AMHERST, N.S – Dave Stredulinsky’s talent stack is perfectly suited for model railroading.
“I’m a mechanical engineer and I have some electrical background as well, there’s a lot of electrical involved, and I like the artistic side of it as well, so it all fits together for me.”
Stedulinsky, a member of the Dartmouth Model Railroad Club, displayed his club’s model railroad set at the inaugural Train Show hosted by the Cumberland Area Railway Club at the First Baptist Church in Amherst.
Stredulinsky, now retired, started model railroading about 30 years ago.
“I had some interest as a child but It wasn’t until later while I was working in the early 90’s that I went to a meeting in San Francisco for work and I bought a train set for my daughters and it expanded from there.”
Stredulinsky is an original member of the Dartmouth Model Railroad Club, which started in 1995, and the train set at the Amherst Train Show took about eight years to build.
“It’s built into sections and I can fold it up and put it in my minivan,” Stradulinsky said.
The club has 12 members and each member brings a different talent to the club.
“One of my hobbies is landscape painting so I paint all the backdrops to make a realistic scene and try to match it to the foreground,” Stredulinsky said. “Some people are more interested in the mechanics of the train, and one fellow did all the lights and put all the people in the landscape, and another fellow likes building the buildings.”
There is some crossover.
“The mill down in the corner I built board by board.”
Most of the buildings are painted using computer printouts.
“We have one member who has textures he picks out on his computer,” Stredulinsky said. “He then prints the texture onto computer paper and the paper is glued to several of the buildings and tanks.”
Meeting new people is another of Stredulinsky’s talents, and he takes the model train set to about five train shows each year, giving him the chance to meet people throughout the region.
“I get to meet a lot of people, which I enjoy very much.”
His club also sets the model train up at a car dealership in Dartmouth each Christmas, and Stredulinsky volunteers at the IWK hospital in Halifax every Tuesday morning.
“They have a train set up five days a week from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday to Friday that the children in the hospital visit.”
He says they have a very nice train layout.
“They have several different gauges of railway and the kids really enjoy it, and I get enjoyment watching the kids getting so much enjoyment out of it.”
Hundreds of people visited the trains show in Amherst, and Stredulinsky said he’ll definitely return.
“For a first-time show they did a great job of publicizing it and they have been great hosts,” Stredulinsky said. “They provided coffee and donuts and muffins this morning, and they provided lunch for us which you usually don’t get at shows.”
Train Show organizer Dan Read, who is also a founding member of the Cumberland Area Railroad Club, thanked the model railroaders and the hundreds of train enthusiasts who came out to the show.
“We’ll be here again next year. It will be an annual event,” Read said. “And next year we’ll double up the play area for kids. It should be kid-friendly because kids love trains.”