By Merry Dudley
It’s easy to fall into a post-holiday funk, especially in the frigid weather we normally “enjoy” here in central Wisconsin during January.
But the Central Wisconsin Model Railroaders (CWMR) club has the perfect antidote to your blues — a train show that both adults and children will enjoy!
On January 17-18, the CWMR will hold its 18th Annual Arctic Run Model Railroad Show and Sale at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center in Stevens Point.
Often called the “world’s greatest hobby,” model railroading is a pastime enjoyed by people of all ages for many years. At a very young age, children around the world often become enthralled by the sights and sounds of trains. And for some of them, that joy and wonder never really goes away.
Here is a view of the layout of model railroader Pat Lyon of Stevens Point. His layout was featured in Model Railroader magazine. One of the most wonderful things about the model railroading hobby is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Hobbyists often start out as those young children who enjoy trains, and they enter the hobby as soon as they have any disposable income. And these hobbyists stay for life.
“[These model] railroads are unique works of art and become a lifetime hobby for many individuals,” said Phil Gjevre, show manager and member of the Central Wisconsin Model Railroad club. “I’ve been doing it for 64 years.”
“You get hooked on it when you are young, and it grows on you,” Gjevre added.
And for those of you who think the model railroading hobby is just for guys, Gjevre wants you to reconsider. After all, fully 50% of all visitors to the Miniature Wonderland, the world’s largest model railroad, located in Germany, are women, totaling more than 500,000 ladies annually.
“Model railroading is not just a guy thing. It provides fun and relaxation to [any] guy or gal who enjoys it. And you are never too old to have another childhood!”
CWMR member Larry Misiewicz added, “If a person enjoys trains, [the hobby] offers the opportunity to create something from memory or from real life in miniature. Some people just enjoy running trains. Others research their favorite railroad and try to create part of it in miniature, [while] others take pride in building their pike in detail, right down to putting utility meters on their buildings.”
The show will cover 16,000 square feet at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center, featuring trains that are sure to delight everyone. New layouts, vendors and exhibitors will join show veterans and be ready answer your questions. Exhibitors and vendors from throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and surrounding states will help you find whatever equipment, supplies and ideas you can dream up.
“The purpose of the show is to allow the public to see what model railroading is all about,” Gjevre said.
Attendance has grown every year as more people learn about the show and the hobby gets more popular thanks to the support of other model railroad clubs in the surrounding area.
“Our goal is to make the show become the premier after-Christmas and early New Year event that people look forward to each year,” Gjevre said.For those of you with budding train fans in your family, this is the perfect family-friendly show for your entire family. The Holiday Inn is easy to find in Stevens Point (located just a few blocks from the intersection of Highway 10 and Interstate 39), and there’s plenty of things to see and enjoy.
Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends from Chuggington will be represented in miniature, while “older” fans will enjoy viewing the latest in radio- and computer-controlled trains running on any one of a dozen portable layouts in sizes as large as 22′ x 52’. One layout features almost four scale miles of track, more than 2,000 trees, and more than 250 miniature people and animals, including a monkey. (See if you can find him!)
The CWMR members encourage people to come out and see the unique designs different clubs will have on display. If you think you have a potential interest, here is your chance to check the hobby out. The show also draws former modelers who have been away from modeling for a while back into the hobby.
Anyone with interest or skills in railroad operations, carpentry, design, electronics, geography, and history will find a niche in the hobby.
One Model Railroader’s Story
Gordy Sauve, a friend of the CWMR club and their publicity chairman, has been an active participant in the model railroading hobby for 45 years.
“I started when I was about 30, and I’m 75 now,” Sauve said. Like most hobbyists, he became interest in trains before he became a parent.
In fact, he became so interested in the hobby that his train layout grew by leaps and bounds. It eventually became so large that he had to move it — to a large shed!“It’s actually more of a barn,” Sauve explained. The temperature-controlled barn measures 52′ by 24’, and as the layout increased in size, it made sense to expand up rather than out. There are stairs that allow you to see the various levels of the track and the incredible details he has put into even the tiniest parts.
“There are parts to appeal to both boys and girls, including an amusement park and Cinderella’s castle,” he said.
The CWMR Club
The CWMR was founded as a non-profit educational organization in 1987 for individuals with interest in model railroading to come together and share their hobby. Part of the proceeds from the show and sale go to support non-profit organizations such as the Portage County Historical Society, Operation Bootstrap (the community food pantry), The Boys and Girls Clubs and other worthy causes.The CWMR club worked in conjunction with the historical society to restore the Bancroft depot where the club currently holds its meetings. There are currently about 20 members ranging in age from 20 to 80.
To keep the show an affordable family outing, CWMR has maintained last year’s admission prices of $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 11 to 16. Children 10 and younger are free. Families with multiple children will pay no more than $10 in admission.
Vendors and clubs interested in participating should contact Phil Gjevre at 715-341-8228 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Paul Clasen at 715-341-5253 or email@example.com.
Arctic Run 2015 – 18th Annual Model Railroad Show and Sale
Saturday, January 17: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday, January 18: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center
1001 Amber Avenue, Stevens Point