Share This Page

Carnegie Science Center's Locomotion Weekend enthralls children, adults

| Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, 5:27 p.m.
Rachel Rutkoski and her nephew, Tanner Hunt, 2, of Cranberry, watch the Miniature Railroad and Village near the Luna Park section. The display was part of the Locomotion Weekend at the Carnegie Science Center in the North Side on Saturday, December 1, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Wearing their engineer caps, Jacob Penley, 5 (left,) and his brother, Adam, 2, of Apollo are in awe as they watch the Miniature Railroad and Village. The display was part of the Locomotion Weekend at the Carnegie Science Center in the North Side, Saturday, December 1, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Reggie Kubis, 2 1/2, and his mother, Andy, of Lawrenceville, enjoy an eye-level view of the Pittsburgh 'S'-Gaugers American Flyer train display. The display was part of the Locomotion Weekend at the Carnegie Science Center in the North Side, Saturday, December 1, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Bowen Kwolek, 2, and his grandmother, Tara Scheibel, of Oakdale, enjoy an eye-level view of the Pittsburgh 'S'-Gaugers American Flyer train display. The display was part of the Locomotion Weekend at the Carnegie Science Center on the North Side, Saturday, December 1st, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Lincoln Undzius, 2, of Canonsburg smiles as he gets an eyeful of a locomotive in the Pittsburgh 'S'-Gaugers American Flyer train display. The display was part of the Locomotion Weekend at the Carnegie Science Center in the North Side on Saturday, December 1, 2012. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Air Force veteran Lorie Southerland sits in her living room near a painting of her son, Army Spc. Michael Rodriguez, 20, who was killed on April 23, 2007, in the second suicide truck bombing of an Army outpost in As Sadah. Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review

The Carnegie Science Center's Locomotion Weekend mesmerized hundreds of children on Saturday — and more than a few adults who never really got over the model trains they first saw around their Christmas trees.

“I've liked model trains since I was about 2. I guess I've never really grown out of it,” said Steve Hertzer, whose club, the Fort Pitt Hi-Railers hosted the event's largest exhibit — a 24-by-34 foot train display with four tracks.

Hertzer, 42, a human resources administrator, and about 10 other members of the club spent about four hours Friday night setting up the vast display, which occupies most of the huge exhibit room. He says it only takes about an hour and a half to take down.

The weekend's displays feature dozens of model trains, rail-related exhibits, and interactive activities.

“This is a great set of trains,” Jake Kempton, 7, of Economy, said of Hertzer's display. “There is so much going on.”

Jake was at the show with his father, Jim, and brother, Ryan, 5.

Owners of broken model trains could get free repairs from the Loco Doctor — a table staffed by members of the Train Collectors Association-Fort Pitt Division as well as by Joe Mania of Freehold, N. J., a columnist for Classic Toy Trains magazine.

“There were about seven or eight people who needed locomotives fixed. Some needed oiling. One Lionel engine from the 1930s needed its wiring reworked a bit,” Mania said.

Model trains have enduring appeal. But each generation is drawn to model trains for different reasons, says Larry Salone, executive director of the Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, which displays trains and also owns the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark.

“People's parents and grandparents probably either worked on the railroad or knew people who did. Many people that age also traveled by train, which is not as common anymore,” Salone said.

Today's kids have been turned on to trains by the movie, “The Polar Express” and by the “Thomas the Tank Engine” series, he said.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at rwills@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.