East Bay News

Model railroads come to life in Walnut Creek

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An East Bay model railroad society that has been around for more than 60 years, is putting on a show this week like few others.

It takes a lot of passion and patience to keep this railroad running.

"We try to make it as realistic as we possibly can," said Jim Harrison.

There is a mile and a half of HO gauge track with sometimes ten trains running at once.

The Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society formed in 1948 and opened their building in 1975. Since then, they've never looked back.

The group stages elaborate railroad shows that include pretty much every act of nature short of a solar eclipse.

Beneath the trains is a labyrinth of secret passageways the public never sees. The underground leads to a kind of subterranean grand central station where they build the trains away from prying eyes, so as to not ruin any illusions.

Back upstairs, if you wonder how they keep all of those trains from bumping into each other, the secret is old technology. There is an array of switches, cable, and relays that once routed telephone calls for AT&T.

They say the railroad model will never be done or finished. It will always be a work in progress.

The shows run through November 25th, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

More info: Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society

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walnut creek, east bay news, wayne freedman
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