In addition to the extensive collections at the clubhouse, most members have home layouts—and they love to kid each other about them. Jones expounds on the magnitude of some of the members’ outdoor layouts. He winks at Petrou. “Some are as large as five acres in size,” Jones says. Petrou laughs because he is building a layout that will snake through a piece of property adjacent to his home that includes his wife’s flower garden and an outdoor storage barn, where he will stow away the big G-gauge train cars in the evenings and inclement weather. “It’s only about half an acre,” he says.
Talk to any member of the club and they’ll tell you they’ve loved trains since they were a kid. And while their reasons for sending trains around a track might be different as adults, the pleasure they get hasn’t changed one bit.