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All aboard for parts known

Model train collectors survey display for that special item at Ag Center show

Model train collectors survey display for that special item at Ag Center show

November 28, 2004|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

It was a "choo choo" of a Saturday for model train collectors in search of rare or unique railroad locomotives, freight cars and other collectible model train parts.

Bud White, 61, drove two hours from Oakland, Md., to attend Saturday's train show sponsored by the Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum Inc.

White was one of hundreds who filled Washington County's Agricultural Education Center along Sharpsburg Pike. Many traveled from across the region to shop and view thousands of model trains carrying price tags from $7 to $395.

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"You can spend as little or as much as you want. It all depends on what you're looking for. It's a very affordable hobby," said Frank Schaller, museum treasurer and one of the show's coordinators.

Schaller said the nonprofit organization, which has about 25 members and has been around since 1937, is based in Sharpsburg.

In a mostly male crowd, many collectors said they started collecting model trains when they were kids - a tradition passed on from their fathers.

"My dad bought me a train two years before I was born," Schaller said.

Six-year-old Frank Anderson Jr. from Martinsburg, W.Va., attended the train show with his younger brother Eric, his parents and grandparents.

"We're thinking about buying some freight cars," Anderson said.

His dad, Frank Anderson Sr., started collecting trains when he was a kid. Now, he's passing the tradition on to his two sons, he said.

Schaller said the model trains at Saturday's show represent different periods in time.

"It spans the history of the railroad industry in this country. You can find real old stuff up to the very latest," Schaller said.

The museum will hold another train show Saturday, Feb. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission costs $3. Children younger than 12 are admitted free.

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