Model train enthusiasts share a year-round passion
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Pictured preparing an internal foam foundation that will be covered and molded with plaster cloth to create a miniature mountain landscape is Tamaqua Anthracite Model Railroad Club member Josh Vacula, on right, President Frank Huegel, center, and Jim Young.
Hundreds of model train cars of all types line the tracks of the Tamaqua Anthracite Model Railroad Club's (TAMRC) ponderous model train set laid out in their club's home located in the basement of 139 West Broad Street in Tamaqua.
This was where Props and Wheels Hobby Shop once was a number of years back.
Their larger two piece, 1,000 square foot, electric model train set nearly encompasses the entire basement as it stretches from one side of basement to the other.
TAMRC member Josh Vacula, 17, from Tamaqua, has always been a model train enthusiast since his grandfather gave him his first train set when he was only three. Some sections of their set are modeled after historic areas of track that once kept Tamaqua thriving in the past.
One section of their track displays the train turntable that once stood in Tamaqua at what is now the old Eckerd and Rite Aid parking lot across route 309 from the Tamaqua Ambulance Building. This section of model track also includes a model version of the large freight station that was located on what is now the North Railroad Street or train station metered parking lot.
Future plans are in the works to add even more tracks and detailed scenes, like a section of track modeled after an actual 20 track, 10 northbound and 10 southbound, that once ran through and located in a part of South Tamaqua at what is now the water treatment plant. President Frank Huegel encourages model train enthusiasts and anyone else with interest to stop by any Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. or by calling 570-386-2517. The club will also have their entire display available for the public during the upcoming Tamaqua Heritage Festival set for October 10.