What an incredible surprise we found this evening at the Mt. Juliet Branch of the Wilson County Public Library. Just off to the side in the meeting room area we were greeted with the sounds of whistles, wheels chugging along the tracks and, even if it was in my mind, choo-choo. The Music City Chapter of the Train Collector’s Association had setup a wonderful exhibit which will be in place till Saturday evening. Ron Hurst, a Train Show Official, very kindlly and thoroughly spoke with us about their wonderful organization, the basics of model railroading and stories of how these examples of a time gone by are still winning the hearts of the young and old.
The current models of trains and tracks in place would allow for up to four trains to run simultaneously. Ron provided us with a Model Trains’ magazine and shared with us the different sizes of models ranging from the Large Scale at a ratio of 1 to 25, down to the smallest model Z with a ratio of 1 to 220. Hard to imagine being able to work with anything as small as this with the cars being only 2-3/4″ long in the engine car. The standard sizes I recall with from my youth was a model HO at a ratio of 1 to 87. The models on display at the library are model O at a ratio of 1 to 48, equaling a length of 12-1/2″ for the engine car length. As we stood by listening to the stories and watching the two trains currently operating rolling along the tracks, I could not help but recall fond memories of times with my Dad playing with my Lionel set.
Toys like this are something that our generation can recall and probably most of us has played with a set at one time or another. As the technologies change and we see more and more train tracks being abandoned I can’t help but wonder if the next generations will carry the same feelings or fondness. If you are in the area, take the time to stop in and feel the excitement, and I guarantee you will see the joy in others around you (especially if there are kids), and smiles of a time long ago. – G