This month is the perfect time to celebrate, just before the Christmas holiday period. What is more a part of Christmas besides Santa Claus, the tree, lights, decorations and all kinds of good times with family and friends? Model trains of course. Whether you are eight or eighty, model trains still have a big fascination for every age. Just go to a model railroad show and you will see men, and women, of every age “oohing and aahing” over the model train layouts on display and the merchandise available to purchase.
For me personally trains, both model and real, have always been a fascination for me. Matter of fact when I was a small child my grandfather nicknamed me “Choo Choo”. Until about 25 years ago I was an avid model railroad guy. It all got started when I got my very first Lionel train set when I was 6 years old. From that point on and over the years it got built into a six train layout that became so big it took up one whole room in the house and remained up the entire year! Then add in all the scenery, decorations, moving parts to make a layout look real and it just becomes a special kind of thrill.
There are model train shows just about everywhere, including one every December at the Florida State Fairgrounds that I never miss. The layouts are mind blowing and incorporate just about everything and anything. There are plenty of model railroad train parts, collectibles, magazines, books, scenery and accessories for sale at these shows. There are layouts of every kind, every style and every size. It is amazing what some people can put together and make it so realistic. I love seeing the full lego layout that is part of the Florida show.
Here is a website you must check out for Miniatur Wunderland http://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/ This is the largest model train display in the world and you will not believe your eyes. Not only are there trains and different countries around the world represented in this display, but a full fledged model airport as well. The detail in every single part of this massive layout is impeccable. To me this is the greatest model train display to ever be assembled. Too bad it is in Hamburg, Germany as that is just a bit too far to travel. But do check it out.
With Christmas just about a mo nth away, I know some of you are still avid model train players and will have the train sets up for the holidays for both yourself and the kids if you don’t already. So “All aboard!” and let’s celebrate National Model Train Month. Happy railroading to everyone!
Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor NightMoves Magazine and AAN