A Snowstorm Couldn’t Stop These Trains


On December 1st, the Empire State Convention Plaza housed a miniature world of wonder for train enthusiasts no matter their age.  All of their eyes were alight with wonder and enthusiasm for what awaited them beyond the ticket booths. Perhaps there is something about this time of year, drawing close to the holiday season, that brings a certain nostalgia for an older mode of transportation. We’re reminded of the timeless classic “The Polar Express” and of model trains that wound their way beneath the Christmas tree. 

Whatever it may be, the Great Train Extravaganza gave those who love trains a place to share their love with others be it through selling parts or through displaying their achievements. N-trak, a scale model train club out of Albany, NY had a running model train manned by proud members. It’s incredible the detail that is put into the models. You have to keep in mind that not only are do they make sure that the trains on the track run smoothly, but they also create the world that surrounds the train. There are buildings and lawns, trees and shrubs, all of them creating a universe for the train to inhabit. There’s something charming about the way they tended to their trains, keeping a loving watch over the little world.

The ALCO Historical Society was also present with photographs that showed the rich history of trains and how they shaped America with a focus on more local regions, such as Schenectady. 

A particularly popular area was the lego section, coordinated by Matt Savatgy. Lego wares were for sale, but there was more than that. There was a whole Lego world available with small intricacies constructed out of the marvelous bricks.  A table was laden with bricks, and people were encouraged to build a building and add it to a new city. It was easy to find the charm in such a prospect. Everyone likes to create, and there is a certain sense of satisfaction in contributing to a larger project. Children were in an imaginative flurry as they collaborated on the colorful city.

It was easy to see why so many vendors would come from all over the state to be there. Certainly, there was the opportunity for sales, but there was also the opportunity to meet others who were just as fascinated by the world of model trains. There was much talk amongst old friends, and new friends were made – all over a common bond. If you missed the event this year, don’t worry. There are many other ways to join in with different clubs in the Capital Region to stoke your love of model trains until the Great Train Extravaganza rolls into town next year. 

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