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Train group in Pa. has open house

January 21, 2001

Train group in Pa. has open house



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Waynesboro Model Railroad ClubZULLINGER, Pa. - Cows grazed in the pasture and trucks ferried rock from a quarry while trains whizzed by, in and out of tunnels and across the mountainside.

The life-like scene is really just an elaborate backdrop built by members of the Waynesboro Model Railroad Club for the dozens of trains they run in their meeting space in Waynesboro.

Often a pleasure reserved just for the 35 members, the public can view the displays and watch the trains during the club's annual open house the first five weekends of the year.

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Train enthusiasts of all ages can still check out the display this Sunday, Feb. 3 and 4 from 1 to 5 p.m.

The club's display takes up two floors in the old grain elevator on Waynecastle Road, and a replica of the building is incorporated into the scenery inside.

"A former Waynesboro man who now lives in England still makes replicas of local buildings and brings them to us to incorporate into the display," said club President Mike Cline.

A variety of trains chug east and west on the tracks, while members communicate with one another on headsets from different spots on the display to make sure everything is running smoothly.

But sometimes accidents do happen, and Sunday a three-train collision tied up the tracks for several minutes.

Members had to stop all trains while they untangled the wreckage and got the trains back on track.

About 150 to 200 people from the Tri-State area attend the open house each weekend, estimated Cline, of Downsville, Md.

Cline, a member since 1992, said he comes up every week to run trains, work on scenery and attend meetings.

Cline attributed Sunday's accident to human error.

The caboose of one train came uncoupled and a second train rear-ended that sending it off the tracks and in the path of a westbound train, Cline said.

The temporary pile-up didn't stop Jim and Martha Sanderson from enjoying the display.

"I've always been interested in model trains," Jim Sanderson said.

Martha Sanderson said the train displays remind her of the summertime trips she used to take on the B & O trains from Baltimore to Ohio.

The Boonsboro, Md., couple said they have come to the open house for the last several years.

Club members continue to work on new displays so their will be something new for repeat visitors to enjoy every time they come, Cline said.

The open house is free, but donations are accepted. The Waynesboro Model Railroad Club meets at 3291 Waynecastle Road in Zullinger.

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