WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The Big E Fairgrounds transformed into a model train exhibit Saturday and Sunday, offering a unique weekend activity for many families.
Bill Richardson of Wilbraham was visiting the exhibit with his granddaughter. He said "She's kind of into the Thomas train now. It gives me time with my granddaughter, and it gives mom and dad a little bit of a break."
From riding the train to learning how trains are made, many parents told 22News there are educational opportunities at the fair, and of course, all the learning was being done in a fun way.
Jim Conway who owns a model train manufacturing company in Tucson, Arizona, told 22News "The children get very interested in going riding in actual antique toy trains at a museum or seeing a live tourist train, steam engines that are running. They are very fascinated by that."
Nick Fech from Fairfield, CT said "There are many different types of locomotives, different types of freight trains, commuters, so it's really nice to explore them all."
But for avid collectors, Amherst Rail Society's Railroad Hobby Show is also an opportunity to network and discover new models. They also said collecting trains is a hobby that brings families closer together.
William Badgett who's been collecting trains since he was 8 said "It's also family-oriented, and it just gets better with age. And it keeps families together."
Proceeds from the event go to various rail museums, historical societies and restoration projects.