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Thu, Dec. 12

Model train lovers looking for youth movement
Members to host open house this weekend in PV

Richie Scanapico demonstrates one of his model trains for his wife and Club Event Coordinator Dick Gage.
Photo by Jason Wheeler.

Richie Scanapico demonstrates one of his model trains for his wife and Club Event Coordinator Dick Gage.

Richie Scanapico has spent a lifetime around trains. His father worked for the railroad back east and his mother’s brothers worked for the railroad as well. While he never went into the industry himself, having worked for the phone company instead, that exposure developed into a passion for model trains.

“It keeps me off the couch,” Scanapico said, showing off the G-Scale model he has in his back yard. “This took me about three years now to build. I’ve retired, we moved out here in 2012 and I started working on it and here I’m at. This is what I like to do and it is a passion.”

Scanapico is a member of the Central Arizona Model Railroad Club, an organization that is having its annual Beat the heat Model Train Swap Meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13 at Liberty Traditional School, 3300 N. Lake Valley Road.

This is the second year the club has held its swap meet at the school after changing locations last year. The move was a good success, said event chairman Dick Gage. Again this year, the club is really pushing for kids to get involved because while all the club members love it, model trains are a shrinking hobby, he said.

“Most of the guys in it today are my age. I’m 70 years old and we have a guy who was one of our founders, he’s 92 and he’s one of the few that are left,” Gage said. “We really want to get kids involved because it’s a good hobby. It’s a fun hobby.”

The swap meet will see items from 48 different vendors from all over Arizona, as well as from California and Nevada, showing off model trains and other old boy’s toys, Gage said. There’ll also be door prizes that range from model trains to other donations, such as gift certificates from Valley Hobby, Culvers and McDonalds, he said. People can watch trains going and utilize a test track at the event as well, Gage stated.

However, the fun doesn’t just stop at the swap meet, Gage said. In the afternoon, seven members are having open houses where the public and club members can go to see different train layouts, he said. Scanapico is one of those members.

“We buy a lot of stuff, but you can see what these guys put together,” Gage said.

Admission to the Beat the Heat Model Train Swap Meet is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

For more information, call Gage at 802-272-1352 or Larry Gauthier at 928-632-4180.

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