Model Railroad Club
encourages popular hobby
HO scale model train displays
will be featured at Showcase
CRESTWOOD, Ky. (February 2005) From the moment
Ed Brennan saw a modular layout of the Kentucky & Indiana Model
Railroad Club (K&I), he was fascinated with this hobby. During the
1998 Christmas season, Brennan stumbled across a layout in Greentree
Mall in Clarksville, Ind., and knew he had to jump aboard and learn
Brennan joined the 30-member club shortly thereafter and
is now the clubs superintendent. This will be the second year
that the K&I Model Railroad Club will display their trains at the
Oldham County Chamber of Commerces Community Showcase
on Feb. 5. The 11th annual event, featuring more than 100 exhibitor
booths, will be held at the former Wal-Mart building located in the
back of Crestwood Station Shopping Center, 6200 W. Hwy. 146 in Crestwood.
Show hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Brennan said the Showcase is a good opportunity for us to showcase
our hobby while supporting the community. Its particularly appropriate
this year as the Showcase has as its theme All Aboard.
Kathy Jacobs, the chambers community relations director, said
the organization knew about K&I and thought a display would be a
great fit with this years Showcase theme. Jacobs called the club
interesting and said it holds an attraction to what seems to be a popular
current trend in hobbies. It is a display that is good for kids, said
Jacobs, since the Showcase will have attractions for both adults and
According to Brennan, the main purpose of the club is to have fun. We
do this by sharing our interest in the hobby of model railroading while
promoting the hobby to others, said Brennan, 58. He has been interested
in model railroading since age 10 and still runs cars his grandfather
gave him in the mid-50s.
Those who attend the Showcase will view a modular layout approximately
9x24 feet. Individual modules are 8 feet x 30 inches, can represent
a rural area, power plant and locomotive servicing facility. These are
typical locations in which the transportation system of the railroads
is readily seen today, said Brennan.
Many of the trains will be freight trains, typical of modern high-speed
rail transport. Included in the layout are also passenger trains, which
reflect the by-gone era of rail travel of the 1940s and 1950s.
by Jerry Ashley
HO scale model train rumbles
through a miniature city.
K&I was founded in 1993 to provide a reliable, portable
layout for train shows of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)
Division 8, based in Louisville.
The trains reflect the interests of the particular owners, and all equipment
that is running belongs to the individual controlling it. The flexibility
of modules permits the club to significantly alter the size of their
layout depending on space limitations.
This modular layout provides a great way to interact with the
public and promote the hobby of model railroading, said Brennan.
But building an individual module isnt a requirement of the club,
since several members dont have home layouts.
K&I permits and encourages its members to build a module and allows
them to run their equipment on a group layout without incurring the
expense and space requirements of a home layout.
K&I touts a varied membership roster of train enthusiasts that includes
doctors, electricians, firemen, consultants, retirees and even young
Pete Snyder became a member two years ago at the suggestion of neighbor
and fellow K&I member Bob Widman. Like Brennan, Snyder grew up with
model railroading and has a 4x8-foot layout in his basement.
He enjoys not only operating the modules but also what he learns from
other members of the club. Its satisfying and rewarding to duplicate
something, he said. His individual layout duplicates the town he grew
up in, Vincennes, Ind.
Certain portions of the Showcase layout were designed specifically for
a display at the Oldham County History Center several years ago. This
model depicted a street running scene (similar to the tracks
running down Main Street in La Grange). K&I has displayed at the
center on at least three occasions.
Because of the wealth of talent among K&I members, they frequently
hold how-to clinics to educate other club members. Topics
reflect the various aspects of the model railroading hobby. Members
might learn how to construct rail cars, buildings and scenery, how to
lay track, how to wire the layout for proper operation, how to weather
plastic kits to make them appear more realistic, and how to mix plaster
and pour it to form rocks for detailed scenery.
One of the great things about this hobby is the ability to model
a prototype precisely or follow a good enough philosophy
in achieving the feel of the prototype, said Brennan.
For Snyder, the hobby is therapeutic. He retired years ago and the club
provides him with something to do.
The club frequently plays host to public train shows at the NOVA building
in the Bluegrass Industrial Park in Jeffersontown, located at 11700
For more information on the club, visit:
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