Train hobbyist shares passion with Wiregrass

It took Baum three years to finish his train set.
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 5:53 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -Model trains are the stars of an upcoming event that’s bringing fun for the whole family to the Wiregrass.

The 31st annual Model Railroad Show and Sale will be held September 17 and 18 at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds.

President of Wiregrass Steel Wheels George Baum stumbled onto his love for trains when he found an unfinished set being sold in a store. He was hooked from there.

It took Baum three years to finish his train set, adding every detail to the town surrounding his train, and developing the story to go with it.

“I put the old buildings of a mining town there and name it Big Rock,” said Baum. “And then, I decided to make it a modern town and name the town Big Rock.”

Intricate model trains like Baum’s will be displayed at the event. Baum encouraged families to come out and possibly develop a new hobby. For the older generations, the creativity involved with building model trains can be beneficial for mental health. It is also a task that can be accomplished while sitting down.

While Baum enjoys building his sets, he said the most rewarding part is the reactions he gets from his hard work. He said, “The neat thing about that is just to see the kids like when I’m telling the story at the train show, they get tickled, the parents get tickled. But the elderly folks they’ll come in there and some of them will just stay in there and watch it and watch it.”

All of the proceeds from the event are benefitting Toys for Tots. Adult admission is $7.00, children 6-12 is $3.00, and children under 6 are free.

It is open to the public from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on the 17, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the 18.

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