Scale Rails hosts model train clinics
Many local model train enthusiasts look forward each year to Scale Rails of Southwest Florida’s free Train Clinics held Saturdays at the group’s clubhouse, known as The Depot.
This year it has already had one, which was a big success, said the organization’s president Peter Gross. A schedule of clinics has been announced, one almost every Saturday through the first week of April.
“We are not going to have a clinic Feb. 21 because we’ll be going up to Bradenton to attend a Western Division meet,” Gross said.
Dates and topics include:
— Feb. 7: Keep rolling stock running great
— Feb. 14: Weathering with chalks
— Feb. 21: No clinic
— Feb. 28: NTRAK
— March 7: Scratch building
— March 14: Tune up your loco
— March 21:Install DCC decoders
— March 28: Layout tours — South
— April 4: Layout tours — North
The clinics start at 10 a.m. and last about two hours. Attendees do not have to be a member to attend, but many find themselves joining.
The clinics are conducted by club members, cover many elements of model railroading and are intended to introduce people to some techniques for doing various aspects of modeling.
“Many of our members started train hobbies by attending these clinics,” said Gross.
He led the first clinic called Making Mountains and Scenicing.
“It went very well. We had some new people this year, first-timers at the clinics, who thought it was very nice,” he said.
Gross said Jim Edmier, who has studied the Santa Fe Railroad for many years, will lead the next clinic.
“He’s a member of the Santa Fe Railroads Historical Society and he’s very familiar with how they operate,” he said.
Edmier also organizes the group’s biggest event of the year, the Thanksgiving Weekend Train Show, an extremely poplar local event.
On March 28 and April 4 the group will have layout tours.
“Those are tours of home layouts different people have. We break it into two sections because some are in south Lee County. The north section covers the rest of the county including Cape Coral.”
Electrician Lee Dobyns volunteers his time at the clubhouse for the non-profit group.
“I’ve been into model railroading since I was a little kid,” he said.
Members said there are new tricks and technology, and the clinics are always informative.
For information, call 731-3645.