On Sunday, January 25, I joined the throngs out on the highways and byways of this corner of South Jersey. I don't know exactly whey there were so many people on the road, but the Dollar Store was jammed with lines 15 to 20 people long and the same for ShopRite, although I didn't venture into the grocery store. I was warned off by the people in line with me at the Dollar Store where I had stopped for sun glasses which I haven't needed for a month. We guessed that it was so crowded because the tv news had so hyped the snow storm on it's way that people were taking advantage of their one day off from work to shop and get what they needed in case they couldn't get out for a couple of days.
Anyhow, I crossed Route 130 and headed into Brooklawn using my gps to get to 11 Railroad AVenue. I had a pink slip announcment of the Train show from when I visited the little American Museum on Main Street in Glassboro. The train show was hosted by the Strasburg Model RailRoad Club and there were the advertised "Over 50 Tables of Train Items." They sold everything from the trains themselves, to books about trains, train tracks, hats, whistles, and other accessories.
My interest, of course was the running train displays. I love the platforms and the villages, the trees and the trains. I was wishing I had remembered to bring my photo of my N gauge platform set up at Christmas, but I didn't have it. So all I could do was admire and listen to the owners as they discussed their sets.
In regard to the Strasburg Model RailRoad Club, I wonder how many of you have ever ridden the big Strasburg train in Lancaster County, Pa. http://www.strasburgrailroad.com/ originally I rode the train with my family when I was a child, then with my family and my child, then with my child and just me. We went a dozen or more times. I love a train ride. I've also ridden many trains such as the Cass steam train in West Virginia. http://www.cassrailroad.com/ And in Petersburg, West Virginia, there was a dinner train that ran in October that I rode with my father. He was the one who started my interest in trains.
My father's company put the train in the Smithsonian. (*see below) He was an ironworder in his youth and later, a cost estimator for the same company, Hake. He loved trains too, and he bought both of my brothers model trains for our Christmas platforms, but as is so often the case, I was the one who developed the interest, not so much my brothers. They sold their trains, but I sold my daughter's trains, so don't think I'm making judgements. You can't hold on to everything, and, perhaps, only the happy memories.
And, you can go to the train shows and re-live those happy memories. I didn' get to Railroad Days in Bordentown this year but a friend did. I will try to make it again next year and I strongly suggest that you go to the Train Show in Brooklawn next year too.
*"The locomotive was retired from service in 1952. A Regent of the
Smithsonian, who was also on the board of directors of the Southern
Railway, headquartered in Washington, D.C., persuaded the Regents to
accept the 1401 in 1953 as a gift from the Southern - to represent the
'age of steam railways' in American history.
From 1953 to 1961, the 1401 was stored at Alexandria, Va. When the
new National Museum of History & Technology (now NMAH - under
construction from 1959) was ready, the Southern gave the 1401 and its
tender a full external restoration, with new paint and striping, in
Two 250-ton-capacity railway steam cranes of the Southern lifted 1401
from a rail spur located about two miles from downtown, where 1401 had
been moved. The two cranes set the engine (sans tender) on a special,
200-ton-capacity, multi-tire trailer. Late on the night of Nov 25/early
on the morning of Nov 26, 1961, the engine and its tender were moved
(part of the way on Constitution Ave.) to their new home in Washington.
Another eleven days were required to place the engine and tender in
the museum. The east end of the new museum was completed around the
installed 1401. In January 1964, the museum opened to the public."