Oh I like the sculpted train idea (although that post seems to have dissappeared...?), if you baked in loaf tins it would give you a starting place for the engine and carriages. Add a signal in addition to the tracks and sleepers and make it signal 60, so have "60" on the name plate with his initials before the 60 if signals are named in the same way as the UK, or you could put it that the train is coming up to a level crossing with barriers and wigwag lights and have a sign on the crossing about his birthday andretirement.
Broken up boiled sweets work well for the ballast stones but put them in position once you smash them up because they tend to stick together solid if you leave them exposed overnight (learned the hard way!). Liquorice strings makes good rails.
Would you ever guess I worked on the railway?!