The 17th annual Fairhope model train show sponsored by South West Alabama Railroad Modelers (SWARM) will be held in the Fairhope K-1 Center at 100 South Church Street on Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22, during the 57th annual Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival and Eastern Shore Art Center Outdoor Art Show. The K-1 Center is about a block south of the Arts & Crafts Festival booths on Church Street. Fairhope is on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay on U. S. 98 south of the I-10 Daphne/Spanish Fort exit.
Hours for the Fairhope model train show are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission fee is $2.00, but no fee is charged for active duty military, police, fire fighters or for children of any age accompanied by adults. Tickets can be purchased at the front entrance to the K-1 Center on South Church Street.
The show will feature operating model train layouts in four different scales -- N scale (Pensacola Model Railroad Club and Miracle Strip Model Railroad Club from the Fort Walton Beach area); HO scale (Mobile Society of Model Engineers); and two O scale 3-rail Lionel-type layouts (our local Mobile area SWARM and Bay Area Rail Roaders layouts). The Emerald Coast Garden Railway Club’s large G-scale layout from Milton, Florida, will be set up in the front yard of the school, weather permitting.
Tom Klouzal of Mobile will display his highly detailed N-scale dioramas that will eventually be combined to form a N-scale railroad in his house in Mobile. Many of his buildings have removable roofs so you can see the interiors, complete with furniture including chairs, cabinets and even tableware.
There will be close to 80 dealer tables with trains for sale in all scales, and an exhibit by Operation Lifesaver explaining the dangers of gambling one’s life trying to beat a train at a railroad crossing.
For more information contact Herb Kern, 6405 Magnolia Place Court, South, Mobile, AL 36695, (251) 660-1659 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you should get to our area, be sure to visit the Foley Railroad Museum just a few miles to the east of Fairhope, at the Foley depot near the intersection of Alabama Hwy. 59 and U. S. Hwy. 98. This museum features a full-size train (diesel locomotive, two boxcars and caboose) and what is probably the largest O-gauge model railroad in this area of the country. The model trains and layout were donated by Alan Goldman of Montgomery to the City of Foley, and members of the Caboose Club have designed and built a new model railroad featuring beautiful trains and more than a quarter mile of track on a 22 by 60-foot layout. Trains are operated Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information contact the depot museum at (251) 943-1818 (normally closed weekends) or see www.foleyrailroadmuseum.com.
Another attraction rail fans will not want to miss is Wales West, a mile long narrow (two-foot) gauge railroad that circles an RV park and small lake just off County Road 9 between Fairhope and Silver Hill. They operate a steam locomotive and a diesel locomotive similar to the small locomotives used by the mining industry in Wales, where they were manufactured. For more information see www.waleswest.com, write email@example.com or phone (888) 569-5337. The web site lists contact information for two-foot gauge, 7.5 inch gauge and G-gauge coordinators.