Honking miniature train horns in Scarborough Southwest

The Scarborough Model Railroaders Club went full steam ahead.

Last Sunday’s model train show welcomed Scarborough families and model train collectors aboard the event.

The models were divided into two sections— The N scale layout on the first floor showed a landscape based upon modern-era Appalachia, while the HO scale layout in the basement was an extensive piece put together that models 1950s transition era Southwestern Ontario.

Adults and kids alike spent hours marvelling at the modelling and scenic skills of the club members.   The elaborate landscapes were miniature equivalents of Southern Ontario towns and communities in the 1950s, with models chugging through them all day.

“These are portable layouts we take with us on the road when we have shows out of town,” said Bill Crich, President of the Scarborough Model Railroaders Club.  “Much of these model trains come from our own homes, like our club’s other members, I am very much an enthusiast myself.”

There are no founding members left in the 40-year-old club, though there are still senior members who have stayed with the club for at least a decade.

“These are all up-to-date representations of trains in the 50’s,” said Crich, pointing to the different models showcased in the basement of the aged warehouse.  “Our club’s members meet every Tuesday to talk about our new acquisitions and do training for the operation and maintenance of the trains. “

He was satisfied with the show’s turnout and recognized familiar faces from their last show.

A ‘Virtual Cab Ride’ was offered, where a tiny camera was mounted on the front of one of the model trains.  The view was shown on 2 television monitors; attendees could sit in front of the televisions and enjoy landscapes, even from the insides of the miniature tunnels.

“I received flyers for this train show,” said Paul Haber, a freelance television producer from North York.  “I came because my son is so interested in trains.  It is my first time here but I love seeing the kids so busy.”

He appreciated very much how the Club’s members constructed, wired and structured the complete layout of both floors in the show.

“Today’s turnout is pretty good,” said Daryl T. Pullen, a club member and volunteer at the model train show.  “I am responsible for making sure the trains run smoothly, this is sometimes difficult because they are so small and they are hard to work on sometimes.”

The aims of this train show were to increase public awareness of the history of trains, and to get more young people interested in collecting model trains.

Working on the N Scale Layout, Pullen was one of the Club’s volunteers, operating 113 trains winding their way through the Appalachian Mountains.

Attracted by the picturesque miniature scenes, freelance graphic designer Rob Robotham is a train show regular.

“This show came up while I was Googling 4 years ago,” he said.  “I really like this show because I admire the time and money that these Club members devote themselves to.  This show is community building and it is good family fun.”

He praised the creativity in how the members laid out the 1700 square feet of track, towns, industrial areas, hills, bridges and tunnels exactly according to Southern Ontario scenes during the steam-to-diesel transition era.

The next model train show will be Mar. 6 at 17 Jeavons Ave., near the intersection of Danforth Rd. and Birchmount Rd.

About this article

By: Janice Yeung
Posted: Mar 8 2011 4:09 pm
Filed under: Arts & Life

1 Comment on "Honking miniature train horns in Scarborough Southwest"

  1. Rob Robotham | March 27, 2011 at 8:41 am |

    Of course, I’m highly biased, but I think this article is great — really enjoyed reading it!

Comments are closed.