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Trains on the block at Lions show in Mont Alto, Pa.

February 21, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

MONT ALTO, Pa. - Serious train collectors and people who occasionally lay out a train set for their children or grandchildren could browse through all sorts of train-related paraphernalia Sunday afternoon at the Mont Alto Volunteer Fire Co.

The Waynesboro (Pa.) Lions Club welcomed 30 to 40 vendors to its fourth annual train show, according to Dave McCarney, chairman of the event.

"This is a flea market for train stuff," Lions club member Mike Toms of Waynesboro said.

New and antique train cars and engines, Thomas and Friends items for children, train pictures, train videos, and various plastic, wood, concrete and metal accessories for trains and layouts could be purchased from various dealers. One stand carried tiny light bulbs used in train displays; another had an HO-scale rock quarry and a gas station to enhance a layout.

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But a train show wouldn't be a train show without at least one working layout.

"As a Lions Club, we like to have a layout to attract the kids," Toms said.

Beside the firetrucks in the company's large front room, a winter-themed train layout was set up, complete with a snow-covered station, tunnels, Santa with his sleigh and reindeer, ice skaters, a lighted barn and a church with an outdoor Nativity scene. A 1950s vintage Lionel train ran through it, puffing smoke.

Toms said the layout belongs to his nephew, Allen Fream of Reisterstown, Md., who won it eight years ago in a raffle.

"It was valued at $2,000 then," Toms said. Because Fream had no room for it, Toms kept it for him at his own house.

An HO-scale collector, Toms said he has a large train layout in his basement. Once a week, he and other train aficionados get together to work on each other's layouts, he said.

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