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Scale Rails annual model train show Saturday and Sunday

By Staff | Feb 27, 2015

Scale Rails of Southwest Florida, the biggest model train club in Southwest Florida, will hold its annual show Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Araba Shine Temple, 2010 Hanson St., Fort Myers.

There will be more than 95 tables of display as well as new and used equipment for all scale models, numerous layouts for fans to gaze in wonder at, and a raffle which the grand prize is a complete, ready-to-run layout.

Lee Dobbins, co-chair for the event, said he expects an even better turnout than last year, when more than 1,100 turned out for the weekend, which was the first year the train show was held in March. It had previously been held Thanksgiving weekend.

“There will be a collection of all gauges of train and modeling equipment. We expect an even better turnout this year. We’ve had a strong vendor performance and with heavy traffic we expect to exceed sales from last year,” Dobbins said.

There is ample free parking. Adult admission is $7, $2 for teens, with free admission for active duty military personnel and children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult.

All attendees also receive a free invitation to visit Scale Rails local depot at 1262 Piney Road in North Fort Myers, featuring a tri-level, digitally controlled HO scale operating layout and a children’s layout for the little ones.

The Scale Rail layout is something to behold, Dobbins said, and the public is always invited to see it.

“We always invite people to come here. We’re a non-profit and we’re open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. all year long,” Dobbins said. “Just last week, we had the honor to be photographed for Model Railroader magazine.”

Scale Rails of Southwest Florida was formed in 1983 after a group of model railroaders held a train show together at the Fort Myers Public Library. After moving around for years, it found a home on Piney Road in 2003 and has been there ever since.

It currently has 30 members, more than double the number in 1997.

Scale Rails is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting and encouraging the art and craft of model railroading by preserving the history, science, and technology of rail transportation.