Events planned at rec center, depot
The Strawberry Fest Model Train Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 17-18, at the Waupaca Recreation Center on the corner of School and State streets.
Sponsored by the Waupaca Area Model Railroaders, the event features dozens of operating model train layouts, vendors and swap tables. Admission is free
Mark Lasse with demonstrate his award-winning modeling skills. Demonstrations will be conducted throughout the two-day event.
Children can switch a train with Conductor Carlson, play with Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends from Chuggington Station, and look for Clifford the Big Red Dog.
Youths may also participate in the train races or demonstrate their coloring skills. Pictures of trains and coloring materials will be provided at the show.
The 11th annual model contest will be held on Saturday, June 17. Entries may be submitted between 8 a.m. and noon. There are categories for automotive, trucks, military ships and aircraft. There is special category for those 17 and younger for building Lego models. Visitwww.wamrltd.com for details.
Virgie’s Dining Car will serve sloppy joes, hot dogs, cupcakes and a variety of drinks. Early risers may purchases super-sized cinnamon rolls and coffee.
A dozen clubs will display their model railroads, including a 20-foot by 40-foot G-scale layout and a Lego layout.
Each layout is unique, expressing the vision of the builders of the layout. Some layouts accurately recreate a slice of America’s railroad history. Other layouts are fanciful creations of imaginary locations.
Dennis Cook, president of the Waupaca Area Model Railroaders, said he enjoys viewing the craftsmanship that other modelers use when building their railroad empires.
Depot open house
The Waupaca Historical Society will host an open house at the restored train depot, located on the top of the hill just north of the Oak Street bridge.
This year the station will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Visitors can hear music from a vintage player piano, visit the train shed to see a Model T depot hack and the baggage car from the old Waupaca trolley line.
A G-Scale model railroad has been added in the recently renovated basement. The layout features a double-track mail line capable of running four trains at a time.
The Waupaca Area Model Railroaders began in 1964 and was incorporated as a non-profit educational organization in the late 1980s to promote model railroading. Members teach skills in layout construction, wiring and controls, scenery and operation.
The club’s modular layout will be running during the show. The theme of the layout represents Central Wisconsin and has been continuously updated and more than doubled in size since it was started in 1988.
The award-winning layout has been run at National Model Railroad Association’s National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Madison and Milwaukee, and in numerous cities throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, and as far away as Milbank, South Dakota.
The club has also been active in preservation of the railroad history.
The Waupaca Electric Railway baggage car, restored by club members, and its pictorial history have been displayed at neighboring community events. This piece of Waupaca history is now on permanent display at the Waupaca SOO Line Depot. A historical booklet about the Electric Railway was published.
The club has also assisted in the restoration of an early 1900’s Duluth, Messabe & Iron Range caboose. Some members are involved with the depot restoration project.
The club meets weekly on Thursday evenings at various members’ homes to assist them in building and operating their own railroad layouts.
For more information on the club or the Strawberry Fest Train Show and Model Contest, contact Roger Hildebrandt at 715-258-8218 or visit www.wamrltd.com.