model train set on track

A Tradition Continues

e*Train Issue: May 2003   |   Posted in:

By Gene Anstine

In 1988, two members Charlie Klinefelter and Joe Schmidt were talking about trains. Both men had a love of both real and toy trains, Charlie, Lionel and Joe, American Flyer. They collaborated on an idea to add to the Christmas spirit of Glen Rock and create a fundraiser for the fire department.

They brought the idea to the fire department and mentioned that they wanted to build train layouts in the social hall for the Christmas season. It was heartily approved.

That was the start of a tradition that has continued since.

That first year there was an 8′ x 16′ American Flyer layout; an 8′ x 16′ Lionel layout; and an 4′ x 8′ HO layout built by Sid and Kevin Krebs.

As the years went by, more community members became involved and included N gauge and G gauge.

In 1997 when the fire department tore down the detached social hall to make room for the station expansion, we approached Glen Rock Borough about a building they had purchased.

They were putting a library in the front of the building and there was an empty room to the rear of the building. After the 1997 season, the social hall was torn down and we moved to the library building, and have been there since.

This first installment is about the O gauge layout, as it is now 16′ x 32′, the other layouts, American Flyer, HO, and G will be covered in the future.

Over the years there have been many people who have helped with the layout. Charlie, Brian Landis, Mike Bailey, Randy Smith, Chet Wagner, and myself, Gene Anstine.

This is what really solidified my love of toy trains. I had played with them since I was a kid, but this really hooked me. In the beginning Charlie was the repairman and kept everything running. He taught me how to repair trains and now has passed the repairs of all of the trains to me. He now scratch builds buildings with Mary Weaver; you may have seen them in the Silver or Red hall.

Every year they give us buildings so that there is something different to see every year.

Randy and Chet are responsible for the scenery. The mountains are chicken wire with a plaster coating, which was built to be moved if needed. The rock cuts you see are made with rubber molds, made from real rocks. Most of the trees on the mountains are golden rod weeds that were picked after the first hard frost. As Randy and Chet say, “You take them and cut everything away that doesn’t look like a tree and then paint them the color you want”.

One of the things that the pictures don’t show is the level of detail. Everything from people doing things to the manure in the barnyard.

My job is the wiring. We currently have a bus-wiring scheme, with jumpers every 6 to 10 feet. We have Lionel TMCC and are adding MTH DCS.

Stay tuned for future articles.