LIMA — Train enthusiasts young and old had the opportunity Saturday to learn about the importance of train history in Lima and purchase miniature model trains to take home.
The North Central Region of the National Model Railroad Association hosted the 20th annual train show and swap meet at the Allen County Fairgrounds.
Organizer Chuck White said the show has been going on for 20 years, and there were 50 vendors who displayed model trains on 175 tables.
Trains for sale ranged from various gauges, including G-scale that is the largest scale, Lionel scale, called O gauge that has a three-track rail, and an S gauge.
“There is something in it for everyone. If you are into crafts, trains are good for that. You can take pictures of trains, and if you’re into electronics, your cell phone can be used as a command for engines,” White said.
He said railroads are part of Lima’s heritage, and the city was the focus on railroads in the United States.
“Steam engines were built in Lima for over 50 years at a large manufacturing plant,” White said. “There was an engine called the Berkshire that was manufactured that is on display at Lincoln Park and it is the last one that was made in Lima. There also was an engine manufactured called the Shay made in Lima.”
He said the purpose of the show is to raise funds for National Model Railroad Three Rivers Division organization and educate the community on trains.
Matt Bauman and his son Kayden, 9, have a hobby of going to train shows together. Bauman remembers his dad and grandfather loved trains, and he wants to instill that passion in his son.
“Trains are a dying hobby, and there are not a lot of young people into it. It’s important to get them out to see trains,” Bauman said.
The Baumans have model trains at their home that Kayden enjoys playing with.
“My favorite thing to do is watch the trains go around the track,” the younger Bauman said.
A train event also was held at the Allen County Museum and Historical Society. The museum is the home of the Shay Locomotive No. 10, which was built in Lima. Also on view was a model railroad display depicting Lima and a trolley car that once ran in the city.
Lincoln Park Railway also had an event. The Nickel Plate Berkshire No. 779, the last locomotive built in Lima was on display.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.