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All aboard! Next stop: winter and spring fun at model railroad displays round the state of Georgia.
If the holidays got you to thinking about that model train display you painstaking assembled as a kid, you can scratch the itch courtesy of several model railroading clubs scattered around the state. Many have winter or spring shows that welcome the public.
Gone are the days when the Georgia Railroad, Seaboard Railroad and the Atlantic Coast Line moved tons of freight and thousands of passengers every day. The spirit lives on, though, in displays by model railroaders and in collectibles from the days when rails ruled transportation.
If you’re a full-time RVer, you certainly don’t have space for trains. (If you do, send us a photo—we’d be fascinated! Under the platform bed, maybe?) If you’re a part-time RVer, maybe you still have some trains at home and just miss them. (Yes, people with model trains love them that much.)
Whatever gauge you prefer, you’re bound to find it at one Georgia display or another:
Here’s a place to see six working model train layouts, and buy items from more than 300 vendors, including trains from Lionel, American Flyer, Marklin and Ives, the old Standard gauge toy trains. Tables feature tons of model railroad items and railroadiana—signs, lanterns, tickets, timetables, dining car china, and more. It’s been going on every year for more than half a century, so you know it’s a good one. The venue is new this year and bigger than the previous site.
The Coastal Rail Buffs’ 30th Annual Model Railroad and Train Show is just another reason to visit beautiful Savannah—never a bad thing. The show had several operating layouts, in O, HO and N scales. Vendors offer model trains and accessories from tables.
As long as you’re in Savannah, check out the Georgia State Railroad Museum. It’s on the site of the old Central of Georgia Railway Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities in downtown Savannah. It even has a roundhouse and a giant turntable, which positioned locomotives to head into or out of any of several maintenance bays arranged in a semicircle. The museum operates the most complete pre-Civil War railroad in the country. If you’re feeling strong enough, give the handcar a try.
It’s back to Atlanta in March for The Model Train Show at Cobb Galleria Centre. Model railroad clubs from around Georgia operate layouts. Gauges on display include O, HO, N, S and TT. There’s also an exhibit by the Dixie Lego Users. The North Georgia Live Steamers display their scale model live steam trains—powerful models big enough to ride. Vendors sell their model railroad wares at about 250 tables. There’s also a white elephant table at which visitors can sell an item or two they enter into a computerized system.
Image courtesy of John Catsoulis, Wikipedia
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