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Model railroad show pulls into new venue

Nov. 23, 2012 @ 11:44 PM

HUNTINGTON -- While the trains at the 55th Annual Model Railroad Show might be going in circles, the collection of attractions and vendors is enough to keep guests moving in every direction.

The show, which began in 1958, returned to the Big Sandy Superstore Arena this year after being hosted at the Veterans Memorial Field House for 19 years before the venue was demolished earlier this year.

The move back to the arena was a smooth one for the Appalachian Model Railroad Society, which hosts the event, said Paul Faulks, a member of the organization.

"We're very pleased to be here," Faulks said. "It's closer to downtown, and we are expecting to see a few more people than usual because of that. The people here at the arena have been very good to us from our first phone call, so we are excited for the future of the show."

The show features displays of handmade models of towns through which railroads like the Baltimore and Ohio and Chesapeake and Ohio actually service plus hobby shops with how-to books and items for enthusiasts to construct their own model railroads. That's in addition to pieces of memorabilia and railroading history which also are for sale at the event.

"If you're looking for something to get started or that one piece you might be missing, we probably have it here," Faulks said. "It's our goal to keep the people who already are into trains coming back, and we want them to keep bringing their kids and their grandkids and make sure they stay interested in it too."

Keeping up that interest is was an easy feat for Tysis Fletcher of Proctorville and his two children, Trenton, 3, and Katalynn, 5, each of whom have their own favorite train from "Thomas and Friends."

Fletcher said he has been bringing Katalynn to the show for two years, and this year marked Trenton's first show.

"It's a good time, and it's something you can do with your kids," he said. "It already is something you can bring your family to, and I hope it keeps getting bigger to include the models and even more interactive things for kids."

The Appalachian Model Railroad Society meets at 7 p.m. each Tuesday at the Heritage Farm Museum and Village. The show will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25; and noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25. Admission for adults is $5, while children 12 years and younger get in for $1. For more information about the 55th Annual Model Railroad Show or the society, call 304-429-3885 or 304-429-1432.

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