By LISA HOOVER
MASSENA -- The Norwood Model Railroad Club will hold a train, toy, and collectable show at the Massena Arena Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ten operating model train layouts of different sizes and gauges will be featured and vendors will set up. About 80 vendor tables have been rented, according to organizer Tom Jarvis. Food will be available at a concession stand.
“We have a free kiddy ride outside, weather permitting,” Jarvis said. The rides take place on a “nice little gasoline powered train” which can “pull eight or 10 kids a time,” he said. The train usually draws “a whole line of kids out there,” he said.
The show is predominately focused on model trains, “but we have vendors that buy or sell or appraise stuff, people can bring stuff in,” Jarvis said. This year vendors will include coin, toy, and sports car hobby dealers, according to Jarvis. The show is “trying to reach the whole collectible market,” he said.
While Jarvis wasn’t sure of the exact number due to a “two or three year hiatus,” Jarvis estimated this year’s show will be the 25th or 30th for the club.
The show arose because “many, many years ago a lot of people enjoyed model trains, but they either don’t have the room or don’t have the money, because it’s kind of an expensive hobby,” Jarvis said. “Someone came up with the idea, it’s called modular model trains.”
The club itself owns the corners, and each member owns their own section of model tracks, Jarvis explained. The club creates the standards for use, but “beyond that you can use your imagination,” he said. “Some of it is very, very nice, and some of it is more primitive,” he said.
“We just set them all up and it gives us a weekend to run the trains” at different shows, said Jarvis. “It gives us an opportunity to play, really.”
It will be the fourth year the show has appeared in the Massena arena. “We used to have it at the Norwood high school, then moved it to SUNY Potsdam for years, then back to the high school, now we’re down at Massena Arena,” Jarvis said. The move was needed to accommodate all the clubs from around the United States and Canada that typically attend the show.
The show has also expanded to include a few crafters, “something for the ladies to shop for while their husbands and kids and grandkids are watching the trains,” Jarvis said.
Admission will be $3, with children under 10 free. The show serves as the club’s only yearly fundraiser. New members from the Norwood, Potsdam, Norfolk, or Massena area are always welcome, Jarvis said. “Like any organization, our numbers are down,” he said. It’s “a neat way of learning model railroading, you can learn from other members.”