Train enthusiasts gather in Truro for popular fall show
Truros Sandra Somers was thrilled her daughter Jenny, 2, took an interest in the Model Railroaders Associations annual fall show in Truro Saturday. The bright colours and moving locomotives held the youngsters attention. Monique Chiasson Truro Daily News
TRURO - Craig Buckley entered the Nova Scotia Community College Saturday morning prepared to answer one nagging question. It didn't take long before it was asked by a few people.
"Aren't you too old to play with trains?"
The 68-year-old was an exhibitor at the Model Railroaders Association's 32nd annual fall show. Buckley is a member of the Truro Model Railroaders Association and his elaborate model - a town with street cars - fascinated young and old.
"People often ask if I'm too old to play with trains, but a lot of people who are do now," said Buckley.
His interest in the railway dates back to his childhood when his mother used to take him on trains.
Over the years he has focused on model railroading and said even though the hobby is fun, it can be frustrating.
"It can be pretty frustrating when things don't go right ... it's best to get away from it before you break something on purpose," he laughed.
He's lost track of the amount of hours spent on the hobby that can be costly depending on how elaborate one gets.
Buckley was thrilled to see hundreds attend the show. As an exhibitor for about 20 years, he has witnessed some changes over time.
"There are not as many younger people ... they are more into computers and iPods," Buckley said. "And there are advances in technology ... and exhibitors come from farther away."
Rhode Island resident Andy Small is a good example. He is a member of the U.S.-based Narragasett Bay Railway and Navigation Group and of the Maritime Federation of Model Railroaders. He travelled from the States to Truro specifically for the model railroaders show.
"I've done shows in the States and Canada ... people seem more interested here," he said of the Truro show.
He said more train enthusiasts approach him about running the models and ask more questions than he has experienced at some other events.
Truro's Sandra Somers brought her family to the event. Her two-year-old Jenny was enthralled with the sights and sounds. That interest at a young age is important to Somers.
"I want my children to know about the railway because it's part of our history and to know what life was like years ago," Somers said.
Trains have been a part of her life since childhood when her family took summer train rides. As a Dalhousie University student she travelled back and forth to New Brunswick, her former home. Her brother also did various jobs with CN Rail as a student.
Saturday's event featured a number of displays that included operating layouts in N, HO and G scales, a model of the Truro train station and Esplanade as it appeared around the 1950s, railroading sales and a variety of display tables.