H&R Trains' semiannual show is this weekend in Pinellas Park
If you are a model railroader or you simply love trains, there's only one day left to catch a local tradition in Pinellas Park — H&R Trains' semiannual train show in its 57th edition.
"It's the original train show, for all ages from children to grandpas. It's a fun event, something we love to do," said store owner Alice Morris, who has been hosting train shows for 33 years.
The three-day show began Friday and runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.
Visitors will have the opportunity to hear a little bit of train history and see intricately designed train layouts in all scales created by contestants from all over the state.
Manufacturers will be on hand, and hourly door prize giveaways include locomotives, starter sets, freight trains and gift certificates for magazines. Free workshops and clinics also will be offered.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., children ages 3 to 7 are invited to participate in the Thomas Painting Workshop hosted by H&R staffer Dyanna Broussard. Children will get unpainted wooden box cars and paint to craft their masterpiece.
Later in the afternoon, model train hobbyist Robert Sacco will host a session on track weathering and ballasting for those who want to make their train tracks look even more realistic. Alice's husband, Don Morris, will demonstrate how to make quick and easy railroad scenery.
"The love of trains is shared by all, whether people are riding one, building one or observing one," Alice Morris said. "The show is an event for everyone to come and enjoy what other people have built in model trains."
She thinks having a model train is part of growing up.
Defying convention, she fell in love with model trains back in the 1950s when she was in the fourth grade.
"Girls didn't want trains back then," Morris said. "But I was always a bit of a tomboy."
Morris, now 69, has the opportunity to be around trains daily. She owns and operates H&R Trains with her husband. Her first train, a 1:64 scale American Flyer, is displayed in the store above the ladies room with a brass plaque that reads, "Alice's First Train."
H&R Trains is billed as Florida's largest train store and a "Model Railroader's Paradise."
The sights of trains circling elaborate train layouts, whistles blowing, and even the scent of the fake locomotive smoke present quite a feast for the senses.
When asked what H&R stands for, Morris said, "Happy Railroading."
© 2016 Tampa Bay Times
IF YOU GO
57th semiannual train show
When: Today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: H&R Trains,
6901 U.S. 19 N, Pinellas Park
Concessions and model trains will be available for purchase.
For more information: Call (727) 526-4682 or visit
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