Exploring model railroading in Topeka

Topeka Model Railroad club at the Topeka Railroad Festival

Tony Fox has loved trains for as long as he can remember.

When he was barely old enough to walk, his grandmother would carry him outside when the whistle blew so he could watch the Santa Fe go by their house.

When he was a bit older he remembers his first train ride going to visit his uncle down in Austin and being a little scared by the not-fully-enclosed area between cars.

Fox still has that passion and awe for trains, and can frequently be found watching trains at several spots around Topeka, just observing the hooking and unhooking of cars. About 10 years ago he found a hobby to go with that passion: model railroading.

For about seven years Fox has been president of the Topeka Model Railroaders club, and for the eighth straight year the club will be showing off a 16-foot-by-22 foot display of farm scenes, mining camps, mountains and more at the Topeka Railroad Festival on Aug. 15 at the Great Overland Station, 701 N. Kansas Ave. The display has been built in 6-foot-by-30 inch sections — called modulars — by different members over the years, and is clamped together in different layouts each show, always to form a loop for the model trains to travel on.

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