What is it about a train that captures a kid's imagination? They can watch trains circle around tracks and blow through tunnels for hours. And sometimes the adults can too.
"You'll see stuff here that you'll not see anyplace else," said volunteer Brian Olson. "We have all the scales--G scale, O scale, H-O. You can see all the scales here."
Brian Olson learned model train lingo at the urging of his two sons who insisted they go watch the model trains at the Twin City Model Railroad Museum (TCMRM) on weekends.
"It was our Sunday deal. We'd say 'hey dad let's go look at trains," remembers son Bryce.
Bryce and his father went so often that volunteers from the TCMRM approached them about volunteering at the Museum. That was 10 years ago and they've been volunteering ever since.
"It's the joy of the hobby for me and it's a stress relief from work," said Bryce.
While working a volunteer shift, Bryce is an engineer of sorts. He operates and talks about different trains to visitors and when a train stops working, he fixes it. Another perk of volunteering is operating and tinkering with sophisticated train models and layouts that most cannot afford at home, Bryce says the best part of the day is seeing the fun reaction from the young families who frequently visit.
"The fun part here is you get to see the kids. They ran really cool trains when I was younger, and now I get to pay it back," said Bryce.
Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum
1021 Bandana Boulevard East Suite 222
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108
Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
*Toy Train division only open Saturday and Sunday
Ages 5 and over $6.00
Ages 4 and under free
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Monday, June 18, 2012