ST. GEORGE — New technology hops aboard the Color Country Model Railroad Club’s annual model railroad open house from Friday, Nov. 12 through Monday, Nov. 15.
“Model railroads are generally a work in progress; they’re never finished,” club member Larry Schneider said. “Since the pandemic, we’ve had two years to work on the railroads. And so there’s been a number of changes. Some of our members are starting to take advantage of new technologies, like 3D printing. And some have trains with live video running on them.”
For the first time, the club is displaying the Lionel project railroad on Saturday, November 13th. A few of the club’s members have Lionel model trains. They built a railroad that could be transported.
“We intended to go to social gatherings in the community, and maybe outside the community,” Schneider said. “Unfortunately, with COVID, that has restricted us from doing that.”
Club members have put $2,000 into the Lionel project railroad. The display is adaptable to a small or large space.
“They can run multiple trains on the layout at the same time,” Schneider said. “You get the feel of how you could build your own railroad. The primary purpose is to get the hobby of model railroading out there in front of the public.”
Club members hold the event each November as part of National Model Railroad Appreciation Month. Railroads range from highly elaborate layouts to simpler designs. Club members model several railroad scales from indoor N-scale (1:160) creations to large outdoor G-scale (1:250) empires. Some trains meander through their backyards.
Many of the members became interested in trains at a young age.
“When I was a child, I had some model railroads, and as my children grew up, we had model railroads,” Schneider said. “When I was ready to retire, I got into outdoor railroads, or G scale or garden trains. I thought it was really cool to see these trains running outside among the gardens that people had.”
Over the years, the group has built and donated complete railroads to the Jubilee of Trees. One year a railroad sold for over $4,000. There have been trains constructed and contributed to the veterans’ home in Ivins. The club continues to service and maintain that train.
In 2019 the organization built a railroad in the children’s playroom at the St. George Regional Hospital. The train goes around the upper part of the wall near the ceiling of the entire playroom. There is a button one can push to run the train.
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