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Clickety clack . . . Rail Days are back

July 17, 2005|by HEATHER KEELS

heatherk@herald-mail.com

Around and around the track chugged the tiny model train, and around and around followed the eyes of 1-year-old Owen Stanton from beneath his striped conductors hat.

"He loves trains, he can't get enough of them," said his grandfather, Mike Beeler of Waynesboro, Pa., who brought Owen and 3-year old Christian Stanton to see the trains at the seventh annual Roundhouse Rail Days in Martinsburg.

"I'm glad they like it because my dad worked for Western Maryland Railroad," Beeler said. "I just love to see them light up when they see the trains. Keeping alive the history of the trains and what they did for the country."

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For train lovers young and old, the Roundhouse was the place to be Saturday. Inside the historic Roundhouse, hobbyists displayed model trains, working rail cars and paraphernalia ranging from old railroad magazines to Thomas the Tank Engine children's books.

In another building, people of all ages clapped and swayed to the doo-wop vocals of The Marcels, who shuffled, danced and spun on stage between performances by The Stoney Creek Blue Grass Band.

"The purpose of Rail Days is to let people know what's going on down here in the Roundhouse, the improvements that are made from year to year with mostly grant money," Martinsburg City Councilman Richard L. Yauger said.

Since last year, one of the railroad buildings was painted, new doors and windows were added and the Roundhouse ceiling was repainted, Yauger said.

Eventually, Yauger hopes the buildings will be used as multipurpose space for shows, craft events and science fairs.

Rail Days ended at 5 p.m., just in time for many of the visitors to head to Queen Street, where about 50 local businesses competed in a chili cookoff from 4 to 8 p.m.

For $5, visitors could sample all 50 entries, including such creative versions as "Hillbilly Chili," "Military Chili" and "Chocolate Chili."

Rail Days continues today, with gates opening at 11 a.m. and performances by The Fabulous Hubcaps at noon and 3 p.m.

If you go


What: Roundhouse Rail Days

When: Today, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Martinsburg Roundhouse Center, 100 E. Liberty St., Martinsburg, W.Va.

Cost is $5; those 12 and younger admitted free. On-site parking is $5.

Call 304-260-4141 or go to www.martinsburgroundhouse.com

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