Both sides of Blair’s family has worked on the railroad. He has five family members riding the rails.
“I love seeing my brother drive by on the train,” he says.
He’s grateful for the Central Michigan Model Railroad Club.
“I can’t personally work on the railroad because I’m deaf, so this is the next best thing.”
Art has been collecting model trains all his life.
His mom and dad got him started as a kid, and he still has the original toy train. “It still runs,” he says.
After his children left the house, he converted their bedrooms into train rooms.
“It keeps me occupied,” Art says.
After 20 years in the club, with everyone placing trains on each other’s sets, how does he know which train is his?
“We just know.”
Gene is 85 years old. He’s been seriously collecting trains for more than 55 years. It all started with a $5 set during the Depression.
He served two tours of duty in World War II and in the Korean War.
“When I got home from the service, I started collecting more.”
Since then, he’s been a bit of everything: pest control, fencing (as in fences), antiques.
He’s been with the Central Michigan Model Railroad Club since the beginning, in the 1960s. It’s the tradition – the idea of keeping these old trains alive – that keeps him interested. He likes the G-gauge trains: “The big ones.”
His set is full of moving parts, like a talking car wash, and a tornado that spins around on an old record player.
Gene also collects barbed wire.