Mid-Missouri Railfans host annual train show

Saturday, March 16, 2013 | 6:32 p.m. CDT; updated 7:45 p.m. CDT, Saturday, March 16, 2013
Mid-Missouri Railfans hosted their annual train show Saturday morning at Paquin Tower. Attendees could walk through exhibits featuring small train models for kids to play with and more intricate realistic models for adults.

COLUMBIA — Fifty-six years ago, the Mid-Missouri Railfans club president received a model train for Christmas, which sparked his interest in railroads and trains.

Although Hank Stoltz put this hobby aside for a time, he eventually dusted off his old models and started to build new rail exhibits.

Stoltz was in the company of fellow enthusiasts at the Mid-Missouri Railfans' annual train show Saturday.

Held in the lobby of Paquin Tower, attendees walked through the exhibits. The event offered small train models for kids to play with and more intricate realistic models for adults. The two main exhibits featured trains made by two classic toy companies: Lionel and A.C. Gilbert.

Included in one of the main exhibits were replica train cars based on the real Peabody Coal Company cars that would have passed through South Central Missouri during the 1950s, Railfans member Ben Colley said.

Although Colley said he has been a rail fan his whole life, this year was his first time attending the show.

Stoltz, who has been involved with the Railfans for many years, said he likes making buildings and landmarks to place around the tracks. 

The Lionel train exhibit featured a cluster of buildings Stoltz had made to look like a city. He created the structures from cardboard boxes and used spray paint to give the illusion of windows and doors.

Stoltz said he likes that the group allows train enthusiasts to express creativity. At the meetings, the members run trains, work on track layouts and try out new products.

Supervising editor is Emilie Stigliani.

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