Train museum opens winter exhibit

Rick Dandes/The Daily Item Barry Mabus, of Milton, controls the movement of miniature railroad trains at the Milton Model Train Museum

MILTON — You don't have to be a railfan to enjoy the artistry of an incredible model train layout at Milton Model Train Museum, which opened its winter holiday season on Nov. 22, and will run through this month.

For those who have never seen the layout, it is meticulous in its representation of Milton in the 1950s.

The museum, at 139 South Front Street (third floor), opened in 2007, said Brock Smith, of Milton.

People who come to see the exhibit will recognize various landmarks, some of which still exist today, he said.

Smith explained that the streets are labeled and historically accurate. "For example," he said, " the old train depot is now the borough building. The Chef Boyardee building. This is the most accurate recreation of Milton in those days I've seen anywhere."

 

The layout, 60-ft. long by 20 ft. wide, features miniature homes, downtown business buildings, and of course, more than 500 feet of railroad track on two main lines surrounding and running through it all.

"What most people who aren't into the hobby don't realize is how expensive the miniature railroad engines are," Smith said. "They can run $400 and up."

The engines all run by a remote control system.

Barry Mabus, of Milton, is the stationmaster, he said. "I guess you could call me that."

Mabus has been volunteering at the museum since 2009 after he retired from Con Agra.

One of the first things he did when he started volunteering was to make sure the miniature passenger cars looked realistic. "I worked on the trains," he said, "took them back in our workshops, and I glued people into the seats so that it looked like there were passengers inside."

Smith estimated that there is "a couple of million dollars worth of miniature trains and tracks and equipment in the museum's Milton layout.

The museum is open on Fridays, 6-9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5 p.m.

Admission is free. Donations are accepted.

 

 

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