The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Train society debuts


November 28, 2018

David Grieder

Kevin Foreman inspects the progress of one of his scale model locomotives during the first day of the Clovis Area Train Society's installation at the mall.

CLOVIS - Next stop: North Plains Mall, if you have even a passing interest in the pursuit of model trains or if you're simply looking to marvel at a miniature locomotive.

Not to be confused with the local public transportation service with which it shares an acronym, the Clovis Area Train Society debuted on Friday an HO-scale modular layout across four 6-foot sections in an ovular track inside the room used previously to hold the local mall's food court. That's only about a third of the entire HO layout CATS can put up, but club members worked with the space they had and wanted to give the public a chance to share in the nostalgic joy of model trains while possibly recruiting a few new members.

Interest in the hobby has declined in recent times, said club member Ken Jones, but that hasn't discouraged old-timers like himself. He traces his interest back to 1957, and said the pastime interests people in different ways.

"I like building," he said, pointing out a tiny blinking UFO saucer beside the generic township adjoining his section of the tracks. "Some people like running it, some people like watching. It's fun no matter what your age is."

Kevin Foreman said the club has run for 20 years or more, which is nowhere near as long as he's enjoyed the railroad-themed recreation.

"I got started with my first train set when I was 3 years old, and it just kind of stuck, like a life of its own," he explained.

The club also has a booth at the Curry and Roosevelt county fairs, and has shows next month in Farwell and Fort Sumner.

On Friday, mall patrons stopped to admire the intricate scale-model machinations of the wee choo-choo, basking in memories.

"My father was (into model trains), I'm into Christmas villages," said Richard Stamm. "They both bring back the warm and cozy memories of years gone by, from the 50s and 60s. It's a touch of history, and I like the subtle tribute to one of our major local employers."

The installation continues every Wednesday and Friday through Saturday from now till Dec. 23.


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