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The Great Train Expo

It’s only fitting that on a day of remembrance of my dad that I post photos of model trains. Model trains have been passed down in my family for generations and some of the O-gauge engines are now worth quite a bit. My dad started tinkering with a serious set up in his basement over 30 years ago with HO-guage trains and from what was going to be a simple yard and a loop around the finished basement soon took over the entire basement traveling through walls into the pantry, around the bar, and then a tressel that one had to duck under at the bottom of the stairs. He had enough lines and transformers to run 4-5 trains at once and was constantly tweaking corners and soldering connections to fix shorts and adding new switches and sidings to panels in a never-ending birds nest of wiring. The plan was to get the tracks just right before the final finished scenes complete with trees, grass, town buildings, etc. were in place, but he was constantly tinkering and ripping up the track to try something new, so the dozens of modelĀ  buildings sat along the sidings in a haphazard lineup yearning for a final home scenery setting that would never come to be. I don’t think he ever really wanted it to be finished, as then there would be nothing left to work on. The construction was therapy, but his real joy was to see the look of amazement on the faces of the children that came over to see the trains run. I now see in my boys a fascination with trains, especially in my 2-year old, that dad would have loved to see and nurture. So when the Great Train Expo came to Albany, NY this past December, we introduced Colin and Ryan to what a real train set looked like, and I hope to someday take up the soldering and glue guns and tinker away late into the night with them, and telling stories about their grandfather and his love of trains.

Even more than the trains themselves, I love the detail of the scenery from the grass, trees, buildings, and townsfolk that create the look and feel of a real railroad and the small towns they pass through. Here are a few shots from the show…