This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Train day at the library

The public library had an exhibit of toy trains on Saturday. I got there in mid afternoon and by that time there were only a few people there. There were three trains set up in the conference room, including the one below, which was the most elaborate of the three. The pink train was a princess train--perhaps designed to get girls interested in toy trains.
 There was a film running on a TV in the corner but I did not have the time to sit and watch it. I found the bulletin board with information about the Miniature Train Company of Rensselaer interesting. I did not know that it was only in existence for eight years. I do not know where its factory was located, how many people worked there, or why it closed.
I also did not know that Edson Murray owned it.
 In addition to the trains, there was a table staffed by a woman promoting the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum located in North Judson. I have never visited this area attraction, but if I get the right grandkids at the right time, that can change. For 2015 the first train excursion will be on April 4, and then the regular season will begin on May 2 and it looks like they run every Saturday until the end of October.

If you missed the special day, you can still see some old toy trains in the display window, though I do not know how long they will be there. When I was a child I had a windup train that was similar to this, though I think the engine was modeled after the steam engines that were disappearing when I was young.
 I never had anything like this old train set from the 1920s.

I have been researching my family history and discovered that trains played a more important role in my life than I realized. A great grandfather worked on the railroad as a section boss, which meant that he went out each day with an assistant or two and checked the tracks. Now tracks are laid on solid foundations, but in the 19th century they were just put on the prairie with little or no bed preparation, so the track was not always stable. It had to be constantly checked. When my ancestors moved, they moved along the rail lines.


Gene said...

The miniature train factory was located where it became Indiana Spring and then later Sealy Spring.

FriarFraml said...

I still have the Lionel freight train, O-Gauge, my parents gave me in the early 1950s. Around 1980-82 I added a Lionel Monon Rail Road twin diesel engine and box cars to it, plus track. Haven't had it out in over a decade though.

Mel said...

Miniature Train Company was bought out by amusement park ride manufacturer Allan Herschell Company and moved to New York.