All aboard!

Local railroad club showing interactive train displays Saturday

Date Published: 
January 5, 2018

With winter school breaks over and the new year begun, the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club will wrap up its holiday train display at the Georgetown Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 6, offering a final chance to take in the train layouts designed to delight even the very youngest visitors. The display is free and will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There are four layouts at the library, according to club spokesman Bill Ziegler, ranging in size from 3 feet wide by 5 feet long to 12 feet long and 28 feet wide.

The largest layout is an O-gauge display that includes 16 dioramas, or scenes, Ziegler said. The theme of that one is “Rails Across America,” and it features a lifelike Niagara Falls made possible with the use of a rotating screen, as well as a display of Chincoteague horses, the Empire State Building complete with King Kong, Times Square and a “honeymoon cottage,” according to Ziegler.

The layout also includes buttons that visitors can push to activate features along the tracks. There are three trains operating on that layout at all times.

Another layout features two ovals of Thomas the Tank Engine trains, which children can operate with a remote, Ziegler said. A third layout features scenes from the book and movie “Polar Express,” in which visitors can look for main characters Billy and the Conductor. A fourth layout — the smallest of them all — is a Brio wooden train set, only 18 inches off the ground and very toddler friendly, Ziegler said.

Model trains remain an activity that brings generations together, Ziegler said.

“It’s something that’s active,” he noted, adding that, unlike so many modern activities, it’s hands-on and “doesn’t involve your thumbs” or a computer screen.

“Everybody that looks at it says ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhhh,’” Ziegler said. For visitors above a certain age, he said, “It brings back your childhood.”

The intergenerational aspect makes model trains especially appealing to families, he emphasized.

“We see the grandpa come in with the son and the grandson,” he said, adding that girls and women also enjoy model trains.

The membership of the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club, in fact, includes both genders, and members range in age from 14 to the 80s, Ziegler said.

In addition to their displays out in the community, the club, founded in 2004, now has a clubhouse in the Clayton Crossing complex on Route 113 in Dagsboro that is open each Wednesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. and each Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ziegler said, with this being the last weekend of the Georgetown show, visitors can make their way from there to the Dagsboro location if they really want to see some great train layouts.

The Delaware Seaside Railroad Club always welcomes new members. The club meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. in the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach. Their next meeting is Jan. 9.

The Georgetown Public library is located at 123 W. Pine Street, Georgetown. The Delaware Seaside Railroad Club’s clubhouse is located at 32442 Royal Blvd., Suite 1-A, Dagsboro. For more information on club activities, go to www.delawareseasiderailroadclub.com or call (302) 945-1627.