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This article was published 11/4/2016 (1896 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Walk out of the Charleswood Legion on the second Friday of every month and you just might smell like you’d spent the last few hours out in the woods, watching trains go by.
That’s because members of the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club meet at the Legion once a month to celebrate their shared hobby.
For the club members, building model railroads goes well beyond constructing tracks and putting trains on them.
"We try and recreate the sights, sounds, and smells of a real railway," says club member Morgan Turney.
Hence the odour that might linger on one’s clothing after a couple of hours of being around the trains.
"You can buy smoke fluid," Turney says. "When it burns, it gives off an odour like a train would have."
Much care and detail is put into the layouts of different tracks, making them as life-like as possible. Some models take years to make, such as one depicting the Whiteshell region and stretching all the way to the Saskatchewan prairies.
While several model railroads on display at the Club’s open house a couple weeks back spanned almost half the room, others can fit on a table, such as Suzanne Lemon’s model of a train going through the Alberta Badlands.
"It was a two-month project," she says. "It’s fun and relaxing and it lets me completely forget about anything stressful that happened during the day.
"My parents were into it. I remember growing up, we’d go for rides on the prairies."
One common trait of club members is that their love of railroads began at a very young age.
"I’d been wanting to be involved (with model railroads) since I was in my 20s," says club member Bob Wheeler, noting that he’s now in his 60s, and just recently became involved.
He says he appreciates how working on his model railway keeps him busy.
"Every night I have something to tinker on," he says.
"You have to be a little bit of an engineer, a little bit of a carpenter, and you have to have imagination."
Anyone interested in learning more about model railroads is warmly invited to come out to a meeting.
More information is available at http://www.winnipegmodelrailroadclub.blogspot.ca
Amanda Thorsteinsson is a community correspondent for Charleswood.
Charleswood community correspondent
Amanda Thorsteinsson was a community correspondent for Charleswood.