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Trains are a source of nostalgia for many who enjoy riding them and collecting miniature pieces to recreate their own railroading villages.

The pioneering history of the USA, and other countries as well, such as India, is heavily intertwined with the invention of the railroad. The American prairie, once home to untold millions of bison, antelope and indigenous peoples, was opened up to exploring and settlement which rides, firmly on the “Iron Horse”, as those early Native Americans called the smoke and fire belching railroad engine. 


Taking a ride on the railroad was akin to everyone, as almost as exotic as a rocket ship into space is today. The railroad has become the most iconic marker, with the longest history of any mass transportation system in America. So, it’s no wonder that today there are collectors and operators of miniature railroads, spawned as a hobbies for over a million would-be railroaders, nationwide. Virtually every small town and city has one or more railroading clubs. There is nary a young man in America, that did not have a Lionel or American Flyer train set under their Christmas Tree in their days of yore..

In Crossville, there is a  delightful club with displays that is visited by thousands of local and casual visitors to the area, home to really die-hard, adult, and would be miniature railroaders.  One of those die-hard model railroad operators and club member Stan Banks, said “I love working with and showing visitors our elaborate miniature villages and the model trains that travel through them the way it is somewhat today, but more as in days long gone by.” The Crossville Model Railroad Club 228 Interstate Dr. in the North Wing of the Crossville TN. Outlet Mall off of I-40, Exit 320 Crossville, TN. is a hangout for hangers on to the nostalgia of yesteryears railroading.  

Phone for opening dates: 931-210-5050  


Private miniature hobby Railroad operators develop their setups as naturally as they can in garages, basements and in their so-called man caves too. Part of the allure is definitely attributable to the nostalgia factor of the memories and thoughts of yesteryear.  The railroad was very important to small towns that grew up around the fact that as the rail lines progressed from the east to the west and the north to the south the depots where trains stopped attracted of necessity, and convenience small towns, home to line workers and support engineers surveyors and their families. Towns were born, including the once very busy little hub of Crossville (see the caboose, now gift shop on Main street) even the very famous hero of WW1 came through on that very piece of track, Sergeant Alvin York heading home to running along the tracks adoring fans to Pall Mall Tennessee to his life and ultimate resting place.


Workers from suburbia needing to commute to large cities today rely heavily on commuter railroad lines. Daily, across the USA and the world, millions rely on railways to head to, and leave for their homes via trains. Trillions of tons of all manner of goods reach their desired locations via the rail. Trucks pickup at railway lines, shipping ports, and goods distribution centers, but the vast majority of larger goods such as building materials and other very large shipments go by rail. Today, many small towns offer general railway tourist excursions very popular for families. Barb and I recently, along with a large number of tourists took the train at Dollywood for a tour of their property. Everyone enjoyed their time on the smoke-belching antique railroad!

For many articles Bob Epstein has created, go www.AmericanPressTravelNews.com