo for Christmas
  • Watch a video of Christmas at the White House.