In celebration of National Model Railroad Month, Presbyterian Senior Living (PSL) is highlighting Green Ridge Village’s Model Railroad – the Green Ridge & Big Springs HO Scale Model Railroad. Green Ridge Village along with Quincy Village and Ware Presbyterian Village all have Model Railroad Clubs for residents to participate in and enjoy.
The residents at Green Ridge Village started a model railroad club back in 2002. This club is for the ones who have always had an interest in rich Pennsylvanian railroad history, but it is also for those newcomers who want to try out and learn something new. Currently, the club has about 15 members and continues to keep growing! The setup contains over 2,000 feet of railroad tracks along with detailed houses, buildings, and more.
Fun fact: residents say that some of the buildings are even named after one another, but we won’t name names.
The train room at Green Ridge Village is approximately 44 feet long by 36 feet wide. It is also specifically designed to be able to see up close throughout almost the entire setup so that it is handicap accessible. The 2,000-plus feet of track that currently makes up the model railroad equals about 33 miles of track in real life. Not only that but it is completely controlled by 12 different control panels. There are multiple trains throughout the display with the addition of working streetlights and lit-up houses. The residents sometimes even put on a nighttime light show for people to enjoy!
The towns incorporated into the display are named after 14 actual stops on the Cumberland Valley Railroad. This railroad made its first run in 1831 to connect with Pennsylvania’s Main Line of Public Works, which was a means to transport freight between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Children can even spot Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends in the town of Strasburg. This is because the Strasburg Railroad offers Thomas the Tank Engine as a tourist attraction to guests. This is just one of the many fun details of the model railroad display.
The model railroad club meetings include discussions on how they can improve their current setup, as well as how they can get the community more involved. Currently, they are finishing up an entire re-wiring of their train system and preparing for an open house event so that they can show family, friends, and the public what they have been working on.
So why would one find interest in model railroads? Well, there’s always something new to learn! History which dates back to the late 1900s takes up a large chunk of the hobby, but also the designing of a model railroad is a whole other side of it. There’s a lot that goes into it from the planning and gathering of materials, all the way to the execution and actual display of the project. There’s something for everyone! This hobby brings family and friends, old or new, together to explore a hobby that’s all built from love.