Where to donate model trains

Frank’s been in touch with an excellent idea for where to donate model trains:

“Hi Al,

I am retired from the heavy highway construction business and we performed asphalt and concrete work for states and the government.

The layout was modeled after small but upscale village in Plainville Connecticut where the concrete plant was located, and the quarry was also there.

We have since moved to Florida full time.

I since have elected to build small layouts and donate same to children’s hospitals. They will illustrate the North Pole , winter, and Christmas.

Before we moved, most of the layout was dismantled and donated to the Torrington Connecticut Model Railroad club youth program.

Can’t wait to see what these creative young modelers come up with.

Love your emails and tips of the trade.

I guess at 78 year’s old ,i am just a guy with a schoolboy heart.

Be well,



donate model trains

donate model trains

donate model trains

donate model trains

donate model trains

donate model trains

A big thanks to Frank – and what a wonderful thing to do with his layouts – I’m sure they are very much appreciated by the kids in hospital.

So if you ever find yourself wondering where you should donate model trains, now you know!

Also, don’t lose site of the fact that for most of us, it’s memories of playing with trains as kids that keep us all interested.

We may not think about them for a few decades or so, but the magic never leaves.

So who knows, a layout donation could be planting the seed for the next generation of model train enthusiasts.

What’s more, I’m sure it’ll make you feel good about yourself for quite a while.

That’s all for today folks, please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget, the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to take your first step towards your own layout.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

35 Responses to Where to donate model trains

  1. Doug Tanzer says:

    What a great way to spend your time in retirement – giving back with something you love doing

  2. Rick says:

    Nice one.

  3. Lester Wayne Larrew says:

    I agree with Doug. If Frank would give track plan(s) I would do the same.
    His Servant and yours,

  4. your layout is BEAUTIFUL, I’m 65 i have been a Model Railroder for a long time.i model HO & N Scale i have a beautiful model of the N Scale Union Pacific City of Los Angeles.

  5. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Frank…… great work and I am sure the kids love the layouts and enjoy. Nothing like seeing the happy look on their faces when they watch those trains running around. Keep up the great work for the children.

  6. Marklin ed says:

    Like your layout but to much for me. Giving back is great. Keep build .

  7. Frank
    A nice layout who care’s about what is right and what is wrong bottom line it’s
    your layout do it your way and have fun doing it.Great job on working with kids
    I like the road crew redoing the street
    Bob from florida

  8. Erick says:

    Great Layout

  9. Dave Fife says:

    Nice layout but I have to ask…How did the cars get into the town? I see no railway crossings and no roads leading out of town.

  10. Jim AZ says:

    Nice. I really like those poplar trees. Hope the youngsters continue on with this great hobby. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  11. JW Snyder says:

    What a wonderful retro layout. It looks similar to one of the first ones I built. It looks like you had fun building it and are still enjoying it.

  12. Rick Bartholomew says:

    I’m in Saint Augustine FL – Jacksonville FL area
    Where in Florida could a person come see your layout
    And talk to The Train Man?

    Best Regards,
    Medicine Man
    Rick Bartholomew

  13. james hunter says:

    it is your layout…………..looks great…………

  14. Kai Willadsen says:

    Dave, that’s very good, in fact! Cars are confined to the town, means that people just HAVE to board a train when they want to go somewhere else 🙂

  15. This is awesome, you definitely get the award for the most amount of things going on per square foot.

    I wouldn’t worry about the critics, they focus on petty details. If you are building a layout for a museum historical society that wants accurate detail, that’s one thing, but this a fun hobby, and I LOVED YOUR EXPRESSION & CREATIVITY.

  16. Al, Thanks for what you do. Being an 80 year old in a nursing home, I look forward
    to your posts every day. Men like Frank and all the rest are to be admired for
    there skills and patience. I do have one question though, …why is it the builders
    seem to want to cover every square centimeter of the entire layout with
    something ? While the layouts are beautiful, it seems to me they could better.
    I am not a critic, just offering a thought. Thanks for your time, RJL

  17. Kevin McArdle says:

    Frank, the secret is to n3ver lose the ability to be childlike. Never lose that schoolboy heart. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Ramsey Arnold says:

    Nice to give that former layout of yours to the local group, Frank.
    Your FL activities are Very commendable and hopefully an inspiration to many of us.
    Our Model RR Club installs a layout at Christmas, for all to see, running continuously during the store hours where it’s located. Kids, young and old, really enjoy it.

  19. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great Layout looks good!! A job well done!! Remember Its a toy layout As long as you enjoy thats all that matters!!!!

    God Speed!!

  20. WONDEFUL IDEA!!! Thank you.

  21. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Hi Frank. A great idea to give your layouts to local hospitals. Being in the profession of running children’s nurseries I would suggest that this style of layout would last a few minutes before being torn apart no matter how much supervision the children are given. I would suggest that the layout is placed into a toughened glass ( for safety) or a Perspex case with perhaps the Controllers placed outside to allow some control for the children. Perhaps you could think of placing one a local children’s hospice I’m sure it would help children and parents at a such a time. Well done again with your very generous idea

  22. George Zaky says:

    Your layout is great but your giving to others is greater. Donating a small layout is not cheap in cost & labor so we commend that effort.
    “If you’re having fun, you’re doing it the right way.”

  23. Bill in Virginia says:

    Frank your work and your charity are outstanding!!

  24. TJK says:

    Generous of you Frank. I am sure the layouts provide many smiles.

  25. Ruben Simon says:

    Beautiful layout. The colors are so bright and inviting. It made me think of a very recent comment one of us made about the need to age things by dirtying them up if we want things to look real. So I wonder, is the world really dull and dirty so that realism will never look like Frank’s layout, and a layout like Frank’s will never look really “real”? In either case, personal preference in one’s own layout is always the right choice. But is there some point between them where realism and bright colors of buildings and vehicles can coexist?

  26. Erick says:

    Look great.!!!! I hope mine turns out that good.

  27. Wyatt says:

    From my own experience , children love trains . They are never critical of details their imaginations stirred by the layout details themselves . And for these special children in hospital and away from normal childhood activities this is a special gift .
    God Bless You Frank .

  28. William Doan says:

    What gauge is this layout and are there track plans available?

  29. Norman "Pete" McGill says:

    Hi Frank. Very nice layout and your donation will help a lot of people. Kudos to you for that.
    I also live in Florida and came from Plainville, Mass. We had a slate mine there many years ago and that just may be a good idea for th layout I have under constructio right now. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Pete McGill

  30. Mr. Ron from So Mississippi says:

    Dave Fife: In the 5th picture down, I see crossing gates and road markings, indicating access in
    out of town.

  31. Eugene Shaffer says:

    Is there a shark swimming in that pond? There ought to be a shark or a Gator in there. Ha!

  32. Brett says:

    Wonderful layout Frank! Keep up the good work

  33. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Looking good enjoy your retirement!

  34. Charles J Eyster says:

    Great practice Frank.
    And to Dave Fife’s question, model railroading is a lot of planning and usually draws from a vast pool of imagination in each of us. As for your question about Frank’s access to the roads on the layout, you just missed the turn……… it’s there!
    Many smiles to all from Charles

  35. Brian Olson says:

    My current layout is an N Scale 6×12 duck under. Lots of operating room for sure. But I have fond memories of a 2×4 layout that got me back into the hobby many years ago.

    In this hobby size doesn’t matter. Creativity does.

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