All Aboard for the Nerd Express

In November 2014 I attended the 32nd Annual Model Railroad Show in Burnaby at the Cameron Rec Centre.

Hosted by the BC and Yukon branch of the National Model Railroad Association, the weekend-long show brought railroad enthusiasts and admirers out to see the displays.

For only $7 admission, it was well worth it.

OMG Productions trains
The art of model railways.

 

Yes, I’m a train nerd.

I have always been fascinated by trains – freight and passenger – and I still own a working brass track HO electric train set manufactured in Austria about 1968.

Among the many sacrifices of living in a shoebox-sized condo in Vancouver is not having the leisure space to adequately display my revered relic of mini-transportation technology. My excitement to witness this model railroad show and see what ardent train building nerds can create was palpable.

And the detail was amazing.

 

OMG Productions trains
Dedication to a detailed and valued craft.

 

Every landscape is duplicated on a miniature scale: mountain ranges, tunnels, complex trestles and bridges, train stations, villages, West Coast logging camps, mid-west towns, farm lands, forests, open pastures, Saskatchewan grain elevators, cars, people, cows, busses, and even a European football match.

All of it motionless except the lifeblood weaving and winding through this delicate diorama – the moving train – on its secure and anchored track.

OMG Productions trains
Train nerds are also known as “Foamers” on account of them foaming at the mouth when watching real trains.

 

Watching the trains ribbon through their landscapes was hypnotic.

 

Through the Generations

The maker of the piece below was a 14 year old lad who said he spends every Sunday with his grandfather building, testing, modifying and perfecting their diorama extravaganzas. He understands the complicated electronics and wiring too.  While his grandfather mentors in the art of electric train design, the grandson offers online skill at finding unique signage or pieces to enhance the character of their models including special conductors and switches to make it all come together.

OMG Productions Trains
This roundhouse set included several mini vintage neon signs and incredible detailed lighting.

 

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Get Off The Tracks You Bratty Kids 

OMG Productions CN
Rail safety is no laughing matter.

Also onsite was an exhibit by the good people of CN Rail promoting rail safety and Operation Lifesaver anti-trespassing program.

Free colouring books were given out featuring Rover the Rabbit, your train conductor, offering fun and important lessons about railway safety.

Remember:

  • Train tracks are private property
  • All railway property is private property – take note Arbutus corridor gardeners
  • A 10,000 tonne train can take as much as a the length of 18 football fields to stop
  • Help report dangerous behaviour by calling CN Police at 1-800-465-9239