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Trains and Model Railroading: A Hobby Dads Would Enjoy

Trains and Model Railroading: A Hobby Dads Would Enjoy

This month, as we think of creative ways to celebrate Father’s Day, how about visiting your local train museum? Mississippi has a wide variety of railroad attractions and exhibits, some with full-size trains and complex model railways on display. 

A great thing about model railways is that they recreate history and illustrate what daily life was like in different time periods and cultures. If you choose to embark on this new adventure and start an exciting hobby, your kids will learn so much history – for example, that trains transported goods and people which helped our country to grow and prosper. You will be able to take exciting photos to cherish and send to the family far away. Plus, a ride on a vintage train will delight everyone, both parents and kids.

Building Excitement Before Your Visit

Encourage enthusiasm for trains by setting up a toy railroad, watching train themed movies, reading magazines, fiction and non-fiction books about trains, building a model railway, going to train collector shows. You can also join a model railroad club. Museums, toy stores, consignment shops, hobby and online retailers sell trains and model railroad kits. The whole family can get involved.

Sparking a Future Career Interest

Kids can learn about history, geography, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), and more from exploring trains and railways. Interesting hobbies may lead to a lifetime of learning, fun and relationship-building with other enthusiasts. Childhood interests influence career choices later on. Perhaps your child will become a mechanical engineer or an architect of public transportation systems.

Benefits for Life

Hobbies help children learn to plan, organize, set goals, follow directions, make decisions, and develop solutions to increasingly complex problems. Hobbies offer the opportunity to excel at something unique and fun without the pressures of school. Kids can relax, explore, and build self-confidence. Although the biggest benefits, by far, come from quality time spent with parents. If it takes starting a new hobby to get the dad more deeply involved in connecting with his child, buying a train modeling kit and a few museum tickets is an excellent investment.  

Sarah T. Yale is a freelance writer and the mother of two children who love model railroading and vintage trains.

Children’s Classics

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Freight Train by Donald Crews

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Little Red Caboose by Marian Potter

Thomas The Tank Engine Story Collection by Rev. W. Awdry

Non-fiction Train Books for Children

On A Train by Robert M. Hamilton

Freight Trains In Action by Adele D. Richardson

Trains by Susan E. Goodman

Model Railroad Books

The Wonderful World of Model Trains: A Beginner’s Guide To Building Your Own Model Railways and Creating Stunning Sceneries & Layouts by David B. Brokar

Building A Model Railroad Step By Step by David Popp

Realistic Model Railroad Design: Your Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Unique Operating Layout by Tony Koester

Mississippi Attractions with Train Exhibits 

Call for schedule, admission details and event dates.

Mississippi AG Museum

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum

Mississippi Coast Model Railroad Museum in Gulfrport

McComb Railroad Museum

Railroad Museum in Cleveland, MS

The Old Depot Museum in Vicksburg, MS

Lake Railroad Depot in Lake, MS

Bay St. Louis Historic L & N Train Depot 

Cool Facts

1.Trains are more environmentally friendly when compared to many other forms of travel.

2.The actual contact area between the steel train wheels and the steel track is about the size of a dime, thus there is very little resistance, making trains an efficient way to transport heavy goods.

3.Freight trains carry 40% of the world’s cargo.

4.The Seikan Tunnel in Japan is the longest train tunnel in the world. It is 33.46 miles in length.

5. The French TGV bullet train holds the speed record of 574km per hour (357 miles per hour). The day it hit that record it braked for 16 kilometers (9 miles) to come to a stop.

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