HAGERSTOWN — Maybe it’s in the blood.
The thrill at the cry of the train whistle rising and falling. The excitement born of the bell clanging and the chug-chug of wheel on rail.
Brady Haugh, 4, of Waynesboro, Pa., gazed upon a Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum model-train display Saturday at Railroad Heritage Days.
“Both of his great-grandfathers were into trains. They would be happy to see this,” said Brady’s grandmother, Kitty Haugh of Waynesboro, who had taken him to the event for the third year in a row. “It’s funny how he is drawn to it.”
Brady looked away from the set only momentarily to share facts. One train zipping past was a diesel locomotive, he said.
“I like watching them. I like the noise, and they’re fast,” Brady said. “I like Superman, too. He is even more powerful than a locomotive.”
Teresa McDonald, 27, of Maugansville, said her son Noah, 2, has been mesmerized by trains “since he realized things could move.”
Like Brady, Noah come by his passion for trains honestly. At Christmastime, Noah’s grandfather displays three different kinds of model trains beneath his Christmas tree, McDonald said.
At Heritage Days, Noah zoned in on Western Maryland Caboose 1863, which was opened for tours in the museum lot, and physically laid himself beneath it.
“He is interested in what makes them move,” McDonald said. “He likes to gets down underneath, look at the bolts and see what makes it go.”
Roundhouse Museum member Blaine Snyder said Heritage Days is an annual tradition meant to remind people of Hagerstown’s history as the hub city of railroading. The Train Room & Museum and Hagerstown Railroad Museum at City Park also participated in the event.
In addition to tours, displays and food sales, the Roundhouse Museum featured a Thomas the Tank Engine trackless ride along the tracks behind the building.
Event co-chairwoman Crystal Sprecher said trolleys ran from the Roundhouse Museum to the City Park museum, where attendees had access to more displays and tours, as well as a barrel-car train ride.
The cost of admission, $4 for adults and 50 cents for children 12 and younger, covered all of the activities. Sprecher estimated that between 700 and 1,000 people would attend the event Saturday and Sunday.
Valerie Newman and her husband, Sandy, traveled with their sons, Michael, 7, and William, 4, from Luray, Va. to attend the event. They had been to the museum at Christmastime and liked it so much, they decided to return, she said.
“All kids today see is the train go by,” Sandy Newman said. “Here, they’ve seen a caboose, a passenger car. It helps them understand what it’s all about.”
If you go
What: Railroad Heritage Days
When: Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Where: Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, City Park Railroad Museum and The Train Room & Museum