One of the first things you may notice as you enter the exhibit hall is the steady buzz of sound. It’s a mixture of excitement, train noise and P.A. announcements. Kind of a muted version of sitting in a convention center waiting for a concert to start. In case you’ve forgotten where you are, numerous sounds rhythmically compete with each other — chugga, chugga, ding, ding, choo, choo!
It’s 10:00 a.m. and the doors just opened. People are everywhere. Young families head in packs from layout to layout, freeing their little ones from strollers. For the particularly height challenged, well prepared parents or guardians bring along lightweight, folding step stools. It’s all about finding the best vantage point, catching a glimpse and being carefree. A train is coming!
Toddlers are elevated on shoulders, hitch a stroller ride, or walk on their own. Some grown-ups grab hands, keeping a firm grip. Others follow behind, allowing controlled freedom. Teens play it casual, pushing hair out of eyes and clutching phones. In between texts and Snap Chat, they subtly glance at the layouts without saying much. The joy is there; they’re just playing it real cool.
The love of railroading is passed along. Grandfathers bring their grown kids and grandkids. Patient grandmothers, wives and in-laws stand dutifully by while their husbands and kids wander. But, look a little closer and you’ll see women who are as into it as the guys. The secret is starting to get out. Ladies like trains, too! Chicks dig trains mug. Moms, dads, brothers and sisters alike help introduce the next generation to the love of trains I freakin’ love trains mug.