OTTUMWA - From occasional hobbyists to hard core enthusiasts, train lovers of all kinds gathered Saturday and Sunday at the Quincy Place Mall for the Great River Railroad Club collector train show and swap meet. The club, from Burlington, has be in existence for over 40 years and is a mecca for train enthusiast from around the state.
Richard Hood, the owner of The Hobbycraft Shop in Burlington, said that the club has been having this show for 23 years now and he doesn't see that coming to an end anytime soon.
“My dad was into trains in the 1940’s, I grew up around them and the love just stuck,” Hood said.
The event featured many different business owners and enthusiasts displaying and selling the products they are so passionate about. Tables were filled with row after row of trains, parts, landscape pieces and electronics. The show drew in avid model train lovers and curious mall-goers and taught everyone a little something they didn't know about trains before.
“The diversity of this hobby is just endless,” Brett Cox, a club member, said. “It’s a hands-on work set, you learn about woodworking, electronics and the art of making scenery all in one hobby.”
Many of the club members have been around model trains since they were kids. Hours and hours can be spent working on a set and you can put as much or as little money into it and still have a great time, Cox said.The love children have for these trains is still apparent today in the faces of all the young kids who attend the show.
“This is lifelong hobby,” Cox said. “You can never get enough, it just brings some much joy to my life.”