Walking into the building used by the Green Country Model Railroaders' Association, attached to a hobby store, I was immediately greeted by something from a different era. Directly to the right of the door sits an old iron furnace, a sight not seen in many buildings today. Walking on in, you can hear faint whistles and the hum of small electric engines.
As a kid, I was always interested in models. With the help of my dad, we put together model race cars and airplanes. I drove them around my front yard with star wars action figures strapped to the roof. I made dirt race tracks like the ones' my uncle raced his stock car on; and as I got more experienced, I even learned to make tunnels in the race tracks.
This group has constructed an entire system of tracks, complete with a number of different environments. There are freight yards and countryside tunnels, in idea not far removed from the ones I made in my front yards as a kid, but realistically, the tunnels and track system crafted by the group was a work of art. From the city of Murgatroyd located in the middle of the tracks to the he intricately designed model locomotives, accurate even with the noise they make, they are ready for operations.
The scale locomotive models are carefully crafted out of a variety of materials, aluminum or the more expensive brass models which can exceed hundreds of dollars. Each piece painted to match a time period or location. I couldn't believe the cost of the model trains, until I understood as several members told me, "We don't play with trains, we run operations." Though the tongue-in-cheek humor may be lost to some, the railroaders' knew that if you spent that much money on one hobby, you had better enjoy it.
The locomotives are built in HO scale, or 1:87 ratio. An average locomotive is about 5 inches long. The locomotives are powered electronically, and have computer controlled speed programs. Several had apps on their iPhones that controlled the trains.
Members of the association are welcome any time, visitors too. Even though I knew very little of their craft, members like Gene Brooks and Joe Schuler happily explained an bit of detail I needed to know. Though railroads' nationwide might be losing steam, the Green Country Model Railroaders' Association will continue to keep railroading history for all to see.
Model railroader Joe Schuler works on tidying up a lumber yard he built from scratch on the tracks. When in operation, trains go through a series of switches to operate inside the lumber yard. June 5 , 2012. KT KING/Tulsa World
A train departs from the station on June 5 , 2012 at the Green Country Model Railroaders' Association tracks. The model trains are accompanied by other miniature lifelike and scaled details. KT KING/Tulsa World
Green Country Model Railroaders' Association member Bill Campbell shows off a custom painted piece for a freight car on June 5 , 2012. Several members of the club construct and modify their own locomotives to meet their specific desires. KT KING/Tulsa World
The city of Murgatroyd is centrally located in the track layout the Green Country Model Railroaders' Association has built. On one end, a platoon of troops fights off Godzilla. KT King/Tulsa World
Glen Craig of Tulsa watches his train as it winds up a helix on May 29, 2012 at the Green Country Model Railroaders' Association track layout. The unfinished helix will be designed into a mine and other countryside features. KT King/Tulsa World
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