Model Trains are Alive and Well!

Black Cat Station - North Wilkesboro, NC -- Photo by Dale R. Carlson

Black Cat Station - North Wilkesboro, NC -- Photo by Dale R. Carlson

During the Winter months our Bluemoonistic Railroad Adventures have taken us to several locations for model train shows and local exhibits.  Our experiences have shown us that despite the fact that we often hear that kids are only interested in video games and computers today, we have seen the contrary is true!  When you see a kid's face watching a model train or see parents and grandparents join together to watch model train displays, you know that the magic is still alive and well!  

When one listens to a lonesome whistle as a train travels through hills and valleys or the clackity clack of movement along the rails as it whizzes by, it doesn't matter the size or scale of the train as our imaginations go in overdrive.  We find ourselves believing that we are right there standing on the platform waiting for the train to arrive or sitting on a mountaintop watching it trail through the valley below.  We happen to feel that nothing sparks imagination like trains!  

We attended a show in Charlotte in January called "The World's Greatest Hobby on Tour".  Our first thought, of course, was that in this day and age that was a pretty big claim.  The creators of this huge display of model trains, however, certainly delivered.  There was everything from trains the kids could ride or actually play with on the floor to massive model train displays that satisfied every adult model train buff.  We walked around for hours and enjoyed every aspect.  Here's just a few photos that Dale took to spark your interest too!

This was an amazing show and happiness was a very strong power in the room that day!  We came home with many ideas to apply to our own model train display.  This display never goes to the same city every year so look up where you might catch this one in the future at the World's Greatest Hobby Tour website. 

You do not have to wait for the next big model train show, however, to see some amazing model trains.  Last Saturday we visited the Black Cat Station in North Wilkesboro, NC.  Volunteers of the Yadkin Valley Railroad Club open up this wonderful model train destination every second Saturday of the month from 10am - 2pm.  Their displays are amazing and the volunteers are on hand to offer a world of information. 

Black Cat Station - North Wilkesboro, NC -- Photo by Dale R. Carlson

Black Cat Station - North Wilkesboro, NC -- Photo by Dale R. Carlson

Besides this beautiful room being filled with wall to wall displays, they have a smaller room where the little ones can actually play with trains. They offer refreshments as well - Cookies & Trains - what better combo!  They make sure everyone has a front row seat!  Laughter filled the room and we never wanted to leave!  Our hats are off to this great group of model railroad lovers that share their expertise!  

One other local model train display that everyone can experience is in Ashe County at the Museum of Ashe County History.  This beautiful diorama historically depicts the Virginia Creeper Railroad that went from Abingdon VA to Todd NC.  A dedicated group of local citizens spent an estimated 10-12,000 hours building this amazing 30 foot HO display of  Tuckerdale, Lansing,  Todd, and West Jefferson.  Our railroad heritage is interwoven with our county's history and this display is a wonderful way to educate everyone about the role it played in our community. Let our Bluemoonistic Images of this diorama take you back through time!  Put on your railroad cap and listen for the whistle!

Lansing Diorama 1 web.jpg

Lansing NC

Photo by Dale R Carlson

Tuckerdale Diorama 1 web.jpg

Tuckerdale NC

Photo by Dale R Carlson

Todd Diorama 1 web.jpg

Todd NC

Photo by Dale R Carlson

WJ Diorama 1 web.jpg

West Jefferson NC

Photo by Dale R. Carlson