SWEDESBORO — Local railroad modelers are opening their homes to the public for viewing their efforts and interesting others in the hobby of model railroading on Sunday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 17 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
These local railroads are operated year around by the South Jersey Operators group in an authentic reproduction of real railroad movements There is always something new to be seen in this the 25th year for these local open houses. The fascination with trains continues.
Swedesboro’s P. J. Mattson’s Raccoon Valley Railroad can be viewed at his home at 129 East Avenue. Mattson operates a double track mainline that runs through a fictional New Jersey setting from Swedesboro to the mountains of North Jersey with his own version of the Horseshoe Curve. The town of Swedesboro is depicted including trucks full of tomatoes in the rail yard.
The control system is Digitrax Digital Command Control (DCC). Trains can also be controlled by cell phones. All the latest electronics, operating signals, radio control, sound and a central dispatch board distinguishes his road.
Over half of his 60 locomotives operate with digital sound. A steel mill is featured for additional unusual operation. His web site can be seen at http://raccoonvalleyrailroad.shutterfly.com.
Steve Moylan’s Oak Valley Railroad is located at 835 Vermont Ave., Deptford and depicts an active railroad area of Pennsylvania during the 1950’s. Working steam and diesel engines controlled by Digitrax DCC travel through towns, industrial and coal mining areas.
Realistic operation in a realistic setting is the goal. With 100 percent of tracks in place and running, 98 percent of scenery in place, construction continues on what is a class A model railroad.
There are no charges or entrance fees. Cameras are allowed, and children are encouraged to come.
For more information, see the fliers for other railroads that have Open Houses in the area. They can be picked up at Swedesboro True Value, Swedesboro Library, Heritage’s and other locations in Swedesboro and Woodbury.