Small Towns: Model railroaders showcase Northeast Wisconsin's history

DE PERE, Wis. - Just off North Broadway in De Pere, in the Kress Family Library's basement, there are several small towns squeezed into one beautiful representation.

"All the towns: De Pere, Oshkosh, Little Chute, Neenah, Menasha, they're all here on the layout," said John Grom, President of the Green Bay Area Model Railroaders Club.

This place, with heavy visual suggestions of Northeast Wisconsin, was built piece by piece by the Green Bay Area Model Railroaders Club.

"What you're looking at is over five years worth of work and construction by many, many members, and it's an ongoing process and it still isn't completed," Grom said.

With over 2,000 feet of track, this ride will take about 15 minutes to get from Green Bay to Fond du Lac. But don't get caught up in the numbers because model railroading members certainly don't.

"I'm on the wrong side of 70 as far as age, but I got started when I was about 8-9 years old with a Linde train running around the Christmas tree," said Fred Neveu, a member of the Green Bay Area Model Railroaders Club.

Each layout, or scene, can take months to complete. But if creating the perfect backdrop isn't your thing, there's still plenty that could catch your interest.

"It's a hands-on hobby where you can learn how to model things, how to build structures, how to do electrical work," said Grom. "Whatever they want to do, it's here!"

While they continue maintaining the tracks of Northeast Wisconsin on a miniature scale, they hope their passion will brush off on the next generation of model railroaders down the line.

The Green Bay Area Model Railroaders Club is open to the public every Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
 

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