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Shell Point model train room attraction open for visitors

By Staff | Nov 15, 2010

The Gulf Coast Model Railroad at Shell Point Retirement Community is now open for tours. Last year thousands of visitors toured the train room, and this year many new upgrades have been added.
Visitors from are welcome to stop by and see this 40-foot by 40-foot model train display in the shape of the state of Florida. Some of its features include hundreds of recognizable geographic landmarks such as Tallahassee’s old Capitol Building, Pensacola freight yards, the Gator Bowl in Gainesville, Epcot and Disney World, Kennedy Space Center with an orbiting Space Shuttle, Miami’s famous hotels, the Everglades and even Shell Point Retirement Community. This display is located on the Island at Shell Point; the “Train Room” as it is called by the Shell Point residents, offers a very unique look at the state of Florida.
Originally built in 1971, by a group of residents who enjoyed model railroads as a hobby, the Gulf Coast Model Railroad is operated and maintained by Shell Point resident volunteers. Up to nine trains run around the nearly 1,000 feet of track, and on about 100 turnouts, or switches. The switches and trains are motivated electronically from four console panels, and the self operated children’s layout now features Thomas the Tank engine.
Visitors can stop by to see the Gulf Coast Model Railroad for free Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Special group tours can be scheduled for those who are not able to visit during the normal operating hours. Call (239) 454-2152 to make arrangements.
The Train Room is located on the Island at Shell Point, underneath the Resident Activity Room in the Tunnel.
Shell Point Retirement Community is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community located in Fort Myers just off Summerlin Road, two miles before the Sanibel causeway. To learn more about Shell Point Retirement Community, visit us at www.shellpoint.org or call 1-800-780-1131.