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Tiny trains travel through time

Model railroad club shows off 70-foot-long layout of scale rail reenactments in Newhall this weekend

Posted: June 24, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 24, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Claire Wilson, 6, right, points to a set of passenger cars as children watch.

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Passenger trains thundered, trolleys tooted and steam engines chugged around William S. Hart Park's Hart Hall on Saturday as model railroaders showed off a 70-foot-long modular layout.

"They're never totally done," model railroad enthusiast Sherry Harris said while proudly displaying her 1880s-themed "Rattlesnake Junction" module, complete with coyotes the size of Tic Tacs. "It takes months if you work on it steadily."

The HO-scale layout, which will be on display again today, features two continuous tracks on a 70-by-16-foot set of connecting modules, each featuring a different time period, location, theme and builder.

The entire layout is operated by a digital command center and remote controls called throttles.

Modules take about a month per foot to build, ranging roughly from two to six months of time invested in each, said Lynn McCurdy, president of the High Desert Modular Model Railroad Club, which is hosting the weekend event.

The club has a diverse membership ranging from ages 9 to senior citizen.

"It's fun watching the trains crash sometimes, except if my train crashes," said Gregory Conley, 13, a club member from Palmdale.

James Violet, 8, said his favorite train was the yellow-and-black steam engine named "The Bumblebee," and his second favorite was the trolley.

"He carried people before the steam engines and diesels were born," Violet said, snapping pictures of the trolley.

The High Desert Modular Model Railroad Club layout will be on display today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hart Hall at William S. Hart Park in Newhall.

 

 

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