Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 5:52 p.m.
by the: HeraldTribune
Model trains on display at Elks
A newcomer to the hobby, Charles Conant admires a train set at the Regal Railways Train Show and Swap Meet. "It's amazing how much stuff is here, lots of parts and trains and shapes and sizes," he said.
Trains, planes and automobiles attracted admirers of all ages Saturday to the Englewood Elks Lodge No. 2378. Miniature train sets, model kits and arts were found during the Regal Railways Train Show and Swap Meet.
Roger Marx landed a missing piece to his track, which he said is never quite finished. "When you get done you tear it down on the other corner and start from scratch," he said. "I've been at it forever," Dick Walker said of his 30-year hobby, after working for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Veteran train enthusiasts scoured through unusual buildings and new tracks while newcomers like Owen Kane, 5, was thrilled to receive his first train from dealer T.R. Weaver, who encourages families to start with a used set to save money and spark creativity.
"They can throw it, trash it, crash it and not destroy it," Weaver said. "It gets them going to feel what we felt in our childhood."
If the interest spreads, the whole family can construct a track that runs through their backyard with a large scale, or G Scale train set, like the 30-by-80-foot layout in the backyard of Paul Wagner, president of the Florida Garden Railway Society's Southwest Chapter.
"It's more of a family hobby than the small trains; it gets everyone involved," he said.
Even though transportation by train has declined, interest at local shows proves that locomotives are still in the hearts and minds of many.
For information about future Regal Railways shows, call (727) 244-1341.
Owen Kane, 5, receives a train engine and cars from dealer T.R. Weaver on Saturday during the Train Show and Swap Meet at the Englewood Elks Lodge No. 2378. "If you have lots of money, you can buy a new set, or you can buy a used set and get the child acclimated to the toy," Weaver said.
Train Show is on the Right Track
Photo by SANDI FAHY Clearwater Gazette August 28, 2008
Michael Vannier, 4, and his mom, Jessica Greenwood, were among those who turned out for the Regal Railways Train Show at Knights of Columbus/Amvets Hall in Clearwater on August 23. Michael Smith, member of the Florida Garden Railroad Association and owner of Smith's Trains, at back, was one of some 15 exhibitors at the show. Joe Schramm, member of the Knights of Columbus and organizer of the show, is planning a train show and swap meet at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Pinellas Park in February. Call 244-1341 for more information on that event.
Sunday Oct 23, 2011
By SUSAN ERWIN
Assistant Englewood Editor
ENGLEWOOD — Cargo train whistles blared in the background while people browsed through tables filled with model engine and
caboose pieces at the Englewood Elks Lodge on Indiana Avenue Saturday morning.
Attendees could buy, trade, barter, swap or sell items at the model train show that took place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Joe and Amy Williams came from Seminole, Fla., to attend the event with their son, Rhydian, hoping to purchase some inexpensive
“He likes trains and they have a lot of cool used toys here,” said Amy, as Rhydian occupied himself on the floor racing a bright
red train around in circles.
Joe Schramm, organizer of the event, said the Suncoast American Flyers Enthusiasts (SAFE) club sponsors the shows throughout
Southwest Florida about once a month.
“We are mainly based in the Tampa Bay area, but we would like to expand south and also over on the East Coast,” Schramm said. “It
depends on the interest that is generated.”
According to Schramm, the organization has been coordinating the shows since 2006. And they seem to be popular in this area.
“For the past year or so, I’ve been getting calls from vendors asking when the next Englewood show is going to be,” Schramm said.
George Scott, club president of SAFE, came from Ellenton, Fla., to set up a lifelike layout of a transformer-powered train setup
in a village, which included a general store, a water tower and a tiny Ferris wheel.
“This is just a drop in the bucket,” Scott said. “I’ve hauled this thing to Chicago and all throughout Illinois and up the East
His model train setup included hand-painted cars parked on plastic green grass outside a circular track. The display was a
smaller, prototypical replicate of a real railroad.
“We bring in these operating layouts so people can see what we do,” Scott said, as he pushed the throttle forward to increase the
speed of the engine. “I’ve had trains in my blood my whole life and it’s fun to share it — this works just like a real train; you
gotta hold the throttle down to make them go.”
Scott knows the various components of trains well because he worked as a single maintainer electrician for a railway in Illinois
for 30 years. And he tried to pass the passion along to his family.
“I shared my daughter’s first birthday cake with her while we were sitting next to a train rolling around a track on the kitchen
table,” Scott said.
The organization welcomes those interested to join the club. For more information, visit www.myflyertrains.org.
You can also find news and information about upcoming model train shows at www.railserve.com.
Regal Railways hosted their Toy Train and Hobby Show Saturday May 21st, at the Hernando County Fairgrounds, where many train collectors and hobbyists gathered to display their collection and tell their stories.
For ten years Joseph Schramm has been Regal Railway's train and hobby show promoter as well as an avid collector. “I like the fact that [we are] meeting people that have the same type of interest of model trains,” Joseph Schramm said.
Suncoast American Flyer Enthusiasts (S.A.F.E ) and members have been showing their model trains for over thirty years. They travel from Fort Myers up to Yankeetown to showcase their collection.
“I am a farm boy rancher from the Midwest. We didn’t have electricity on the ranch till 1949, I had my first one (train), was a wind up. I have a big collection of American Flyer,” reminisced George Scott, S.A.F.E Coordinator.
“I got my first one when I was five years old. My dad bought me an American Flyer,” said Larry Heffelfinger, also an S.A.F.E member.
There are two main makes of trains that are high on the collectors list: The American Flyer and Lionel. These hobbyist and many like them are avid collectors and rebuilders. Their train layouts can be well over one hundred square feet and can have bridges as well as street signs.
“Don’t throw them away; they’re worth a mint to guys like me for parts,” Scott said.
There is a long history of model trains. In the beginning some started off as recycled tin cans. It is exciting to these enthusiasts building a town from their own imagination. It is also a great way to bond with your kids and grandkids.
If you missed this event, you can also check out the 1890 Train Depot, which has wonderful history about trains and Brooksville. Train Depot Museum is located at 70 Russell St, Brooksville, FL 34601 Phone: (352) 799-4766 Website: http://www.brooksvillehistoricaltraindepot.com/
There is also a train hobby shop in Spring Hill called Dana's Railroad Supply located at 4042 Deltona Blvd. It is recommended to call before you go because their hours are variable, (352) 684-2484.
To find out more about Regal Railways visit regalrailways.com/ or call Joe Schramm 727-244-1341.