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As a kid I didn't have much in model trains. I got a Tyco HO set one year for Christmas. However it didn't hold up very well. So the hobby never was something I really spent much time in...

As a kid I didn't have much in model trains. I got a Tyco HO set one year for Christmas. However it didn't hold up very well. So the hobby never was something I really spent much time in. Over 20 years later my son Joshua was born. Joshua's speech was not developing the way it should have. I noticed everytime we would get stuck at a railroad crossing he would almost  jump out of his car seat with excitement. So I found my old HO train set placed it on a table and made my first real connection with Joshua. I taught him his first words with the train set (stop, go, fast, slow). Joshua was later diagnosed with autism. A few months later I was in my local hobby shop(The Rail Road in Roanoke) looking to buy some trains to run with him. The shop owner Jim Molinary asked if I was buying trains to run with my son. Then he asked if I ever had problems getting those tiny HO trains on the track--and yes I did. "How do you expect your son to be able to put them on the track then? That day I walked out of the shop with a new Lionel Santa Fe O-Gauge starter set for Joshua. Not only did the trains help Joshua with his speech, I used MTH brand coal hoppers and taught Joshua basic math skills. Somewhere along the way of helping Joshua I got hooked on the hobby as well. After looking at the pictures you might want to know the size of the train room. The layout is in a 9 by 9 area.
I have added some photos from the seasonal model train setups I set-up at the Virginia Museum of Transportation.

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April 2012
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Videos 14

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