Model Trains

‘We’re all railroad nuts’



By: Mark Gabriel/staff photo

THE NEWLY COMPLETED “town” of Lakey Flats comes complete with railroad tracks as part of a complex model railroad display under construction by the Black Cat Club.
   Miniature railroad cars wind around hills, through tunnels and between tiny towns in a large HO model railroad display currently under construction by the Yadkin Valley Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society, more commonly known as the Black Cat Railroad Club.

   The club is working on the final phase of the display, as they finish a model railroad station complete with turntable and a latticed network of switching tracks.

   “We’re all railroad nuts,” said club member Bob Fink about his fellow members’ passion for the project, currently under way at the club’s headquarters at the former Wilkes Art Gallery on Elizabeth Street in North Wilkesboro.
   “Some of us are just plain nuts,” said member Jim Davenport, laughing. “But that’s OK.”

   The model train display is built entirely in HO scale, the standard for model railroad trains. It comes with miniature buildings, cars and people in model towns called Plexico Junction, which has a power plant; Lakey Flats, which has its own fast food chicken restaurant; and Union Station, with its own central railway station.

   Along the way are model versions of motor vehicle crashes, logs tumbling off a railroad car, an apple orchard with bee gums nearby, and a moonshine still hidden behind some trees.


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Model Trains

Carolina Coastal Railroaders in New Bern, NC

Sun Journal

The 14th annual Carolina Coastal Railroaders show rolls into New Bern March 7 and 8.

Tracks will be set up at New Bern High School in the cafeteria and gymnasium.

Joe Hofmann of Carolina Coastal Railroaders said at least 10 model railroad layouts will be on display.

He said the layouts with trains running will include:

Onslow Model Railroaders; North Raleigh’s N scale layout; Kinston’s Thomas the Train and Friends; New Bern’s Neuse River Lines; Wayne Gibson’s scale layout; Atlantic Coast “S” Gaugers layout; Brad Carter’s “O’ Gauge carnival setup; Coastal Carolina Garden Railway Society’s “G” scale layout; Eastern Carolina Railroad “O” Gauge and Tidewater Virginia “O” Gauge.

The event will include hourly door prize drawings, food concessions and vendors selling a variety of railroad equipment.


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Model Trains, Train Rides in NC

New Hope Valley Railway!


Come experience the thrill of riding the rails – see, hear, and feel railroad history.  The New Hope Valley Railway at the North Carolina Railroad Museum has monthly ride days in season from May to December, with activities, themes, and events for visitors of all ages to enjoy.  You can charter group train rides, schedule operate-a-loco, or have a birthday party in a historic caboose.

View an awesome photo gallery!

View the equipment roster! Wow!

They even have a G-Scale Garden Railroad!

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Model Trains

Waynesborough Model Railroad Club!

It’s amazing to me the number of model railroad and train clubs that exist in North Carolina. Obviously, the hobby is in no danger of dying out like the newspaper is…ha!


The Waynesborough Model Railroad Club has been located in historic downtown Goldsboro, North Carolina since 1982. One of the largest Ho scale layouts in Eastern North Carolina, We provide both individual and family memberships.  Many of our members are native Goldsboro residents but we have many members stationed at nearby Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.  As a result, our layout has the advantage of being able to accurately represent many different geographic regions and different prototypes.  Some of our modules and equipment are owned by the club but most of the equipment is owned by the individual members.

Visit the Waynesborough Model Railroad Club!

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Model Trains, Train Rides in NC

The Little Choo-Choo Shop in Downtown Spencer, NC


Man, oh man…Spencer, NC is a special place. Not only is it headquarters for the NC Transportation Museum, but it’s also home to one of the most awesome train shops in North Carolina, The Little Choo-Choo Shop

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Little Choo Choo Shop Inc. was founded in 1989 by Ann Surratt as a retail location dedicated to the model railroading hobby. The store is located in the historic railway town of Spencer,
North Carolina directly across from the NC Transportation Museum. The store has earned a reputation as one of the finest resources for model railroaders in the region. The store has continued to grow thanks to our loyal customers, dedicated staff, and our commitment to stocking a wide selection of model railroading products.

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Christmas & Trains, Model Trains

Countdown to The Polar Express

Santa is bringing The Polar Express in less than 4 days. Not sure who is more excited, Santa or my son.


The question now is…what scale are we officially collecting? We have a ton of HO and a little bit of N scale. But now, with this investment, we’re going to need to purchase more O-guage track.

Christmas and trains in North Carolina. Doesn’t get more magical than this.

Click HERE for The Polar Express on

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Model Trains

Smoky Mountain Trains

I’m not sure who the genius was who decided to build a huge model train musem right smack dab in the middle of a full scale train ride called Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, but that person deserves a great deal of credit.

Boasting more than 7,000 Lionel engines and cars, Smoky Mountain Trains has an amazing collection of model trains in a collection that dates back to 1918.

The most incredible feature here is the layout. Words cannot do it justice. It’s GIGANTIC with mountains, rivers, trestles and landscape that baffles the mind.

Located in Bryson City, which also just so happens to also be a major station point for the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, Smoky Mountain Trains is an absolute MUST-SEE for any train enthusiast. Also on the premises is a gift shop and activity center. Plus, it’s downtown and close to restaurants, hotels and other attractions.

Visit Smoky Mountain Trains online by clicking HERE!

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Model Trains, Train Rides in NC

The Little Engine That Could at GSMR

The annual arrival of The Little Engine That Could at Great Smoky Montain Railroad is an event that train entusiasts won’t want to miss. In Bryson City, NC the town dresses up for the occasion and characters from the book come to life. While it’s obvious that it’s the diesel that’s pushing and pulling the little, blue engine…the likeness is uncanny and the constant “I think I can” is enough to drive even the little kiddies a bit nuts. Nonetheless, it’s great fun for everyone. Not to mention that you can also visit the train museum and enjoy Smoky Mountain Trains.

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Model Trains, Uncategorized

All Aboard The Family Express


“All that went for naught,” Mr. Berlinski said of his proximity to the train yard. “I could have sat back in my yard and watched trains all day long and I just took it for granted because they were there all the time.”

Now, donning a T-shirt of a coal-burning steam engine from Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania, he gleefully will tell stories of his family watching the extensive miniature train that snakes through a bed of shrubs and flowers in his back yard.


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Model Trains

Choosing An O-Scale Set

O Scale Model Railroad: Choosing a Train Set

By: Stuart Smith

If you are new to the world of model train building, you are probably a little confused about where to begin with your layout. After all, there is a wealth of information on all the different possible ways to arrange things, to set up the switching layout and the station layout and on and on. You must make decisions regarding the scenery and the types of trains too. Before you rush out to buy a large amount of model train pieces and scenery, or plan an entire town- even before you build the table for your model railroad set, you should decide what scale you want to work in. Scale will really determine what you need, the amount of space you will do it in, and what kind of scenery you will have.


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