All Aboard!
Model train show puts visitors on track to fun.

            The first stop was Seneca, as it was circa 1930.  The model train was on the floor, rolling along track that wound its way around a replica of the Eastern Oregon city made of cardboard, construction paper, and wood, and held together with glue. 

            The engine sputtered and was having a bit of trouble on one section of the track.  Clayton, chief engineer at that moment for the Seneca School History Project, walked around the display of the miniature city, careful not to knock over a building or a tree.  Clayton, a fifth-grader at Seneca, knelt down and fiddled with the engine, then put it back on the track and away it went, past the train shops to the lumber mill.  “The shops are where they would pull the trains in and work on them,” said Clayton.

            When a visitor asked him if he liked studying history, he said, “It’s fun to build an old town and to run trains.  I just think they’re really cool.”

            He wasn’t the only person who felt that way inside the pavilion at the Grant County fairgrounds, where on Sept. 4, 2004, engineers of all ages stepped aboard the first Great Eastern Oregon Train Festival.  The six-hour event was a showcase for model railroads and the people who lay the track, build the cities, the mountains, and the wilderness scenes that the little trains can roll through.

(This article was written from excerpts taken from the original article written by Scott Mallory for the Blue Mountain Eagle.)