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posted: 11/24/2013 5:33 PM

Enthusiasts all aboard for railroad club's annual open house

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  • Video: Model railroad club open house

  • Nathan Sonehocker, 9, of Aurora, watches model trains run on 400 feet of track Sunday at the Valley Model Railroad Club's open house in South Elgin.

       Nathan Sonehocker, 9, of Aurora, watches model trains run on 400 feet of track Sunday at the Valley Model Railroad Club's open house in South Elgin.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • An upper level dispatch center allows a view of the 400 feet of track Sunday during the Valley Model Railroad Club open house at the Clintonville Station in South Elgin. The building was used for 50 years, starting in 1903, as an electrical substation and passenger stop on the Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad.

       An upper level dispatch center allows a view of the 400 feet of track Sunday during the Valley Model Railroad Club open house at the Clintonville Station in South Elgin. The building was used for 50 years, starting in 1903, as an electrical substation and passenger stop on the Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Jeff Obarek, president of the Valley Model Railroad Club, enjoys the activities Sunday during the club's annual open house at the Clintonville Station in South Elgin.

       Jeff Obarek, president of the Valley Model Railroad Club, enjoys the activities Sunday during the club's annual open house at the Clintonville Station in South Elgin.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

Model train enthusiasts, along with the hobby's next generation, gathered Sunday at the Clintonville Station on Kenyon Road in South Elgin for the Valley Model Railroad Club's annual open house.

The sound of small trains was constant all afternoon, as were the voices of various dispatchers over the public address system in the 100-year-old building. Club members take turns as dispatcher while others engineer the trains with hand-held remote control units they can plug in at various places around the many tracks. Members helped visiting children and adults drive the trains.

The building that hosted the event was used for 50 years, starting in 1903, as an electrical substation and passenger stop of the Aurora Elgin electric rail line. The club now leases the building from the Kane County Forest Preserve District.

There are 30 adult members and several junior members, who are sponsored by adult members, in the club.

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