Toy and Train Show This Saturday in Roxana
According to the club’s acting Publicity Director Bill Ziegler, the show is one part flea market, one part display, and all parts enjoyable.
“Our motto is ‘all gauges, all fun,” Ziegler said, referencing the technical term (gauge) used to classify a model train’s size. “We try to have fun with it.”
In addition to vendors who sell model trains and their accessories, the show has a room full of operating train displays, also known as layouts. Some of the layouts are as large as twelve feet wide by twenty eight feet long. This year, the show is introducing the theme “Rails Across America,” where 16 of the displays are dioramas depicting trains travel in geographic or historic cities and places in the United States. Some of the dioramas are Niagara Falls, the cable car line in San Francisco, and a New York City scene showing King Kong on the Empire State Building. Many of the dioramas are interactive, so attendees can push a button and watch the diorama come to life.
Ziegler says the show is especially fun for younger attendees, because they have the chance to operate some of the trains themselves, including a “Thomas the Train” themed set.
“I like to be inside the layout and look out and see the kids’ faces when they push a button,” says Ziegler. “That’s where I get my fun– watching people enjoy trains.”
The show also features a historical display that may look familiar to some older Sussex Countians. Ziegler says their 69-member, non-profit club has built a display identical to the train set that was in Seaford’s Montgomery Ward store in 1958.
Everyone who attends the show will be eligible for a free door prize–a little train set– and may enter a raffle to win cash or a large train set. Refreshments and snacks are available for purchase as well. Admission is $5, but children ages 10 and under may enter for free.
Ziegler says that although toy trains are becoming less popular due to electronics, he sees younger generations enjoying the show and all its sets–and that has a special meaning to him.
“If you get a kid interested in trains, that’s the minute where they’re not pushing buttons. Every kid walks around with their smart phone […] in their hand and is ignoring the world,” he says. “When you play with trains, you use your mind. It’s a hands on, real life experience instead of a fantasy game.”
More information on the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club can be found here.