Lindsay Model Railway Show


by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams

Here Come the Trains!

When I was a little boy growing up in Toronto, my father used to take me to the Bathurst Street bridge. The bridge spanned numerous railroad tracks. We would stand there watching the trains come and go. Back then they were mainly steam engines! The steam would billow up into our faces as the trains passed underneath us. It was very exciting! These treks to the Bathurst Street bridge started a lifelong fascination with trains! Every time a train signal comes on, many people become very impatient! Not me! I can’t wait for the train to come, especially long freight trains! I love the count the number of cars to see how many there are! It drives Judi crazy! I know that I am not the only one fascinated with trains. I have a friend, Ted Rafuse, whose love of trains has prompted him to write a number of books and articles on the subject! Even though we have an annual model train show in Cobourg, I must admit that I have only visited it once and that was a long time ago! When I was researching for festivals and events to visit in April imagine my delight to see that the Lindsay Model Railroaders were holding the Lindsay Model Railway Show. So, here we were, traveling north on a cold April morning. I could hear the train whistles blowing!

On to the Show…

The road to Lindsay is a familiar one. I have traveled it many times, along Hwy. 401 west to Hwys 115/35 and then north on Hwy 35 to Lindsay. The only real change was the weather! After all, it’s spring! The birds (human and avian) are arriving back from the south! Flowers are sprouting up all over and there are buds on the trees! So, why is it snowing? That’s right, a light snow fell most of the way there and more was yet to come! We finally reached Lindsay at about noon, just in time for lunch at Tims! Then it was off to the Show. Lindsay is a beautiful historic town with wonderful long downtown area. We drove along Kent Street through the downtown core to Victoria Park. The Lindsay Model Railway Show was taking place in the Victoria Park Armoury. We found a parking spot close by and walked to the building. On the walkway to the Armoury we were greeted by chainsaw carved train conductor! Up on the steps of the Armoury was a chainsaw carver busy creating his next master piece! We watched him work for a while and then walked through the massive Armory doors. Here we joined the ticket line-up. Once we had purchased out tickets, we entered the world of model railroading! The air was filled with the noise of people talking and model trains running! The show was a mix of vendors, railroaders and model boat builders. We started to investigate…

Lots of Trains!

There were model railway displays set up throughout the middle of the Armoury! Each display belonged to a different group of railway modellers. Several clubs were represented, Ottawa Valley, Barrie, Port Hope and, of course, Lindsay. Around the perimeter of the room vendors were selling various railway modeller items, trains engines and cars, railroad hats, train videos, books, miniature figures, material for scenery, railway tracks and more! If it had to do with railway modeling, I am sure it was there for sale! After taking it all in, we started making our way through the various displays. Each display was interesting and exciting to watch! Most had a number of trains running at the same time. Trains passed one another, rounded corners, passed under bridges, went through tunnels and stopped and reversed direction! All doing this at the same time! Every once in a while a train would come off the tracks. When this happened one of the club members on duty would put it back on track and send it on its way! I wanted to find out more about the clubs, so I approached one of the members from the Ganaraska Railway Modellers Club. Their club is located in the old railroad station (now used by VIA Rail) in Port Hope. The Club occupies half of the station. The Club originally started with only 4 members, but is now up to 10 and growing! I asked if they had a website, but I was told they work working on one. If you are ever in Port Hope, you should stop by the station. It’s at the south end of town. Also from Port Hope was The Doll House and Train Emporium. Their booth was located along the east wall of the Armoury. They were offering a wide variety of model railway items. I spoke with the owners who told me that they were offering a series of modeling clinics at their store. Also along the east wall was another “Modeling” store, Hobbies and Beyond. They are located on the main street in Lindsay and sell all kinds of products for the hobbyist. For me, I was like a “kid in a candy store”! I want! I want! I want! It was then that Judi grabbed my arm and shook me back to reality! Both Judi and I had enjoyed ourselves at the Lindsay Model Railway Show! After all, the lady from “Hobbies and Beyond” had given me her calling card. It was a balsam wood model plane, embossed with their company logo! I started my flying lessons the next day!