Hamlet model railroad club embarks on major project

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

HAMLET — Janet Packer was beaming as Bob Youngblood, Zach Garner and Robert Burns helped to unload a large O-scale model railroad set depicting North Carolina’s mountains, flatlands, rivers and forests.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Zach Long, right, and Bob Youngblood carry one of the pieces of a long-stored model railroad into the basement of the Hamlet Depot and Museum.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Zach Garner, right, and Bob Youngblood carry one of the pieces of a long-stored model railroad into the basement of the Hamlet Depot and Museum.

Sure, the pieces weren’t in the best shape. But underneath a layer of dust, she saw the potential.

On Monday, Packer, Burns and members of the Hamlet Area  Model Railroad Club took delivery on what will be a rather large restoration project of a project created in the 1980s by members of the Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club.

The model, which when fully display measures 15 feet by 70 feet but can be configured to fit much smaller spaces, has been in the care of Tom Smink for the past several years. The work, built in the 1980s, was on display until the early 1990s, then packed up for storage. It’s been in the dark ever since.

Packer said all she needed was a place for her, Burns and others to work on it. With the help of Hamlet city officials, effort was taken to clear out a portion of a storage room in the basement of the Hamlet Depot and Museum.

Youngblood estimated it will take up to $3,000 to restore the piece. The original work cost about $5,000, he said, not including labor. Packer said it’d be “a labor of love” and that she hoped to attract the assistance of a variety of community groups to help with the project.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Robert Burns, of the Hamlet Area Model Railroad Club, enthusiastically worked to unload the truck that carried to Hamlet a nearly 35-year-old model railroad.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Robert Burns, of the Hamlet Area Model Railroad Club, enthusiastically worked to unload the truck that carried to Hamlet a nearly 35-year-old model railroad.

Once finished, Packer said she and others will work to find a place to put the set on permanent display. Packer said new club members are welcome. Questions should be directed to her at 910-334-0329 or Burns at 704-213-6692.

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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