DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Wiregrass Steel Wheels and other model train clubs across the southeast hit the rails as they welcomed the 31st annual Model Railroad Show.
Model trains big and small each with their own unique touch was showcased this weekend at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds.
Some people were attending their first show and others hadn’t missed one.
“I’ve been at just about everyone since they started,” Railroad illustrator, David Kirkland said.
At the expo, people got to see model trains from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, as several model train clubs were represented.
One of the organizers for the event, George Baum says that it’s a great hobby, but they want to try and draw interest in the younger generations.
“You’ve got to be inventive, you’ve got to have a creative mind, and you’ve got to have some skills,” Wiregrass Steel Wheels, President George Baum said.
“We are always trying new people into model trains because you know it’s a hobby that unfortunately has diminished over the years, but we are trying to get it to come back,” Kirkland said.
The expo’s 30th anniversary was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but now they are happy to be back with the same goal that they had when the expo was first held in 1990.
“That’s what we are here for,” Baum said. “To make people smile.”
There were not just small model train sets, one of the trains showcased was a 7.5 gauge train, which you can not only watch on the railways but also go for a ride.
“I was raised on little model trains, on small trains,” Model Train Enthusiast, Jon Lively said. “When I got introduced to the little 7.5 gauge. It was just like going into my second childhood.”
Baum says they have enjoyed the turnout and that he even is working on another model, which would bring his total to three model train sets. This time of the City of Progress and it might be ready by next year’s expo.