Monday, November 26, 2012

Scranton, PA: Model trains entrance visitors to steamtown Saturday

From the Times-Tribune:  Model trains entrance visitors to steamtown Saturday

Model trains were always an "old guy" hobby, said Clem O'Jevich Jr. of the Warrior Run Locomotive Works.
Time, disposable income and nostalgia predispose older gentlemen to the hobby, he contended while operating a garden-scale, live-steam model train at the Model Trains Through the Ages program at Steamtown National Historic Site.
Even in the 1940s, he said, the hobby was dominated by retired men.
But the event co-sponsored by Lackawanna Historical Society drew quite a few wide-eyed young folks, enthusiastic exceptions to Mr. O'Jevich's observation and the newest generation of model train enthusiasts.
Even with the real things chugging by just outside the Steamtown Museum, the buzzing model trains captivated John and Caleb Faia, ages 15 and 11, of Lansdale. Like most passions, this one was handed down by their grandfather, who is active in model trains with a large, year-round set.
"We keep adding and adding," John said. John, Caleb and their parents hoped to get a seat on the Scranton Limited 30-minute train rides.
Bryan Melliand, 13, of Clarks Summit, and his visiting cousin Ben Schwartz, 9, were enjoying the displays of different-size trains from Nolan & Rogers in Scranton.
Bryan recognizes that, as a train hobbyist, he may be a standout among his cohorts. He's limited to no more than one hour of video games daily, and doesn't have a smartphone, which he figures gives him time to pursue interests. With help from his father, Ben converted a bookcase into a fold-down train set.
"Most kids are into video games or sports and don't want to spend time to learn about trains or take the time to put a set together," Bryan said. "But trains are cool and fun."
Also on hand was Dan Emick of Scranton, self-proclaimed "Doctor of Trainology," offering advice to those just starting out or diagnoses for those with problems with their train sets.
The most common problem? "It won't run."
The solution is often simple, Mr. Emick said: rusted contacts and lack of lubrication.
The exhibit continues though today and is included with the national park's entrance fee of $7 for adults, children 15 and under free.


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