LORAIN — The Norwalk & Western Model Railroad Train Show is rolling into Lorain this weekend.
The show is an opportunity for railroad enthusiasts young and old to exchange ideas, view railroad paraphernalia, and experience some of the most detailed model railroad layouts around.
This is the first train show of this kind in Lorain for several years, said Tony Catalano, vice president and show coordinator for the Norwalk & Western RR Train Club.
Three operational displays will be available for viewing — a modular layout from Toledo and two 4-by-8-foot layouts sponsored by Norwalk & Western, one with a Midwest theme and the other with a nautical theme.
Catalano has been interested in model railroading since he was a child and involved with the 12-member club since the late 1980s.
“There is so much that you can learn from model trains, from history to science to art,” Catalano said. “Pretty much anything can be learned from this hobby.”
Model train enthusiasts come out to exchange ideas with other enthusiasts. Families turn out to admire the trains.
“We usually have a good variety of more serious model railroaders and just folks who like trains and want to show the kids what railroads are all about,” Catalano said.
He estimates that some shows have between 800 and 1,000 people in attendance.
Norwalk & Western club members run the trains and are there to answer questions about the trains, railroading and even how to get into the hobby.
Todd Livengood received his first train set when he was just 4 years old, but it wasn’t until his teen years that he really got into model railroading. The current president of Norwalk & Western Model Railroad Club said as he got older, he really got into detailing and making the models look as real as possible. He joined the club in 1987.
“I’ve learned a lot over the years and met a lot of different people — sharing ideas and techniques is one of the main reasons I got involved in the club,” he said. “When people get into the hobby, they want to know what’s out there.”
The model railroad show is an opportunity to show them. A number of model railroad and railroad items will be on display and available for sale.
Norwalk & Western hosts three shows a year — fall, winter and spring — around Ohio. The group’s impressive modular train is permanently set up in the club’s headquarters, 8½ Benedict Ave., in uptown Norwalk. The public can view the setup 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
“Model railroading is fun,” Catalano said. “It’s a way of interacting with children, living in the past and learning all at the same time. Most children are familiar with video games. This is a way to work with your hands more and have the ability to create.”
And model railroading has come a long way in the last 20 years, he said. With digital command control and realistic sound, the details on today’s model trains are more realistic and less “toy-like” than ever before.
“This shows people what can be done and how fun it actually is,” Catalano said.
For more information about the club or Sunday’s show, visit www.norwalkandwesternrr.com.
What: Norwalk & Western Model RR Train Show
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: Lorain Party Center
Cost: $5 for those ages 10 and up; free for children 9 and younger
Contact Christina Jolliffe at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.