CAROL WALKER/Alachua County Today Walker - Train IMG 1871


HIGH SPRINGS – For those who had model trains when they were kids and wish to relive the fun of one of the world's greatest hobbies, Santa Fe College's Community Education Enrichment program is offering two ways to renew acquaintance with this interesting pastime.


The first of two short, two-hour courses, “Model Trains:  History,” began last Thursday, Jan. 21, by exploring model trains from the early 1900s to the present.  The class is being held at the Historic High Springs Elementary School and Community Center. 


The second half of the course will be held on Thursday, Feb. 4.  The course instructor for both classes is Robert Watson, President of the High Springs Historical Museum. 


While the first class had to do with sharing information on the history of model trains, the second class will continue that theme for about 30 minutes before taking field trips to the local homes of two guest speakers, Sam Viviano and Pete Woodward. 


Both have a long history of model railroading, and each has their own train layout.  Viviano's is a Lionel three-rail, while Woodward's is an American Flyer two rail.


An assortment of interested people joined the first class.  At least two people were members of The North Central Florida Model Railroad Club, housed in Alachua.  Some were just interested in the topic, and some were trying to reconnect with a past hobby.  All expressed delight at being able to visit two train layouts in the second class session.


Watson explained that others can join for the second class and field trips by contacting Santa Fe College.


The second course, which begins Feb. 11, is “Model Trains:  Gauge, Setup, Care.”  This course explores the various gauges and sizes of model trains from G Scale to Z Gauge.  Layout, diorama building and model train maintenance will be the areas covered in this two-hour, two-class course. 


Participants will see a diorama being created by the course instructor.  The course will be held in the same location and runs from 6-8 p.m.


The fee for each of the two courses is $24.


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