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T.R.A.I.N. layout shares the joy of model railroading

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The Three Rivers Festival event continues through Saturday at The History Center.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 8:47 pm

A fully operational train yard, a depiction of Monroeville during the Interurban era of 1920s and 1930s, and a tunnel with a cutout window all are along the tracks at the T.R.A.I.N. HO model train exhibit now at The History Center, 302 E. Berry St.

The event, which is part of the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. History Center admission is $5, adults; $3, seniors and students; and free, ages 2 and younger and History Center members. Admission is free during Barr Street Market hours 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

“We've had a lot of kids and parents come down,” said Blane Ryan, president of T.R.A.I.N., the condensed name of the local Three Rivers and Indiana Northern Railroad Association. “It is a lot of fun watching kids' eyes light up.”

The T.R.A.I.N. group has about six members, and they're always looking for new train fans, Ryan said.

It took Ryan and a few other group members about six hours to set up the circular train layout at the History Center, which starts in the second-floor hallway, goes into an exhibit room through one doorway and returns to the hallway via another doorway.

The layout consists of several modules of track depicting different railway scenes, which snap together to form the route, Ryan said.

This is the ninth or 10th year the T.R.A.I.N. group has organized the event, he said. Members and visitors all seem to have a good time.

“Even though it is hot outside,” he added, “they can come in, cool off and watch trains run.”