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2:15 PM Sat, Nov. 17th

Railroad Club's swap meet switches tracks for new venue

An HO scale model train weaves its way through Jim Hanna’s tri-level track in September 2012. The Beat The Heat Model Train swap meet in Prescott Valley will take place on Aug. 15, 2015, at Liberty Traditional School. (Matt Hinshaw, file/The Daily Courier)

An HO scale model train weaves its way through Jim Hanna’s tri-level track in September 2012. The Beat The Heat Model Train swap meet in Prescott Valley will take place on Aug. 15, 2015, at Liberty Traditional School. (Matt Hinshaw, file/The Daily Courier)

Blow the whistle and look out because the Central Arizona Model Railroad Club's annual Beat the Heat Model Train Swap Meet is about to come around the bend and chug into Prescott Valley. Held on Saturday, Aug. 15, this year's swap meet has moved from its previous location at the Grace Sparkes Activity Center to Liberty Traditional School in Prescott Valley.

Event chairman Dick Gage said the club has been primarily at the activity center, formerly the Armory, since the club started, but it was time to move elsewhere.

"It seemed like an appropriate time for a new venue," he said, noting that the school has "a little more room, parking, air conditioning."

The club has about 80 regular members, which is a group of people who enjoy trains and model trains, Gage said. However, the swap meet isn't just for the hardcore modelers, he said. Rather, Gage encourages families to come and wants children to get involved in model trains, citing his interest in trains starting when he was 11 or 12 years old.

The more than 80 vendors at the swap meet will consist of store owners as well as individuals, Gage said. The event will include quite a bit of old memorabilia as well as trains of all gauges and tracks to test equipment. It's going to be more customer friendly and a little bigger than what was at the activity center, Gage said.

Gage called model trains a "good, wholesome hobby," and said that more children aren't getting into it because they have limited opportunities around the area.

The Central Arizona Model Railroad Club Beat the Heat Model Train Swap Meet will be at Liberty Traditional School, 3300 N. Lake Valley Road on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and younger.