Model railroading is popular for all ages. Youngsters all become fascinated with Thomas the Tank Engine and spend hours building small wooden railroads and running their Thomas from station to station. Some stay fascinated with railroading and turn the hobby into a life long passion.

The Sonoma County Model Railroad Society just had one of their semimonthly meetings at HobbyTown USA last Thursday night. Because they meet on the 1st and 4th Thursday of each month, you can catch them again this coming Thursday, July 1st at 7:00pm.

A Sonoma County Model Railroad Society member works on the HobbyTown USA layout.

Members were busy with many activities at last night’s meeting. Some were working on the HobbyTown layout in the front window, putting finishing touches on the town scene and the fishing pond under the bridge. Others were working on building some new rolling stock (train cars for the rest of us.)

Another member gave a demonstration on how to cast rock face using rubber molds, epoxy resin, and polyurethane foam. First he prepared the mold with petroleum jelly to act as the mold release agent, then he mixed together the two parts of the epoxy resin and spread it over the mold. When it hardens the resin forms a durable shell that picks up all of the mold details. Finally, when the resin was still tacky, he filled behind the resin with polyurethane foam. Within 20 minutes the casting was ready to remove from the mold but was still flexible enough to be wrapped onto the sides of the mountian in the HobbyTown layout. At future meetings, more rock castings will be made and detailed with paint and bushes for the layout.

Come to HobbyTown Thursday July 1st to meet the Sonoma County Railroad Society members and get your questions about model railroad answered. Everyone is welcome.

Also this weekend, the Coastal Valley Lines club is operating one of their largest layouts of the year at Spring Lake Village at 5555 Montgomery Drive in Santa Rosa. This layout is about 60 X 20 feet and incorporates most of the modules owned by the club. You are likely to see a scale Round Barn Center, CoddingTown Mall, Petaluma Stockyards and other Sonoma landmarks as the HO scale trains roll by.

The Coastal Valley Line layout will be in operation on Saturday and Sunday, June 26th and 27th at Spring Lake Village.

Take the train and have fun,

Steven