My first model train

Hey there, I'm Ken, the other member of the family!

Christmas morning, 1948 will always be one that I won't forget....under the Christmas tree was my first set of model trains.....a Lionel engine and 5 cars!

For an 11 year old boy, that was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I loved trains but to really have a set of my own was too good to be true. Money was tight in our house. Although Dad had a good job in the office of the Armour Company in Omaha, NE, money was not something that was usually spent on toys! Especially something as EXPENSIVE as an honest-to-goodness set of Lionel trains!
Dad and I built a table out of scrap lumber and we set up the train layout in our basement. Both of us enjoyed running the Lionel and making scenery, mountains and anything else we could think of (and could afford the materials for).

Keeping my little brother out of the layout was a problem....once we found him sitting in the middle of the layout. He wasn't doing anything, just sitting there. I think he climbed up onto it and then was afraid to move. I was a lot more upset than Dad was....

The Lionel setup was my domain, I was the master of the controls, and my world was complete. UNTIL, I went high school (age 13 at that time) and discovered cars and GIRLS! My Lionel went into the box for nearly 40 years.

I have been retired for 8 years and 7 years ago joined a train club....the Nebraska-Iowa Railroaders. We meet monthly at either member's homes or at our club meeting place at Nebraska Crossing where we have some large permanent layouts set up.

The club is contacted frequently by shopping malls, train shows and other events that want to attract visitors. What little boy (or his father) can resist looking at model trains...they will stand for hours watching the ice loader push plastic ice cubes into a train car, a saw mill that cuts logs into wood slabs, and Mel's Diner where the car hops come out on roller skates, bringing food to the cars.

Our portable modules can be transported to the mall or wherever the display will be located. One of our favorite places is Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE.

Lauritzen is a beautifully landscaped flower garden and is also the home of two huge retired Union Pacific engines. Big Boy 4023 along with Centennial 6900 are happily living out their lives in the garden spot of Omaha.

Big Boy 4023 - Omaha, NE .....................Centennial 6900 - Omaha, NE

Our model train club has a free exhibit at
Nebraska-Iowa Railroaders Club

Lauritzen Gardens Train Exhibit - Omaha, NE

No comments: