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Model trains exhibits plan expansion

By Dawn Burleigh

Playing with trains is not restricted to the young but also the young at heart.

“We run trains around in circles and have a good time,” Southeast Texas Model Railroad Club President Mike Gulley said.

Mickey Taylor, of Bridge City, participated the Open House in his home in honor of National Model Railroad Month over the weekend as well as the Southeast Texas Model Railroad Club, which held open house at Grace Lutheran Church in Orange.

Taylor has added new features and details to his model railroad layout expanding a layout built inside a 27-foot by 24-foot two-car garage.

The Port Taylor and Pacific Railroad is a representation of the Texas and Pacific Railroad between Shreveport, Louisiana and El Paso, Texas.

The set-up is a point-to-point operation between the yards at Shreveport and El Paso with towns and stations in geographic order.

Taylor lost the layout in 2008 due to Hurricane Ike and spent three years, with the help of friends, to rebuild the module. While the display was ready for visitors during the open house event, Taylor is already planning new additions for next years display.

New additions include a reproduction of Western Refinery Company in Colorado City, Texas. As well as lighting in two newly installed buildings along the tracks.

Tracks running through tunnels and around walls with the four trains stopping at passenger stations or switching stations for industrial loading and unloading. Many of the building in the layout are lighted to allow for nighttime operation as well.

The Port Taylor and Pacific Railroad runs on Digitrax DDC components and throttles allowing multiple trains to run simultaneously.

Many of the buildings are lighted for ‘night time’ operation.

The displays at Grace Lutheran Church, 2300 Eddleman Road in Orange included five area layouts including the return of Lego Train display, Texas Brick Railroad.

The train is built completely from the popular plastic interlocking toy, including the track.

All of these layouts are included in the Houston Fall Tour of Model Railroads.

The annual open house began in 2008 with two local participating model railroad clubs.

“It is rare for an area our size to have two active model railroad clubs,” George Bohn, vice president activity director of Southeast Texas Model Railroad Club, said.

There are two types of elements to the layouts – Prototypical and Scratch Built.

Prototypical is like the real thing, according to Gulley in a previously published Orange Leader article.

Scratch built is self designed and created.

Each club has it’s own requirements for layouts and scale size of the model trains.

Southeast Texas Model Railroad Club have layouts for an HO and an N scale, the two most popular sizes in model trains.