Shenandoah Valley Railway Club rail coordinator Paul Graham says model trains are timeless.
"They bring out a fascination that, here is something that is relatively a toy, but it looks just like a real railroad. Only in miniature."
It's that fascination that has no age boundary.
This country was built with the help of the great locomotive.
Young and old alike are try to recreate those days with highly detailed replicas of the once mighty steam engine.
"It almost looks like it's alive," said Graham.
"With the drive rods turning the big wheels and steam escaping from the valve. It's a wonderful sight and a lot people like to keep that memory in their mind."
Model trains are a gateway to imagination, for both retirees and young kids.
Michelle Drumbl, a mother who took her children to the Model Train Show, says that the trains help kids learn.
"I think it's important for them to have imagination for them to work on, you know, visual spatial issues, and to be able to build things themselves rather than just learn passively with some of the toys that are out today."
Say what you will about grown men who play with toys, but in the case of model trains, it's a way for one generation to connect with the next.
"A father had one when he was a youngster. And he enjoyed it," Graham explains.
"And so, now that he's a father, he wants to have his own children enjoying the same experience."
Kyle Macleer rationalizes the experience quite simply.
"I like watching real trains," he said.
"Why not have them smaller and actually controlling them and doing whatever you want with them?"
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