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South shore resident with big heart hopes to break social-distancing blues with tiny train tracks

Martin Shih on a volunteer trip to Taipei, Taiwan .
Martin Shih on a volunteer trip to Taipei, Taiwan . Andy Shih

A Brossard resident who is temporarily out of work is hoping his hobby will help break isolation for people practicing social-distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 25-year-old school supervisor for special needs students first started making videos of tiny Lego trains in random places back in November.

His video of a train travelling through a shopping mall’s empty parking lot has attracted particular attention considering the current climate.

READ MORE: Quebec coronavirus cases surge to 1,013 as partial shutdown looms

“I just wanted to share some fun wholesome videos with the world while we are toughing it out in these times of crisis,” said Martin Shih.

“When I posted the Quartier Dix30 video, I was not expecting much but it seems that it struck a beautiful chord with a lot of people.”

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The comments on his channel are nothing but positive.

“I work at Dix30, and this is truly wonderful. Thank you,” said one user. Another user wrote, “This is really amazing in these times.”

Although some did question why he was outside during the COVID-19 crisis and suggested that he “stay home”.

Shih was first inspired by one of his students who adored watching Lego train videos. His student would share the videos during his breaks and after watching a few, “we were both amazed at the footage,” said Shih.

“I thought that it was so cool to see the world from a tiny point of view.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Montreal police declare state of emergency, 100 officers in quarantine

But the more they watched, the more Shih wanted to capture something different.

“Lego train videos on YouTube were all pretty much the same,” he said, referring to the fact that many are filmed inside.

“I wanted to see it go outside, in different locations.”

They never did find such videos, so Shih decided to take charge and conduct his own operation.

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“I bought a Lego train and some tracks and started filming the night I got them,” he said and he never looked back. 

From videos of his train travelling on thin ice to ones of it barrelling through snow, the amateur miniature conductor also known as TinyTrainTrack is making a name for himself on YouTube.

The south shore resident also prides himself on answering all comments on his channel.

“If anybody has any recommendations on where I should film next, please let me know,” he said.  “But some will have to wait until after the quarantine is done.”