John Balderamas knew his 10-year-old son, James, was in for a good time.
The Balderamases were among those attending a road tour stop of ScaleTrains, a manufacturer of model trains, on Feb. 22 at the Woodsboro ISD Band Hall.
“He is the only one who is happy when we have to wait for a train,” Balderamas said of his son.
The Gulf & Western Modular Railroad Society hosted the event that included Shane Wilson, ScaleTrains.com president, showing a PowerPoint presentation detailing how the company was formed in 2014 and how its model trains are manufactured overseas.
Scale Trains, based out of Tennessee, produces model trains in three different scale sizes – HO (1:87), N (1:16) and S (1:64).
“What really sets us apart from many other manufacturers is we do a lot with detail,” Wilson said. “So if you went and looked at a picture of a real train and compared it to one of our models, they’re going to look just like each other. We also do really neat sound effects and lighting effects.”
Wilson and others in the company often position themselves at railroad crossings to take photos of trains as they pass by to discover new locomotives or freight cars to miniaturize. He said there has been a recent increase in model train interest throughout the country.
“It’s been pretty amazing,” Wilson said. “With COVID, there’s been a big reconnect in our industry and it has really boomed the last two and a half years as folks were online and getting to meet each other. Our age demographic traditionally was much older, and we’re seeing that come down now quite a bit.”
Wilson said the Scale Trains tour will make stops in all 50 states by the end of 2024.
For more information on Scale Trains, visit scaletrains.com.