Train show goes on despite loss of organizer

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Windham - posted Tue., Nov. 5, 2013
Enfield resident Nicholas, age 4, checks out one of the displays at the Model Train and Die Cast Toy Show held at Windham High School on Nov. 3. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Enfield resident Nicholas, age 4, checks out one of the displays at the Model Train and Die Cast Toy Show held at Windham High School on Nov. 3. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Nicholas, 4, peered over the edge of one of the model train displays in the cafeteria at Windham High School. The “G” gauge display was new this year at the fall train show, sponsored on Nov. 3 by the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum. Eyes agleam, the little boy took off running around the display. “That’s my train,” he said excitedly, pointing behind him to the quickly-approaching black and yellow locomotive. “He’s following me.”

Soon Nick was joined by another little boy, about the same age. The two new friends took off together. “He’s coming, he’s coming!” shouted Nicholas, with glee.

The train shows, like the museum itself, provide a source of wonder and excitement for train enthusiasts, both young and old. For many years, the shows were organized by Joseph Sokol, who passed away at the age of 74 in July. “So we had a really hard time putting it together this year,” said museum member Janet Atkins. But the show came together, albeit with fewer vendors than normal. And museum members weren’t sure yet whether they’d be able to repeat the show, as usual, in the spring.

“We have more displays, but not as many vendors,” said member Adrian Atkins. There were also a couple of new features, such as modeling clinics and a model contest. But the main draws, as usual, were the displays of working layouts and the wares, mostly trains and display-related items, offered by vendors.

A father approached one of the vendors at the end of a hallway, his young son in tow. “You probably don’t remember me,” he said. “I bought from you all the time as a kid.” And so it goes.

For more information about the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum, go to http://www.cteastrrmuseum.org/.


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