A Wonderland of Trains

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Home Elements/Decorating / Just for Fun / Neighbors

Six years ago, Bob and Linda arrived at the Maples at the Sonatas sales office with a specific wish list for their new home. At the top of the list—in fact, a deal-breaker—was a basement. Bob really needed a basement.

When our sales consultant, Jon, broke the news that these homes do not come with basements, Bob thanked him for his time, and he and Linda started for the door. Just as they reached it, they heard Jon say, “But we offer an upstairs. Would that work for you?”

After a moment to think it over, they went back to the office, sat down, and began planning their new home. What they ended up with, a Promenade with a bonus suite, turned out to be perfect for their needs.

You see, Bob has had a lifelong passion for model trains. He acquired it from his father, who was also a train enthusiast. By the time he was 2 or 3, Bob had his first train set. And in the decades that have followed, his enthusiasm and his collection have only grown.

When Bob retired from full-time work, trains became more than his hobby. He found a retirement job in a train shop in Cincinnati. Soon he was not just selling equipment but also repairing it.


But it wasn’t until he moved here five years ago that Bob finally had a year-round, dedicated space for his trains and all the accessories. They fill the entire bonus suite.

You climb the stairs, walk through a door, and find yourself in a train wonderland.


Bob has trains of three gauges, each with its own space. Here is O, followed by HO, and then G.



G gauge

But this overview isn’t as amazing as a zoomed-in view. Anywhere I pointed my camera, there was a shot of incredible detail and variety, such as this:


One day this fall, Linda was downstairs and heard a lot of sawing from above. Bob was cutting a hole in a wall so he could run track from one room to another. “Don’t tell Jamie he did that,” she joked. So don’t look, Jamie, but the hole is visible on the left of the photo below.


Yet the trains are not just a visual delight. The sounds and the movements are also part of the experience. That’s why I’m including two short videos below. It you’d like, take a look at either or both, and enjoy a brief visit to Bob’s world.





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