‘The trains!’ come back, put ‘Southern flair’ on display


January 31 – KENNESAW – The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History’s most popular event of the year returned on Saturday, bigger than ever.

The annual exhibition “Trains, trains, trains!” The museum’s exhibit featured more model and model train layouts than ever before, according to Richard Banz, the museum’s executive director.

It was a fitting return for the museum’s premier event, which like so many in 2021 was canceled that year due to the coronavirus.

From model trains in richly detailed miniature worlds, to those one-sixth the size of their real-world counterparts, the trains on display at the two-day event ran the gamut. There were realistic models and Lego models. Interactive models and those that were not.

Billed as a family event, Banz – reluctant to proclaim a layout better than the rest – said the highlight is “when you just see the kids, and the adults too, their faces light up”.

One-year-old Dreaco Cook hadn’t professed any sort of love for trains until Sunday, said his mother, Carrie Mullinar, of Acworth.

“He’s only a year old so he doesn’t know what he likes yet,” Mullinar said with a laugh. But after Sunday?

“We definitely know he likes trains now,” she said.

The model train layouts are put together by mostly local hobbyists, Banz said.

“So you’ll see a kind of southeastern flair,” he said. “You’ll see a lot of Southern, L&N…CSX.”

Conrad Mora, who had brought one of his own layouts, discovered it many years ago, but took a long “sabbatical” after his marriage.

He got back into the hobby just over 10 years ago and now has a five-room layout in his home.

“It’s very relaxing,” Mora said. “When you do something like that, all the problems in the world kind of – they just go away.”

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