The 25th annual John Costlow Christmas Train Show is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Dec. 8.
As always, the show is free and any donations go to the Beaufort Lions Club, which is assisting with this year’s event.
The show will be open to the public from 4-8 p.m. Dec. 6, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 7 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. It takes place in the train depot at the corner of Pollock and Broad streets in Beaufort.
The train show started years ago when Mr. Costlow and John Young, a member of the town’s public works department, were exchanging stories about their childhood fascination of model railroading. The duo decided they wanted to host a model train show for the community.
According to information provided by organizers, the Barbour Machine Shop on Front Street had closed and sat empty while waiting for renovations in the coming months, making it the perfect place to hold the train show.
“The first model train show held in the cold, dingy, smelly old place with the perfect atmosphere for a group of guys to show off their long treasured trains,” organizers said in a release. “The setting was magical, and visitors were delighted.”
The proceeds from donations were set aside to develop a museum in the depot andpay for its upkeep or the purchase of new artifacts through the years.
The show has continued over the years as model train lovers spend hours assembling tracks, checking engines, placing buildings, animals, people, trees and all manner of things to enhance the individual layouts of the models.
Doug Doubleday, with the Beaufort Lions Club, said the organization became involved with the train show in 2015.
“The BLC (and associated Leo’s Club) participates in order to assist our ‘maturing’ participants with the physical needs of helping to re-arrange chairs, tables, set up 4 x 8’ plywood sheets for layouts, monitoring the public during show, raffle tickets, tearing down and clean up at end of show etc.,” Mr. Doubleday said in an email interview.
All donations that are received and monies earned by raffles at the show are used to assist charities and activities supported by the Beaufort Lions Club.
The exhibit offers a glimpse into the past with antique working model trains and model trains of all sizes.
As in previous years, model train layouts represent all conventional scales, including Z, N, HO, S, O27, standard and LGB designed for garden and backyard exhibits. Working displays of passenger and freight models will be powered by old fashioned steam and diesel locomotives, both American and European. Realistic layouts will include residential, commercial and industrial buildings that supported railroad facilities.
The model train layouts will include a variety of items of interest to railroad enthusiasts of all ages, ranging from simple circles traditionally found around the Christmas tree, to more elaborate systems of all gauges.
Larger layouts include spurs and passing sidings to permit Express trains to “high-ball” along the main line. Individual layouts also display residential, commercial and industrial buildings representing the variety of support facilities involved in the operation of a railroad.
Modern technology allows model railroaders to add various components to their displays, including sound, lighting and actual smoke to the running trains. In contrast, static scenes from bygone eras will capture the attention and delight the eye.
Each display has been carefully designed by the owner or operator to appeal to those just beginning this hobby and others who have had a lifetime interest in model railroading. Additionally, there will be a unique display of the steam power, which fueled earlier trains, as well as a children’s wooden train set for younger engineers to enjoy.
While at the depot, visitors may also enjoy museum exhibits that detail the early days of rail in Carteret County, including a stationmaster’s office with its artifacts. There will also be an opportunity to discuss technical problems or layout designs with train enthusiasts and purchase various train items on site.
For more information, call Jim Taylor at 252-725-7237.