New tracks for a new generation

DOTHAN, Al. (WTVY) -- Model trains are something many kids enjoy. Of course, many kids like all kinds of toys but model trains seem to be almost a cliché. Sunday however, was for all those kids who love model trains and even for their adult parents who are young at heart. Through the weekend at the national peanut festival fairgrounds, the 2017 Wiregrass model railroad show was held. It’s a one of the largest railroad expos in the southeast, with something for everyone.

(Image Source: MGN)

“I love them. Me and my daddy are big train fans", said William, a 12 year old.

William came to the car show with his brothers and parents. It was his father who got him into toy trains. He really fell in love with them just a couple years ago almost in his adolescent years. He’s enjoyed them ever since. Sunday, gave him a chance to bond over something they both enjoy, model trains.

"It’s one of the biggest model railroading events in this part of the country”, said Danny Lewis, president of the Wiregrass Steel Wheels model railroad club.

The show is in its 27th year and is still going strong, featuring around 80 vendors from all over the southeast, selling everything a collector could need, but also bringing up displays for children to look at.

Lewis has spent some time with the show and model train show. He even reminisced about the over two decades he spent working with the show. For him, it’s more than just a show. Lewis said Sunday, and each year for that matter, seeing fathers and mothers and now sons and daughters enjoying the engines as a family.

"I’ve seen adults and kids here you know… every year for 27 years", said Lewis.

But the displays are for more than just train savants like Lewis and William. Sunday gave a chance for people who didn’t know they like trains, to discover their passion for them. One such person was a 7 year old by the name of Kamryn.

Kamryn came with her father and brother, spent some time walking around looking at the cars as they passed by. Did she have anything specific she liked about the train show? Not really. But like any 7 year old, she loves toys. And seeing them as toys might have been just enough to sway her in the direction of being future train director.

"What’s it like kind of seeing these small trains that almost look like toys? I really want one", said Kamryn.