All aboard! The Hudson Model Railroad Club is holding an open house

PLAINS TWP. — To call the Hudson Model Railroad Club’s 2,000-square-foot train plan just a “steam locomotive” would be a disservice to the club members who brought it to life.

It’s more like its own world that grows and expands, representing different seasons, different environments, and different eras all in one room.

The railroad club has been at its current location on Martin Street in Plains Township for 40 years after two years in Ashley, and the club’s annual open house, which began Friday and runs weekends through December, draws a large number of train enthusiasts to see the display.

“It’s a great hobby that brings a lot of people together,” said David Balko, the club’s secretary and treasurer, who has been a member for seven years. “There are a lot of people in this area who are into things like this, so it’s a great way to spend time and enjoy it.”

The model train layout has several references to the region, including a mine pit and a Planters Peanuts sign located along one stretch of track.

It’s these unique details and homages to the area that draw many young and old alike, including 10-year-old Chase Rowlands, who had glowing comments about the layout and the club itself.

“I like all the little details. … They (the Railroad Club) are the best with trains,” Rowlands said.

According to Balko, the exhibit remains intact year-round, and the club is in the process of building a new stage along one part of the layout.

“We’re constantly trying to improve and update it,” Balko said. “We have a torn scene on the front wall, the former metallurgical plant is gone. … It’s going to be a new scene that’s going on right now.”

Trains ran through cities, over bridges, under tunnels and over beautifully designed mountains, and there were plenty of nice visuals for the crowd to enjoy as they made their way around the room.

Several observers said they had train sets at home or that they grew up enjoying trains.

“We’re trying to build our house at home,” said Ethan Yeninas, 13, who stopped by Sunday’s open house with his mother, Gretchen.

Yeninas pointed to a small statue of Santa Claus hiding in a balcony overlooking one section of the track and said his favorite part of the Hudson exhibit was the scavenger hunt, which challenged spectators to find small hidden objects, just like the Santa statue. .

Gretchen said they had been coming to see the exhibit for several years, and that Ethan loved trains growing up.

“We’ve watched the display evolve over the years,” she said. “It’s a very neat set-up and the people who built it should be proud of it.”

The Railwaymen’s Club Open Day will continue next Saturday and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm both days. Prizes will be raffled, some trains will be for sale and donations will be accepted, with several members encouraging those who want to see the display to donate to the club as well.

“I think we should all support them,” Rowlands said. “Look and see how many little details they put in… It’s amazing. Perfect.”

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