Train model club welcomes one and all aboard

Published 10:34 am Monday, July 24, 2017

Train enthusiasts, model hobbyists and curious spectators alike were able to come together and share their love of model trains Saturday in Port Arthur.

The East Texas and Gulf Rail Modelers Association presented a three-day exhibition at the Port Arthur Public Library that showcased various models of train, track and diorama for the public to enjoy and inquire about.

“I just became interested in trains,” Jose Samaniego said. It was his first model exhibition to attend. “It’s pretty good.”

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Other attendees were longtime fans like Taylor and Aubrey Hill, ages 17 and 6 respectively.

“Both have been fascinated by trains since they were little,” Mary Hill, their mother, said. “We’ve done it all with trains — getting models, traveling by train, seeing trains.”

Train models are on display at the East Texas and Gulf Rail Modelers Association at their exhibit in Port Arthur Public Library. (Lorenzo Salinas/The News)

Hill said she and her family have ridden on such train lines as Amtrak, Texas State Railroad and Texas Chief Train from Galveston to Brenham.

Even though Mary Hill wasn’t born with a love of trains, she became accustomed to them as her children grew.

“We get joy in seeing them be happy,” she said about her sons.

Likewise, Jonathan Sevilla didn’t start out enjoying trains, model or otherwise, but he quickly picked up the habit after his son, Pedro, became interested in them. He carried him in his arms so his son could get a better view of the model trains running along the tracks on the table.

“I didn’t really like trains, but Pedro loves Thomas the Train. So, when I saw this on Facebook, I knew we had to come,” Sevilla said.

Young Pedro said he liked trains, “A lot.”

“We have quite a few tracks at home,” Sevilla said.

For some others like David Glowczwski, model train collecting had become both a hobby and a business.

“All of us here enjoy model railroads as a hobby,” Glowczwski said. “I know guys who belong to the club.”

Glowczwski said he sells trains to fuel his hobby, which is to buy more trains. The passion for them started at an early age.

“When I was a kid in St. Louis, we had a train that passed nearby. It was just kind of natural to like them,” he said.

And even though Glowczwski said he got away from train collecting for many years, it was his grandson who brought him back.

“It’s a collector’s market. Everyone’s got something,” Glowczski said. “It’s fun to buy stuff from the public.

“When you open it and go through the box, it’s like Christmas.”

Train models are on display at the East Texas and Gulf Rail Modelers Association at their exhibit in Port Arthur Public Library. (Lorenzo Salinas/The News)

Rodney Gouthier, member with the Modelers Association for three years, said it was his enjoyment of trains and his friendships with people in the club that got him involved with the East Texas and Gulf chapter.

“It’s good fellowship and we have trains in common,” Gouthier said.

Among the club’s membership, Gouthier said there were many different talents that helped round out the field of train collecting — such as electronics, history and art design.

“There’s more talent that goes into it than people may think,” he said.

And considering the hobby could cost as little or as much as someone could want, Gouthier had a word of advice for beginners.

“Don’t get too crazy with buying those trains. Do it gradually.”