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Model Engine Display Steams Up


From the Times Herald.
Residents show off mini trains.bilde-300x215
Where the rail forks near the former Port Huron & Detroit Railroad Company office building, traffic was heavy Saturday.
Fifteen small-scale live steamers ran throughout the day on three circular tracks, the longest of which was 92 feet.
It was all part of an event co-sponsored by the Port Huron & Detroit Railroad Historical Society and the Michigan Small Scale Live Steamers.
“People accuse us of playing with our trains, but we operate our trains,” said Tom Myers of Shelby Township, the treasurer of the steamers group.
Myers owns 17 live steamers. He brought four of them to Saturday’s event.
Between 100 and 120 people stopped by to see the train action throughout the day, said Bud Gilbert, president of the historical society.
“I think we did pretty good, considering the weather,” Gilbert said.
The historical society has 62 members and the steamers group has about 30 members.
“To have somebody like these guys in the club, it’s so unique,” Gilbert said of the steamers group. He said it’s uncommon for train models to include live-action steam engines.
Some of the steamer members had visited the railroad site before, but it was the group’s first time participating in an event there, Myers said. The location, which includes a roundhouse, is at 2100 32nd St.
“It’s a fantastic facility,” said steamer member Will Lindley of Livonia. “To be able to have a chance to preserve it is important. Historically, the building is in such good shape for its age.”
Lindley owns nine or 10 model trains. He brought two with him for the event, including an actual coal-fired locomotive.
The historical society’s next event is expected to be within three weeks when the group brings in the Port Huron & Detroit Railroad Company’s full-scale caboose, which was bought new in 1947. It last rode the rails 26 years ago, Gilbert said.
That is an event Lindley said he’d like to see.
“That’s exciting to get an original piece of equipment and, being steel, it should be in pretty good shape,” he said.
“To be able to recover that caboose — once they’re gone, they’re gone.”