Railroad museum open house set

The Sheboygan Railroad Museum will host an Open House Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Admission to the Open House is free, but donations are welcome. The museum is located at 1001 N. 10th St. in Sheboygan.

The Sheboygan Society of Scale Model Railroad Engineers, Ltd, founded in 1977, which owns the building, has had, as its primary purpose, the preservation of railroad history, both prototype and models. To that end, it has amassed a large collection of railroad antiques, some dating back more than 100 years.

Real life railroad crossing signals and bell that were donated are now operational. They have a circuit that flashes the lights and rings the bell providing great fun for kids of any age.

In addition to the large railroad artifacts on display, there are model railroads in six different scales in varying stages of completion, from the tiny Z scale to G scale. One of them, for example, replicates what a typical Lionel layout would have looked like in the mid 1950s, using vintage buildings and rolling stock acquired.

The HO scale DC layout represents Sheboygan in the mid to late 1960s. The downtown area covers Center Avenue to Wisconsin Avenue and features Security 1st National Bank, H.C. Prange Co. and Hills Department Store. There is a general residential neighborhood with 2-story and bungalow style houses. South Business Drive is another feature with Dairy Queen, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, and Jose’s gas station and tire shop. The one big industry shown on the south side is Empire Petroleum.

The largest of the layouts, occupying two levels, is an HO scale layout, operated completely by computer, using software especially programmed for it. The lower level is functional and filled with scenery. In addition to being functional, a lot of scenic improvements have been added to the upper level, and include new buildings, lighting, and animated features. The two levels are connected by an operational helix that allows the trains to travel between the levels.

The society is now accepting applications for 2016 memberships. The group is in its 39th year of providing model railroading opportunities for young and old alike.

There will be an interactive area for small children to enjoy themselves along with a brat fry to satisfy those with an appetite. The members of the museum look forward to sharing the experience.

For more information, see the society’s website at http://www.sssmre.org or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sssmre.

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