PORT TOWNSEND — Every Wednesday night, the Port Townsend Southern Railroad makes it weekly run, rolling past a town, chugging through mountain tunnels and curving around a bend before making the circuit again.
The Port Townsend Southern Railroad is the name of the local model train club. Its cars are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but big enough to carry its members back to the era when steam engines pulled long lines of coal cars, passenger cars and freight cars across the county, and every boy wanted an electric train set for Christmas, complete with red caboose.
“I had an interest in trains since I was a kid,” said Dan Collins, who grew up on 34th Street in Seattle. “When the weather was just right, I could hear the locomotives blow their whistles as they pulled out of the station.”
Collins is one of the newer members of the club, which started 10 years ago in the basement of a house built by Ray Dawson. A retired economics professor from Ohio, Dawson was a model train enthusiast who built track layouts in his coverted garage. He worked on the layouts until his death in 1991, but, courtesy of the house’s subsequent owners, the club still runs trains on the tracks he set up.
“It started out being of bunch of guys who liked trains,” said James Arsulich, one along with Mike Butler, is one of the members who knew Dawson.
———————The rest of the story appears in the Monday Peninsula Daily News. Click on SUBSCRIBE, above, to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.