Despite the road conditions from Friday’s snowstorm, thousands made their way to Moose Jaw for the 25th annual Thunder Creek Model Train Show.
Now in it’s 25th year, exhibitors from Edmonton to Winnipeg and everywhere in between put their best model trains on display.
“We had one cancellation and two of them go in the ditch but they still made it. It shows their dedication to the hobby,” show chairman Bud Guidos said.
Nine-year-old Jonas Pollock couldn’t wait for this year’s event. It’s his love of trains that keeps him coming back year after year.
“There’s steam trains, diesel trains, electric trains, so many types of them. Steam trains are my favorite,” he said.
“A lot of modelers like to model steam engines,” Guidos said. “I think we miss the steam engine. We miss it because of the way it looked and all the belching smoke, so we try to recapture that. You look at some of the models today and they are so well built.”
The G Railers out of Regina had their exhibit on display and like Jonas, Ron Coburn’s fascination with model trains started when he was a child.
“Everyone got one as a kid, around the Christmas tree kind of thing. It’s more of a disease than a hobby, but I call it a hobby,” Coburn said.
Every year he grows more passionate about his hobby as his display gets bigger. From the historic town right down to the people, no detail is too small.
“I think we’re going into the 15th year with this layout alone, but every year you just do a little bit more,” Coburn explained. “We can only set it up at a place like this. No one has a garage or a basement big enough.”
“People spend hours — I should say days — scenicing their layouts, trying to make it as realistic as possible,” Guidos said. “They make their own trees, they make their own scenery material, they use everything they can find.”
While the hobby can be expensive, for Jonas that means starting small.
“Recently I’ve been playing with Thomas the Tank Engine Track Masters,” he said.
It’s all part of his grand plan to one day have a model train exhibit of his own.
The model train show concludes Sunday, March 25 at 5:00 p.m.