TORRINGTON – The Torrington Area Model Railroaders, a club of train enthusiasts, sets up their collections of trains every year at the Torrington Armory and turn the interior into a huge railroad track and station, just in time for Christmas.

To accompany the show, the club also holds a food drive for Friendly Hands Food Bank, collecting donations of non-perishable items for the food bank on King Street.

This year’s show will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Armory at 153 South Main St. There is no admission charge; all who attend are asked to bring donations for the food drive.

The show features train layouts in the two most popular scales, HO and N, according to members. A variety of trains will run all day, including 1950s-era New England freight trains, coal trains that would have been seen operating in the Appalachian mountains in the 1970s and early 1980s, a train hauling 1970s-era Army tanks, and modern intermodal trains that can be seen operating over the nation’s rails today.

The HO layout is 45 feet by 53 feet; the N scale layout is 28 feet by 40 feet.

“We have been working all year to make improvements to our train layout so that people who come to the show will see something new,” said Dave Ware of Stratford, the club’s president, in a statement. “Club members have built new sections of the layout, called modules, and improved scenery and the trains themselves.

“The show at the armory is one of our big events each year,” said Luis Segarra of West Hartford, another club officer. “Model railroading is a great hobby and we look forward to sharing it with people.”

Non-perishable food items for the Friendly Hands Food Bank that are always in demand include: soups, pasta, pasta sauce, tuna, canned vegetables, canned pasta, peanut butter, grape jelly, breakfast cereal, canned meats, mac and cheese, canned fruit, stews, chili, juice boxes, baked beans, instant mashed potatoes, and boxed rice and noodle dishes.

The layouts that will be on display are modular, meaning they can be disassembled into sections that are easily transported. When those sections are linked together, the layouts are impressive.

The Torrington Area Model Railroaders is a group of railroad enthusiasts, ages 15 to 90 from all over the state, who enjoy real trains and model trains. “One of the group’s primary missions is to share what we think is a great hobby with others,” members said. “We have a building on Lewis Street in Torrington that houses the train layouts.”

For information about the Torrington Area Model Railroaders, contact Dave Ware at 203-572-2226.

Connecticut Media Group