November 22, 2022 |

The Saratoga Museum’s first ever model train show started on the right track over the weekend. The event was held Saturday in the Platte Valley Community Center. The Saratoga Museum Director Dana Davis said the event had been in the works for several months. Davis, who declined to have her comments aired on the radio, and her husband, provided three of the train sets on display. Davis said she and three other participants spent nearly 11 hours setting everything up on Friday.

Local museums participated in the show. The Saratoga Museum provided an old telegraph key and other items. The Grand Encampment Museum provided a rare toy Saratoga-Encampment train. The Hanna Basin Museum set up an exhibit with historic train information.

Aaron Durst brought his Star Trek themed train along with several model star ships. Durst, who owns a board-game shop in Rawlins, said he and his wife are huge Star Trek fans. His moon base display had several tunnels and was set up on a gray blanket to replicate the lunar surface. He explained the train set was his wife’s idea.

Pictured above: Aaron Durst’s Star Trek set. Photo by Matthew Copeland/Bigfoot 99.

The science fiction-based, O-gauge train is sold as a set, but Durst said he and his father expanded the layout with extra tracks and carriages.

Herb Porter brought his commemorative Union Pacific train. His display consisted of a small track loop with several artifacts supplied by the Saratoga Museum. Porter, whose father is a former Union Pacific employee, purchased the set almost 4 decades ago. He said Saturday’s event was the first time the train has ever been played with.

Porter, a Wyoming native, handed out brochures he had printed with information about the first trans-continental railroad. He said he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, but a medical condition forced him to change his plans.

Porter was able to live out his Union Pacific dreams with his model train set.

The last exhibit was a series of small models representing historically significant trains. Bigfoot 99’s reporter was unable to locate the display’s owner.

Saturday’s $5-a-person event ran from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offered hamburgers and chips for an added price. Children under 12 were admitted free. By mid-day, 60 people had visited the community center.

Saratoga’s museum director said she would like to see the event grow. She sees it as an event for the whole family and a great way to spark kids’ imaginations.

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