Model Railroad Engineers to host Spring Open House

The Sheboygan Society of Scale Model Railroad Engineers is hosting its Spring Open House, Train Show and Brat Fry, Saturday and Sunday, April 22 and 23.

This family-friendly event will be held at the Sheboygan Railroad Museum, 1001 N. 10th St., Sheboygan, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Sheboygan Society of Scale Model Railroad Engineers, Ltd. Founded in 1977, the group owns the museum building, and 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.

Returning special guest, author John Winter, who has written “Rebuilding a Railroad in the 21st Century: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin”, will again be available at the Railroad Museum both Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to sign people's copies of his book. This book documents the rebuilding of an 11-mile rail line in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, after being dormant for nearly 30 years. He will have copies with him for sale.

In addition to the large railroad artifacts on display, there are model railroads in six different scales 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 1950’s. An HO layout represents Sheboygan in the mid to late 1960’s. Each has a particular theme in mind, and will show just how railroads serve in various areas of the country.

A hand-painted sky background has recently been installed behind the helix portion of the largest of the layouts. Occupying two levels, this HO scale layout is operated completely by computer, using software especially programmed for it. The two levels are connected by an operational helix that allows the trains to travel between the levels. A lot of electrical upgrades have also been done to the scenery including lighting for the round house.

All building expenses, including the construction of displays, are self-funded primarily by members. The Society depends on donations and fundraisers to fill the gap created between needs and available funds. This year a new roof is needed to replace one installed 20 years ago. Extra fundraising for this need will be occuring during the year. Check out our progress at the “Roof Fund Thermometer” to see how we’re doing

As always, admission is free but donations are welcome.

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