Paterson NJ Model Railroad Club to reopen public exhibit

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PATERSON – Mat Horning vividly remembers when his father bought his older brother an oar.

“My brother didn’t play with it a lot, but I definitely did,” Horning said.

Almost three decades later, Horning is a member of the Paterson-based New Jersey Hi-Railers Model Train Club, which was busy last week preparing for its first public event since the onset of the coronavirus.

“COVID-19 has been terrible for our members,” said longtime club member Bob Iuliucci. “Everyone missed the camaraderie among the members and the opportunity to show our exposure to the public, especially children and their parents. ”

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Housed on the third floor of a former industrial building on 6th Avenue in the Bunker Hill neighborhood of Paterson, the display includes over a mile of track, 360 turnouts, tunnels, trestles, terminals, miniature mountains and villages that s ‘extend over an area that measures 185 feet by 40 feet.

Scenes include replicas of Coney Island and its famous Cyclone roller coaster, Gotham City with superheroes and villains like Batman and The Joker, King Kong riding the side of the Empire State Building and a scenic recreation of the Great Falls by Paterson.

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In special honor of the lives lost on September 11, there is also a replica of the World Trade Center.

The layout also includes plenty of stations where kids can press buttons to operate short train rides, turn on lights, and even propel the blades of a police helicopter.

“We also have a special room which is reserved for children and their parents,” said Iuliucci.

Iulucci estimated that the average age of club members is around 65.

“I’m 75 myself; However, we are always looking for new people to join, ”added Iulucci. “We have younger members and even a few children who come to our meetings with their parents. ”

The model train show at 185 6th Avenue will be open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $ 2 for children aged 5 to 12 and $ 7 for adults. For more information, visit: www.njhirailers.com

Ed Rumley is a contributing writer for Paterson Press.


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