The Children’s Model Railroad

In 2011 we were contacted by a nurse at UC Davis Medical Center Children’s Hospital – Pediatric Ambulatory Services when their elevated model railroad had stopped working consistently. Over the years it had brought much joy to children and parents waiting to see their doctors and caregivers at the hospital. Our first club member wrote after visiting the layout and children for the first time: “It just broke my heart to see them; some walking, some in chairs, and even one on a gurney pushed by her parents. The reason I’m telling you what I witnessed in the lobby is because I decided on the spot that if the club was not into helping fix this layout, I sure was, so I brought the engine and cars home for a closer look.” Of course, our entire club was enthusiastic about volunteering to maintain and repair the model railroad!

The railroad was originally built by Jules Toy Trains, but after many years of use and little maintenance, it was seldom operated. It needed track cleaning and the locomotive model needed some maintenance. It is a standard gauge 1, 1-32 Marklin train set. ‘G’ scale models will also operate on the track. The layout is elevated near the ceiling, so visitors can see the trains from all angles and positions. Fortunately, several members of our club have expertise in this type of model railroad system.

As of May 2011, our club has repaired and replaced the track and electrical system so the layout can be operated smoothly. A new power pack with a custom ‘power on’ indicator has been installed. Furthermore, members have obtained a ‘Percy’ locomotive and the ‘Troublesome Trucks’ so that staff can alternate model trains for variety and also if one has a malfunction. A ‘James’ locomotive is one order as well as additional ‘Thomas’ cars. We are very pleased to help cheer up the little ones and their families. Our club has also solicited donations from other railroad related organizations to continue to upgrade and maintain the layout.

In the photo above you can see Thomas the Tank Engine pulling Annie and Clarabel. The photo to the right provides a view of the elevated trackage and reception area .

International Railfair

The International Railfair is held annually in November at the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville.

The Sacramento Modular Railroaders are a co-sponsor of the fair and always have a layout setup and operating. We also have a junior engineer table setup with a small train for children to run and get a taste of the hobby fun.