Dec 082013

securedownload-3When you come to today’s Holiday Festival don’t forget to stop by to see the model railroad in the basement of the Academy Museum.

If you’ve loved the display in the past, it’s important to include the railroad in your activities today because the Beacon section (Right side against the wall) is gone and the New Haven & Derby Model Railroad Club is rebuilding the entire HO set-up (1-inch = 87-inches) to show how the train routes truly ran in the past.

According to Joel Mandell, the new display, which club members have been working tirelessly to reconstruct in the past several months, will include Ansonia.

For those of us who have enjoyed the display in the past, It may seem sad to see the existing models go away. So why would they want to take it apart?

Mandell said the old tracks in the existing set up don’t quite line up correctly. Trains derail when they run and it is not up to their standards.

“What they are doing is laying new track for Ansonia and making it as perfect as possible,” he said.

The center island will be taken down, Danbury will be taken down, and the display will be condensed from Long Wharf to Ansonia.

It took 8 months to deconstruct the display, and now the construction with new track, power and getting it tied in to the existing display is in progress.

Next, another crew will do the detail work, with buildings, trees, landmarks that people will recognize and everything else that makes the display magical for visitors (and the members).

Next, the deconstruction of the center island will be done with (GASP!) most of the materials that we’ve come to love going in the garbage.

The trains, and buildings will be saved but everything else … gone.

Two new tracks will bring the trains to Shelton, then Derby, Orange, West Haven, and Long Wharf. “We’re taking the far reaches of the railroad that we built and bringing it closer to home,” Mandell said. “We’ll solve all the track problems and give the railroad the proper curve radius that it needs to run smoothly.”

The members have been taking walking tours of the old train routes, taking pictures and making notes so they can include the cattle crossings and other interesting features that they discovered.

When will the work be completed?

One member said “By 2020.”

Another member added “Model railroads are never finished.”

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