The Greater Baton Rouge Model Railroaders group will hold its annual Trainfest and open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at its headquarters on the grounds of the Republic of West Florida Historical Museum, 3406 College St., Jackson.
Founded in 1986 as the Baton Rouge N-scale Club and operated at several locations in Baton Rouge until moving to Jackson in 2003, the club today includes roughly three dozen members.
Since then, the Railroaders have expanded into two buildings plus surrounding grounds, featuring seven major layouts in all popular American scales.
Five layouts in N, O and HO scales are located indoors, while two G-scale layouts are outdoors, including a garden railroad and live steam facility.
The garden railroad is one of only two publicly accessible outdoor garden railroads in Louisiana, said member Andrew Martin, adding that the live steam operation will be a highlight of Trainfest.
“These model locomotives are actual steam engines with operating boilers and drive gear patterned exactly after the full-sized steam locomotives of yesteryear,” Martin said.
In addition to the live steam trains operating throughout the day, an educational demonstration of one of these engines by club member John Rose will be held at 1 p.m.
Rose is a Jackson transplant from Baltimore, where he was a longtime volunteer at the B&O Railroad Museum, one of the premier railroad museums in the U.S.
In Jackson, Rose has traded his work with full-sized steam locomotives for the model steamers operated by the GBR Model Railroaders.
Anyone with an interest in steam railroading will enjoy his presentation and learn to operate one of these models, Martin said.
“The annual Trainfest is an event families will enjoy together … the fantastic miniature worlds in all scales and from the tiny Z-scale to the larger garden railroad trains,” Martin said.
Trainfest is free, and concessions will be available for purchase.
Call (225) 634-3473 for information or visit greaterbr railroaders.com.